How To (Respectfully) Quit A Job You Just Started

Starting a new job is an immensely exciting time in your life, and you will naturally have high hopes that it will be the beginning of something truly special. Unfortunately, there is always a possibility that the dream job will quickly turn into a nightmare. If this has happened to you, quitting a job you just started may be the only answer.

Quick quitting a job you just started is the last thing on your mind on day one of your employment. However, research shows that over half of us have quit at least one job within six months of starting. So, if you’re currently considering the prospect of resigning from a new role, you are far from alone.

Nevertheless, it’s important that you approach the situation correctly. Otherwise, it could have a detrimental impact on your future prospects. Here’s all you need to know.

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Table of Contents

Quitting A Job You Just Started


Modern-day workers tend to stay in jobs for an average duration of just over four years. Furthermore, just under half of all employees believe that future employers would view quick quitting as a red flag. Generally speaking, then, it is a procedure that should be approached with caution.

While quick quitting may be viewed as a last resort, you should not rule it out. The Great Resignation has equipped workers with the inner confidence to quit under the right circumstances – and this can extend to people that have only spent a short time with their current employer.

Valid Reasons To Quit Your New Job

Before quitting a new job, you should always confirm that the reason for taking this measure is valid. Aside from enabling you to prepare for potentially difficult questions during future job applications, confirming that it is the right time to quit will allow you to resign without regret.

Here are just some of the valid reasons that may lead you to quit.

Signs Of A Toxic Work Environment

The most common reason for wanting to quit a new job is that the company culture isn’t a good fit. The signs of a toxic working environment are primarily linked to team dynamics or poor management. A high staff turnover rate or examples of other new employees quitting shortly after taking the job are also telling symptoms of a place that you’ll want to leave.

The genuine company culture isn’t something you can judge until you experience it as an employee. But if it is toxic, you’ll want to plan a quick escape.

The Job Isn’t What Was Advertised

When you accept a job, the decision is made based on the job description provided by your employer. If you have found that your responsibilities or work hours are noticeably different from what was advertised, it is a valid reason to quit the job. Or at the very least, it should be an incentive to discuss the situation with your boss. Otherwise, you will be left feeling underpaid and undervalued.

Furthermore, the sense of dishonesty will inevitably reduce your level of trust in the company and your boss.

Your Life Has Suddenly Changed

A good job is an important ingredient in the recipe for a happy life, but there are more important things too. For starters, your health comes first. If changes to your physical or mental wellness dictate that you need to resign, you should have no guilt about quitting. However, it is usually worth speaking to your HR department to see if they can accommodate your new circumstances.

Relocation or changing family dynamics, such as going through a divorce when you have kids, could force you to resign too.

Work Burnout

When a job leaves you feeling unable to carry on within weeks of starting it, this is a clear indication that it isn’t the right fit for you. If you have identified the signs of work burnout, it may be necessary to quit before it takes a toll on your life. While finding a job isn’t the only potential solution to this problem, it is a very valid reason for wanting to quit a job you just started.

Ignoring the issue won’t only impact your life. It will inevitably have an indirect impact on your loved ones too. 

You Have Found A Better Opportunity

If you have been offered a better job, it may feel a little unprofessional or ungrateful to take it so soon after starting your current role. In reality, your employer would have no hesitation in replacing you if they felt it were necessary. They have their best interests in mind, and you should have no concerns about doing what is right for you. If you’ve only just started, they’ll be able to replace you in no time anyway.

Besides, the fear of not finding a new job is the main reason people hesitate to quit. In this case, you will bypass this problem.

Benefits Of Quitting A New Job Early 

Nobody wants to quit a new job prematurely, but there are several potential benefits to quick quitting. Here are six that could influence your decision;

  • Quitting the wrong job may allow you to find your dream job and get your career back on track in the fastest possible time.
  • Quick quitting a job may allow you to finally throw yourself into your startup – driven by the knowledge that you don’t want a repeat of this current situation. 
  • If you quit a job within the first few weeks, you can omit it from your resume without causing a noticeable gap in employment.
  • Leaving the job sooner may protect your mental health and quality of life – almost 15% of workers develop mental health disorders in the workplace.
  • When you resign from a role early, you won’t be influenced by coworkers. It means you can make the right decision for you.
  • Quitting the job early allows you to draw a line under this unfortunate situation far sooner without long-term damage to your career or lifestyle.
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Things To Consider Before Leaving

If you are thinking about quitting your job, it is clear that something isn’t quite right. Whether it’s due to a toxic company culture, as is the case for 62% of workers, or another issue doesn’t matter. The situation must be addressed – but leaving the post isn’t the only potential solution. 

