Shortest law job you ever had?
October 24, 2007 10:06 PM   Subscribe

What's the shortest professional job you ever held? And should I feel bad for leaving my firm after only 7-8 months?

Although I love my firm for the people and amount of responsibility they give me, I want to leave by early 2008 because the geographic area is insanely boring (sticks thumbs in eyes) and I would never settle down here voluntarily.
posted by Kimpossible to Work & Money (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
what kind of job and industry are we talking about here? is this kind of behavior a big deal to your coworkers or no isse at all? how old are you? what is your work history?

you need to provide a lot more info to get anything more than a knee-jerk reaction.

(I work in advertising and my shortest full-time gig was 6 months at an agency that just didn't have its act together.)
posted by krautland at 10:09 PM on October 24, 2007

I left my first-ever professional job after about 8 months even though I loved it, and largely because of the location. My next three jobs lasted 1 year, 2 years, 1.5 years, though I would suggest you try for a longer stint depending on your field, because you probably don't want to look too flightly.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 10:15 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

Shortest law job you ever had doesn't tell people what industry you're in?

question is whether or not this is your first job and whether you got clients to bring with you to the new firm.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:55 PM on October 24, 2007

I was at my paralegal job for a year before going to law school. Is it possible that your firm has another office that you might be able to switch into that would be better geographically? If not, I'd try to stick around a little longer if you're working on the legal side rather than administrative.
posted by harrumph at 11:13 PM on October 24, 2007

less than one year - easy to explain as a bad fit, but this time bad fit with geography.
posted by caddis at 11:15 PM on October 24, 2007

I worked at Radio Shack long enough to watch the training videos. It was a very professional job. And Alex McLeod was in the training videos. She's very professional.

Having said that, 7-8 months doesn't seem like a shockingly short amount of time to work someplace. You gave it like 1% of your total time on earth. That's enough.

Just don't burn bridges or bite off more than you can chew.
posted by billtron at 11:26 PM on October 24, 2007

So far (i'm in various forms of IT) my work history looks like this:
- 7 months
- 18 months
- 9 months
- 6 months

... since graduation. Usually, my prospective employees have looked at my resume, gone 'Wow, you've done a lot!' and hired me.


Depends on your field and your employer.
posted by ysabet at 12:01 AM on October 25, 2007

Worked for 4 months as an engineer somewhere - dreaded every day going in, but paid the mortgage whilst frantically applying elsewhere.
Short stint doing work was better than being unemployed. Though I might not say that on my CV!
posted by sdevans at 12:37 AM on October 25, 2007

The shortest I worked was 4 months as a LAN engineer. It was somewhat like what they described in the interview, but they changed the salary details at the last minute. It was excruciating going to work every day and I jumped at the first interview I had, even though I had to move out of the country. Not a big deal except that I moved home from overseas just a few months before.
posted by m3thod4 at 2:13 AM on October 25, 2007

employers generally look at patterns of behaviour when hiring. If you have a habit of changing jobs, it becomes problematic. I had one job for 8 weeks. it was clear after about two weeks that it was a bad decision. Waiting till you have another position is wise to avoid looking unreliable. And as others have noted, in some fields people routinely have short term jobs. But look at this position in the context of your other work history. If you have a series of shortterm positions and are not in a field where that is typical, be careful
posted by Dcotton at 2:49 AM on October 25, 2007

i worked as a reporter for 10 days. i don't put it on my resume.

i worked as a communications coordinator for a hospital for 3 months. i sometimes put it on my resume as a temp position (because technically they -had- hired me as a temp, although the understanding was that it would become permanent in the next fiscal year. but i didn't stay around long enough for that.)
posted by thinkingwoman at 4:15 AM on October 25, 2007

If you're consistently changing jobs every six months or less, people will look askance at you in interviews. If you go to a place and are out again in less than a year because it was a bad fit, that's fair play, and might even earn you points because you're clearly confident enough in your ability to find another job to not stay welded to something that's clearly not working out. I had a guy started working with me and quit three months later because it simply wasn't what he expected.

The days of people being worried by you doing less than five years with every employer are loooong gone.
posted by Happy Dave at 4:24 AM on October 25, 2007

It's not clear why you're withholding all the details that would make our answers useful. In my law firm, my city and my field, the credibility threshold is about 2 years.
posted by JimN2TAW at 4:42 AM on October 25, 2007

Six months, but every other job I've had has been 2 to 3 years. I usually explain it as "I was interesting in seeing X side of the business for a period, and have found the experience very useful in Y and Z" and look very positive and satisfied about it, despite the fact it was a nightmare.
posted by jamesonandwater at 6:45 AM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

What's the shortest professional job you ever held?

Chatfilter. Please don't couch your question like this.

And should I feel bad for leaving my firm after only 7-8 months?

Not for the reasons you specify. People leave jobs all the time because they realize they're not a good match for the environment.
posted by mkultra at 7:03 AM on October 25, 2007

For law firms, it depends on the size of the firm and the nature of the job. Some young ID lawyers change jobs all the time - at large corporate forms most will stay for a couple of years but people are always coming and going.

But you really get one free pass no matter what. You have been there almost a year and will be there a year (probably) by the time you get moved. That's fine and won't raise red flags. But try to avoid another departure from your next job after a short period - in law a pattern of short stints at multiple firms will set off more red flags than it might in IT or most consulting work.
posted by jcwagner at 7:39 AM on October 25, 2007

8-12 weeks. Crazy company, bad fit. Ended up working nights for two months solid.

Went to work with a company closely connected to my previous one, which demonstrates (when asked) that I was truly wanted and valued, despite the short stint.

As has been said, you get one free pass no matter what.

I don't bother with putting it on the resume, but would cheerfully bring it up if asked about bad stuff in my experience.
posted by blue_wardrobe at 10:27 AM on October 25, 2007

Six months. I went back to the job I held before that position, so I may just leave it off my resume eventually.

7-8 months says to me, "bad fit."

A resume full of less than a year says, "problematic."

Don't sweat one.
posted by Gucky at 10:44 AM on October 25, 2007

I'm not even reading the other responses - the answer is no. You don't owe an employer anything if you're not working on contract. Would they feel bad about laying you off if conditions made it the best choice?

I know people who have left jobs after as little as two weeks or a month if the fit wasn't right, or if they received another offer after accepting the first one. Don't sweat it at all. Your employers will be slightly miffed, but in a year your whereabouts won't matter to them at all, whereas your whereabouts probably will continue to really matter to you.
posted by Miko at 12:05 PM on October 25, 2007

1 year 3 months

5 months

4 months

Live and learn, I guess.
posted by onepapertiger at 9:07 PM on October 26, 2007

« Older Trying to locate a series of short Matthew...   |   Things are beautiful if you love them Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.