Today we're talking about when it is too soon to leave a new job you don't like.
When I started my current job six months ago, I had high hopes, but also some niggling concerns. Unfortunately, my concerns all proved accurate. I didn’t quit, because I had a lot going on in my personal life that I needed to get resolved first, and I kept hoping things would get better.
Nothing has, and not only are those problems true but the work I do bores me. Do I need to give this job a year before moving on? If I quit, can I leave a six month job off my resume? When I interview for other jobs, do I explain that I’m leaving because the job isn’t right for me, or do I get into the entire situation? If I explain my concerns, will I be labeled a bad mouther?
I’ve also sent you my resume, and it’s kind of a mess – I’ve had four jobs in three years, and they’re all in different fields. Can you help?
You take a risk if you leave a job you’ve held longer than a month off your resume. If it’s discovered, the interviewer automatically wonders what you’re hiding. You may think you can cover your omission by saying you took a career hiatus. Most interviewers dig into that, particularly when they conduct reference checks. They’ll ask the supervisor and possibly coworkers at the last job you admit holding enough questions to potentially learn about the job you didn’t list.
If you interview for another job, and explain you’re leaving this one because it isn’t for you, the interviewer will dig into that as well, particularly given your spotty resume. If you describe the problems, you risk being labeled either a big mouth or a bad mouther, or both.
If you do interview for a next job, and the interviewer asks why you want to leave your current job, say, “I happened to see your ad, and your company and the position you have open so intrigues me, I felt I had to apply.” That immediately shifts the interviewer’s focus, and you’ll need to explain what intrigues you about their position and company.
Before you launch into interviewing for a next job, however, spend some time deciding what type of work will hold your interest. Also, commit not to take another job that you have concerns over – they almost always prove valid.
© 2016, Lynne Curry. If you'd like an answer to your career question, it's easy. Write firstname.lastname@example.org. Lynne authored Beating the Workplace Bully (AMACOM, 2016) and Solutions. You can also follow Lynne@lynnecurry10 on Twitter or access her other posts on SheKnows, www.workplacecoachblog.com or www.bullywhisperer.com.
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