*New on the blog: our Leadership Coaching Clinic, in which we answer your questions about problems you’re facing in the office, whether it’s how to handle a bad boss, how to deal with a difficult team member, or some other issue that you’re getting stuck on. Email your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.*
Question: Is it okay to quit my first job after 6 months?
Quitting your job so early will not be a black mark as such; however, most companies will not consider that experience enough for you to demand a job that would be a ‘step up’ versus the one you just left. In a way, you will have to start from scratch; but you will still have the experience gathered in those first months, and therefore your progression should be faster compared to somebody with no experience at all.
Please be aware that some companies will question why you left so early. I would avoid answers that shed a negative light on your previous company or your former boss, but rather justify it with a mismatch between the job offer description and the reality of the job, or between your skills and what was required from you.
The question you should try to answer is how different your next job will be versus your current job. At entry level especially, many jobs are similar, unless you decide to change field (from marketing to finance for example). The schedule will also be similar as you will always have to work hard (which often translates into long hours). If you’re hoping to get a better boss, then please think twice: there is no perfect boss, all have flaws. More importantly, if you leave so early then, pardon my bluntness, you hardly have enough experience to judge a boss (either on skills or knowledge). What you think is horrible might be average, so consider this criterion twice.
Something you also want to consider as part of your decision is how close you are to a promotion or a change of assignment in the company you’re currently in. If you are close to one of the two, it might be better for you to resist the urge to quit and stick with this job. I know I did exactly that when I faced the same situation… and you know what? It was the best thing that ever happened to me! It strengthened my character, it showed my colleagues that I was determined and passionate about the job, and I subsequently had a successful career in Procter & Gamble.
As you are just starting out in your career, you might want to get a copy of our book, How to Succeed in Your First Job. It includes proven tips on how to navigate companies and corporations, including how to handle your boss.
Do you have an issue at work you’d like us to address? Email your questions to: email@example.com.