Figuring out how to quit a job can be stressful, but figuring out how to quit a job you just started?
That’s a whole different ballgame.
There are a lot of reasons why you may want to quit a job you just started.
Maybe you got offered a new job that is actually what you want to be doing, maybe you’ve quickly realized that the job or the environment isn’t for you, or maybe you’ve had a life-changing tragedy or experience that means you don’t have the capacity to handle a new job right now or need to move across country.
There is a right way and a wrong way to quit a job you just started.
The wrong way is evidenced by an anecdote about a job I used to work out where the person, on their first day, went for his lunch break and just never came back.
So what is the right way to quit a job you just started?
Here are some pointers.
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1. Set up a Meeting with Your Supervisor if Possible
If it is at all possible, set up a face to face meeting with your supervisor to explain what you are doing.
This particularly applies in office jobs and jobs where you were particulaly recruited for a position.
While you won’t be able to use this job on your resume, you won’t want to burn any bridges either by acting inappropriately.
If you are working in a job in customer service or retail with high turnover, you don’t necessarily have to ask for a sit-down meeting and in fact the supervisor may be too busy for that, but you should still aim to at least speak to them on the phone instead of just not showing up one day.
As a final resort, you can quit by e-mail or written text if that is the way your office communicates and you can’t bear to go in another day, but know that this is going to burn the most bridges of all.
2. Rehearse Your Reasons for Leaving
Whatever your reasons for leaving, rehearse them in your head so you’re ready to accurately explain when you are asked why you’re leaving.
In some ways, you don’t owe an employer an honest explanation.
You can simply say that you are leaving for personal reasons, but make sure you are confident in what you are going to say.
3. Don’t List All the Reasons Why You Don’t Like the Job
If you are leaving because you have a problem with the job or the toxic work environment that you’ve noticed as soon as you started, it’s usually best not to unload this onto the team when you quit.
If they ask for feedback, you can say that it wasn’t the environment for you and you appreciated them giving you the opportunity.
But don’t turn it into a session where you say bad things about everyone who works there and how much they micro-managed you.
4. Ensure All of Your Equipment is Turned Back In and Projects Explained
You want to make sure that when you know you’re going to quit, you are ready to turn in any equipment, clear your computer, and explain any in-progress projects to your coworkers.
Being prepared to hand-off quickly will make for a better and smoother exit and your supervisor will appreciate your willingness to make sure they are not caught in the lurch as much as possible.
5. Give As Much Notice as Possible
Even if you’re wondering how to quit a job when you’ve just started, you should still try and give as much notice as possible before your final day.
They may not want you to work it out, but being able to say “I can work until DATE two weeks from now” will leave a better impression than “I’m never coming back ever, goodbye.”
It at least gives your work time to train someone else to fill your position.
6. Thank Them for the Opportunity
In an effort to not burn bridges, make sure to be thankful to the company for the opportunity, even if you didn’t work there long.
It is general good etiquette when quitting, and ensures you are saying something positive which can be appreciated at a time like this when you may be catching HR off guard.
If anyone in particular was nice or helpful to you at the company, drop them a quick note as well to say thank you for the time they invested in you and that you wish them all the best.
It’s just the nice thing to do.
7. Know that It is Always Going to Be Awkward
I hate to say it, but quitting a job when you’ve just started will always be a little bit awkward.
There’s an expectation when you take a job that you’re going to stick with it for a bit, and if you’re quitting on the second week, the company may be shocked or thinking about all of the time they spent recruiting, interviewing, or getting you on board.
But that’s okay.
You have to do what’s best for you and should never stay at a job for fear of it being awkward to leave.
Companies can hire new people, and at the end of the day, most won’t be loyal to you when it comes down to it, so you can’t place your expectations you have or how you would treat family or friends to how you would treat your job.
Be polite, be professional, and leave on the best terms possible by following the other tips above.