Just started a new job, and want to quit already
May 7, 2016 5:39 PM   Subscribe

I quit my last job and moved cross-country 6 months ago, in search of better opportunities in my field. It's taken me 5 months to get a job offer. I accepted the only one I received out of desperation, because I'm almost out of my savings, even though it was a $30k/year pay cut from my last job, and it's not what I want to be doing at all. I started 2 weeks ago and hate it, already fantasizing about quitting. What do I do?

If I'm 99.9% certain that I do NOT want to stay with this company past a few months, and I'm dreading every single day of work, how do I go about leaving this role in the most rational and professional way? I don't want to waste more of their time/resources if I know I'm not the right fit (it's a sales role, which is a big reason I quit my last job...my editorial/content role of 4 years transitioned into sales because of some product changes).

Or do I stick it out for the trial period (3 months) and then tell them it's not a good fit or that I found a better offer more aligned with my career path? I don't want to burn bridges. Also, how do I apply for new jobs if I've literally just started this one? That would be a huge red flag to prospective employers, wouldn't it?

Also, I've also only ever worked for tech startups, and this is a company that deals with physical goods manufacturing. I think they're a good company, well-respected, and a good team, but I just don't feel like there's anything aligned with my career goals for me.
posted by metaveedub to Work & Money (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Keep working there while you look for another gig. Then quit.

If it's not a good fit, it's not s good fit. But no sense in giving up a paycheck if you don't have to.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:57 PM on May 7, 2016 [24 favorites]

If you're almost out of savings, unfortunately the best position sounds like it would be to continue working while you continue your job hunt. You took this current job out of desperation because you need the money after 5 months of searching - if you quit tomorrow to continue your job hunt, would you be able to last another 5 months?

I don't think you have to worry just yet about whether you're burning bridges just yet, because it's unclear when you get your next job offer. It could be tomorrow, it could be 6 months from now - but at least you'll have a paycheck coming in in the meantime.

Also, how do I apply for new jobs if I've literally just started this one? That would be a huge red flag to prospective employers, wouldn't it?

You could leave this new job off your resume. I'd be a bit concerned about the 5 month gap however, but you could stick with that story of having moved to the area to find a better opportunity in [dream career x]. If within 3 months you still don't have any bites, then start adding on this current position to your resume, since you've been with the company now for a number of months.

It might not be a huge red flag if you can coherently make the argument that the position you're in now is different from the position you're looking to be hired into, and the position you're in now isn't what you're looking for.
posted by Karaage at 6:01 PM on May 7, 2016 [6 favorites]

Oh! I'd say I was doing contract work for the past 6 months.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:19 PM on May 7, 2016 [3 favorites]

Interviewer: "Why are you looking for a new job so quickly?"

You: "I moved to xxx looking for a change, and I thought this might offer something interesting. It turns out I really don't want to be in sales for the long term and PhysicalGoodsCo can't offer me anything else in the long run. And to be honest, I miss being in a startup. There's something about the energy I just like, you know? I have nothing at all bad to say about PhysicalGoodsCo-- it's a fine company-- but it turns out it just isn't for me."

I would respect that as an interviewer and it would not give me pause. I would be more freaked out if you had already quit. I can't give you a rational reason for that, but I know it's true, I would be.

I don't think you should quit now, particularly since you say you don't dislike the team or the company. As you have discovered, it is much much easier to find a job when you have a job.
posted by frumiousb at 6:42 PM on May 7, 2016 [14 favorites]

I moved to a new city for a job that ended up being the absolute worst. I realized it had been an awful mistake on my very first day. So I immediately hustled every night and morning before work and within three months had a new job with a nice raise. When I was in interviews and asked why I was jumping ship so soon I smiled and just kept repeating it wasn't a good fit. Most people knows exactly what that means and won't press you. Just don't under any circumstances say bad things about your current job. That is very off putting to potential employers.

