How to Quit a New Job Gracefully

How to Advance Your Career

If you're unhappy at a new job, there's an easy way to fix it: Quit. But quitting, unfortunately, isn't as cut-and-dry as it seems -- especially if you're a recent hire.

"There are potential repercussions to making a quick exit," author Daniel Bortz writes in an article for Monster, in which he quotes the cautionary words of career coach Ryan Kahn from The Hired Group: "If you're in a tight-knit field, word may get around that you quit unexpectedly … If that happens, future hiring managers might negatively perceive you as a job hopper, which can make your next job search more difficult."

To get out without damaging your reputation, treat your resignation from a new job the same as you would treat your resignation from a long-held one. Which is to say: Be as courteous as possible.

That starts with doing it in person. "While uncomfortable, you should break the news to your boss face-to-face, so that you're perceived as being professional," advises Bortz, who says the standard two weeks' notice also is important. "Even though you've only been with the company for a short period of time, giving two weeks' notice is appropriate … But if you have the flexibility, you could offer to stay for three or four weeks, if your manager prefers it."

Finally, keep working and contributing until the very last moment. "Once you've announced that you're leaving, you still need to put 100 percent of your time and effort into the job," Bortz concludes. "Making an effort during your last two weeks on the job can only help your reputation in this delicate situation."

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