How Do Adults Find New Jobs?
August 9, 2012 7:59 AM   Subscribe

How do I handle leaving a job for another one? Resume and procedural questions inside.

I've been at my current restaurant job for between 1 and 2 months. I'm not exactly happy there. When I was hired I was told that I'd have a fair amount of lunch shifts, something I didn't have before that kept me from seeing my wife. That has since disappeared. They also hired a new person, and I suspect part of it is to cover for the fact that I can't handle the volume they have there. I'm thinking a long term goal is to replace me.

Obviously that last part except me not handling the volume well is my own speculation.

So I went out to lunch with my wife yesterday and was asked if I'd want to bring in a resume and set up an interview to work in their kitchen. It's a new place, less volume, seems great from the times I've been in there just to eat.

So how do I handle this? I was already thinking of leaving my current job so this offer is just weirdly timed. Is it going to be seen as a problem if I leave on a resume since I haven't been at the current job for very long? Do I want to put it on a resume? It would leave about a month without a job if I don't have it on there.

And obviously I'd want to have a firm offer before I saw anything to my current job, right?

Thanks for the help. I've never really left a job before, only for things like moving and graduating, so I'm not sure how this stuff works in the real world.
posted by theichibun to Work & Money (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
"I am gainfully employed but am leaving of my own free will because the job is not a good fit" is always, always better than having to explain (or, in your case, lie about) a month-long blank spot. In these times and in this economy, having a period of unemployment isn't exactly a big, flashing DO NOT HIRE THIS PERSON sign, but in your case, you have a much better alternative (a job that you are still doing) to having it on there.

Also, yes, always have a firm offer in writing before leaving your current job.
posted by griphus at 8:04 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

Definitely at least have a line on the resume for your current position with the start date or month. You may not be able to put a ton of experiences under it, but it would be awkward not to have it on there and then talk about it in the interview.

And yes on firm offer before you give your two weeks notice.
posted by Feantari at 8:28 AM on August 9, 2012

griphus, perhaps timed have changed, but I never got confirmations of job offers in writing for service industry jobs.
posted by kaybdc at 8:30 AM on August 9, 2012

It would depend on the arrangement of the restaurant and the job, but, generally, yeah, the in-writing part is probably overkill.
posted by griphus at 8:33 AM on August 9, 2012

There is no special trick here. If the place asked you to bring in a resume, bring in a resume. Don't say anything to your current place until you've accepted a Jon at the new place.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 8:37 AM on August 9, 2012

Also, yes, always have a firm offer in writing before leaving your current job.

This is nice as a display of seriousness but it's almost never going to be binding. I've been in white collar IT jobs for 20+ years now and have only gotten written offers about half the time. Since I've always worked in at-will states it wouldn't have mattered if they'd changed their mind the day I showed up - they're legally free to can me at a moment's notice for almost any reason. The written offer would just be a pretty souvenir.

For the rest of it, don't overthink it. You're an employee and employer, not married or an indentured servant. The courteous thing to do is tell your boss "I don't think this is a good fit either way and I've found another job. I'll be starting there in 2 weeks unless you want to let me go sooner."

Similarly you tell the new folks that you'll give your new place 2 weeks notice but if they let you go sooner you're prepared to start sooner.

That said, 2 weeks notice is a courtesy, not an obligation. Nobody gets 2 weeks notice when they're let go by the boss. So if you really think you're about to be pushed out and nobody is happy with the arrangement as it stands then give less. Or none. I spent less time behind a bar than I have behind a desk but same-day departures weren't remotely unheard of there. Or even here.
posted by phearlez at 9:04 AM on August 9, 2012

Bring a resume to the guy who wants to see it. He doesn't know you from a bar of soap presumably so he doesn't know that you've only been at your job for a month or so. If he says anything, just say, "I wasn't looking but you seemed interested in seeing my resume, so here we are."

Notice is tricky because if your boss gets pissed, (s)he can say, "get out now! Pick up your check tomorrow." Then you don't have an income for two weeks.

Or you can give notice the night before your new job starts, "I'm starting a new job tomorrow night, I can still work lunches if you need me." Or work both simultaneously (if your getting the lunch shift at the new place) until your notice runs out.

I give notice. But that's me.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:49 AM on August 9, 2012

I Am Not Your Career Counselor but I am a career counselor at a culinary school. Restaurants expect turnover, and it sounds like you know your current job isn't a great fit. Definitely bring your resume to the guy who's interested and include your current job on it. The new place might work out or it might not, but it can't hurt to try. It's a good idea to have a new job lined up before you leave, but as others have said, in-writing offers aren't the norm in this industry. As for leaving your current job, give two weeks notice if you can, and offer to help train whoever they bring in, tell them you want to make the transition as smooth as possible. If you recognize that you're putting your current employer in a bit of a tight spot to cover your shifts (though maybe not, since they just hired someone?) and they see that you want to help keep things seamless, you'll leave on good terms. Good luck!
posted by hungrybruno at 12:34 PM on August 9, 2012

Everything here has been great. I wasn't going to make anything as a best answer because that would imply that some others weren't as good. But the "I wasn't looking..." line was just so spot on great that I had to do it.

For those who are wondering, the day I asked this question more things happened at work that confirmed my decision to leave. Thanks.
posted by theichibun at 10:41 AM on August 11, 2012

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