Quitting a Job You Just Started

Written by Calvin Bowers

There can be many reasons for quitting a job that you have just started and they are not all a reflection on you as the employee. We have taken a look at some of the most common reasons why people don’t last very long at jobs before leaving again for pastures new and we have included some of these below.

The Job Wasn’t As Advertised

This is one of the most common problems that job seekers have experienced when getting a new job. Sometimes they are given a false impression of what the job entails and when they actually start the job, it doesn’t meet the expectations that they had of it. 

This can take the form of the classic “bait and switch”, whereby the employer promised one type of work or a certain set of conditions but actually provided another. This is something that sometimes happens when people aren’t initially made aware that the job they are applying for is a commission-based sales job rather than a normal salaried position, with the paid holiday time and other benefits that come with that.

The Company Culture Wasn’t What You Expected

This is a problem that many people stumble across not long after starting a new job. The people who they were interviewed by may have assured them that the company was very open to people from different backgrounds and had an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy in place. 

The reality on the ground may be somewhat different to what they were sold at the interview stage and there may be problematic coworkers or even managers who are not au fait with sharing their pronouns or otherwise ensuring the comfort of diverse staff members. 

One of the main drivers of having happy staff is making them feel that they are not just accepted for who they are but actively welcomed into the workplace community. When people are being discouraged by the words or actions of others, this can obviously have a negative impact on their self belief and wellbeing more generally. 

You Have Received a Better Job Offer

This is definitely one of the more positive reasons for leaving a job not long after you have started. Just be sure before you make your move that the job is all that you have been told and that it is available to start on dates that won’t leave you short of money until payday. 

It may seem unreasonable to your current employer that you are leaving after such a short period of time working for them. However, if you explain that a better paid or more senior position has come up that suits your skillset, there are actually very few who will hold it against you for taking the better opportunity for advancement. 

You never know when you will meet people again in any industry so try to leave a good impression when you leave and sincerely thank them for the chance that they have offered you at their company.  

Different Expectations Around Remote Work

This is a relatively new consideration since the pandemic but some workplaces may have differing expectations about returning to the office vs hybrid or remote work and it may be that their view on this matter is one that doesn’t fit with your lifestyle. 

More people than ever want to incorporate some form of remote work, whether that is hybrid or fully remote working and if your employer is not keen on having employees work from home going forward, this may be enough to cause some people to look for another job. 

Something that we have seen since the pandemic is that workers are becoming more selective about what they are prepared to tolerate in the workplace and for some the lack of an option for remote or hybrid work will be a reason to move on.  

Going Back to Being a Student

It’s possible that people applied to University for an undergraduate course or something more advanced like a Masters or PhD and didn’t expect to be accepted and then found a job to tide them over. If they then unexpectedly received an offer from a university for their desired course, it makes a lot of sense that they would follow both their heart and their head and resume their studies, at the cost of their current job. 

Sometimes career advancement requires that someone has studied to a level that the employee hasn’t, so they may wish to achieve the desired qualification so that they can start to move up the ranks within their organisation, rather than languishing on the lower rungs alongside those who have yet to gain such a merit. 

Depression at Work

Dealing with depression at work and poor mental health more generally can be a valid reason for quitting a job not long after having started. Mental health is very difficult and if you feel that the job you are doing is contributing negatively to that, it makes sense to put your health ahead of your job. 

It is not the best solution for your employer in the first instance and they may initially be angry at you. Having said that, when they think of the difficulties that you have potentially spared them with long leaves of absence and meetings with HR, they may decide that you have actually done them a favour by being honest with both yourself and them in relation to your mental health. 

Quitting a job you just started is a hard decision to make and is certainly not one to make lightly. If this does happen and you end up looking for another job, you can get help on how to write a new CV and a covering letter, as well as information on how to explain any career gaps that you may have.  

Take the time to look at our specialised jobs board and see whether we can help you to get back on your feet again. Depression is a common mental illness and you should take the time to get to know your rights surrounding this.

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