Also don't quit til you have a new job. It's easier to get jobs when you currently have one. Good luck!
posted by KMoney at 6:44 PM on May 7, 2016 [10 favorites]

Do NOT quit until you have a new job lined up. Trust me on this. Many employers refuse to even consider applicants who are currently unemployed. Find a way to be thankful you landed somewhere that pays you, and spend all your free time finding something that fits you. It will get better. This period will become more bearable if you can keep reminding yourself that landing this shitty job was likely the key to finding your dream career. Bear in mind that it's likely many employers weren't considering you prior to now given that you were unemployed for those 5 months.
posted by ohyouknow at 9:20 PM on May 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

Never quit a job without another offer.

If you've only been at this company a month, don't even put it on your resume. You're not required to list every company that's ever paid you a dollar. Especially if you don't think you're going to work in this industry again, that line on the resumé isn't doing Anthony for you. Just leave it off.
posted by kevinbelt at 7:23 AM on May 8, 2016

Never quit a job until the ink is dry on the paperwork for your next job.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:31 PM on May 8, 2016

Nthing the "find another job first". I'd say you have about 6 months of "yes, I know I've only been in this job for a short amount of time but it's not a good fit which is why I'm looking for something that is a better fit for my skills and experience" before it becomes something on your resume that you need to have references for. Anything less than that? You can probably get away with prior references and the explanation above. Good luck!
posted by finding.perdita at 1:41 AM on May 9, 2016

I can relate. I started my current job almost a year ago and on my first day I knew I hated it and wanted to quit. The field is not for me, the type of work is not for me, and I felt as though the company culture just wasn't for me. I decided to stick out the 3 month probation period to see if it would get any better, and if not I'd start looking for a new job. At the 3 month mark I still hated it. I dreaded going to work everyday and there would be some nights where I would just be so filled with depression I felt like my life was at a complete standstill with nowhere to go. I went on a few interviews, all of which had issues with why I was already looking for a new job. After that, I just decided to stay where I was because it seemed like potential employers saw this as a huge red flag. I decided it might be easier to find a new job once I've hit the 1 year mark, and I've stuck around. I still want to leave, but my hatred has simmered down to a dislike.

If you want to start job hunting now, I say go for it. Maybe you'll be able to find an employer who's understanding about this particular job not being for you and is willing to look past the fact that it's only been a few weeks and you're ready to move on. I definitely say go for it because the worst that could happen is getting a "no." If you find yourself being turned down then I'd say maybe just stick around for awhile and see if things might get better. Something that helped me, is I asked my boss if I could get in on new projects just to break up the day a bit and hopefully learn something new. I also took advantage of online training sessions that my workplace offered thru their employee website.

Good luck, I know that staying in an ill fitting job is rough. Work is where you spend most of your day and when you dread being there it makes it hard to enjoy anything else in life.
posted by Firestorm 2018 at 8:25 AM on June 4, 2016

Hi all! OP here, and I wanted to post an update just in case anyone is going through a similar situation. In the end, I finally figured out what felt right to me, regardless of what anyone else was saying. And for me, I realized that staying in NYC with a job that was so underpaid from my last one wasn't worth it for me. As much as I enjoy many parts of NYC, I don't love any city that much to compromise my career and finances. I also realized how important it is for me to have a strong network of friends, professional contacts, and family nearby my (and not on the other side of the country). Every time people were telling me to stay in NY at least a year longer, the little voice in my head shouted out, "no! But I really don't want to!"

So I packed up my bags again, and have been back in the SF Bay Area for just a little over 2 weeks now...and I already have a job! Starting pay is what my old salary was ($80k/year, versus the $50k/year one in NY), and it will keep going up as the business grows. Also, I've been assigned to go to Rio next month for 2 weeks for a project we're working on at the Olympics!

Aside from work, I have a friend who just happens to have an open room in SF, and wants me to move in. I think that the fact that all these pieces falling into place so easily in SF is a proof point that I made the right decision.
posted by metaveedub at 12:45 PM on July 16, 2016

« Older How does a philosophy major make himself...   |   I had a root canal Tuesday and am now traveling... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.