Can You Work Something Out?

Before you quit a job, you should consider whether the problems can be solved in another way. If you are unhappy about the increased responsibilities, for example, you could use this as leverage as you look to negotiate a better salary. This would overcome the need to look for a better-paid role and remove the feelings of being underpaid.

Similarly, if the schedule or work setup isn’t working out, it may be possible to adjust the situation. Working from home or changing your contracted hours are just two possible solutions. However, your employer won’t look to implement changes unless you make them aware of your displeasure.

Can You Find A New Job Quickly? 

When quitting a job, timing is everything. The harsh reality is that significant job losses are expected in 2023. So, you may want to hold back on handing in your resignation until you are confident that a better job can be found. The last thing you want to do is lose your source of income, especially in the current cost of living crisis.

For most people, then, proactively looking to secure your before quitting is the better option.

What Is Shift Shock?  

Shift shock is experienced by 72% of workers who start a new job, so it’s important to feel familiar with it. In short, it is when you regret taking a new job because either the company or job role isn’t what you expected it to be.

It is a problem for employers as well as employees as it can lead to higher staff turnover rates. The best way to prevent this from happening is to conduct research into the company and discuss the expectations with an employer before accepting the job offer. It’s better to take precautions rather than start a position you quickly regret.

How To Quit A New Job You Just Started

If you have decided that you need to quit a job you just started, it’s vital that you handle the process with care. Here’s how:

Identify The Minimum Notice Period Required  

Even if you are consciously job hopping and about to quit a job you just started, it’s important to acknowledge the notice period. While you might not be legally required to do it, most at-will workers will give a two-week notice. It is good practice that allows you to leave on good terms.

In some cases, you may only want to give a one-week notice period. Alternatively, committing to a one-month notice or until the end of a busy period can be deemed a better option in some cases too. You have to do what is right for you – especially if you wish to avoid issues with getting paid at the end of the current employment period.

10 Steps To Quitting Your Job

  1. Plan what you are going to say and write a professional resignation letter to confirm that you are quitting.
  2. Review the employee handbook so that you have a full understanding of your employee benefits and entitlements.
  3. Always tell your boss about your intention to leave first. Allowing them to find out from a colleague is unprofessional.
  4. Remain calm and avoid making negative comments about colleagues, team leaders, or the company as a whole.
  5. Refrain from declaring the reasons for quitting as you are not obligated to do this. You can, however, use items like other job offers to negotiate alternatives.
  6. If your company wants one, be ready to schedule an exit interview. It is a key part of the offboarding process.
  7. Let colleagues know that you are leaving. If nothing else, this will protect you from gossip to make your final days more enjoyable.
  8. If working out a notice period, be sure to stay professional and up to date with your responsibilities.
  9. Avoid the temptation to mention the great things you will do in your next job. You want to keep positive relationships with your coworkers.
  10. Clean out your desk and organize your things so that you can leave without causing disruption.

What To Do After You Quit

If quitting a job you just started is the right solution for you, it is essential that your next steps are taken with care. Here are five things you must do:

  • Invest in your physical and mental wellness. This is a stressful time, but self-care will serve you well throughout this period of transition.
  • Consider what you want from life, not just your career. This could be the opportune moment for fresh beginnings.
  • Be sure to focus on finding your dream job so that you can avoid a repeat of the current situation.
  • Utilize your connections and professional network to learn about possible opportunities that may be available.
  • Review the current job and consider whether you could have spotted red flags before accepting it. This move can help you avoid a repeat situation.

Last but not least, remember to reassure yourself that you analyzed the situation to confirm that this is the best solution for you. The ability to take your next steps without hesitation or regret will make a world of difference.

Key Takeaways

  • Quick quitting is not something that should be taken lightly.
  • But half of all workers will do it at least once, so you should not worry.
  • When you quit a job, you should do it in a respectful manner.
  • Before making the decision, though, you should consider alternative solutions.
  • After quitting a job you just started, it’s vital that your net move is a good one.

Always remember the value you bring to a company in your role. You should never undervalue that- or yourself. Here are some tips for making sure you understand your worth:

Frequently Asked Questions How To Quit New Job

Should I Feel Guilty For Quitting My Job Without Notice?

Not at all. There is a reason why you’ve been made to feel that quick quitting is the only option and staying at the wrong job could harm your career growth. Besides, your employer will be ready to begin the search for your replacement within 48 hours.

How Soon Is Too Soon To Quit A Job?

It can take several weeks to become truly settled in your new job, which is why you should try to find an alternative solution if possible. Remaining in the role for at least one year also shows you can complete the onboarding process and impress an employer. If the job really isn’t for you, though, it’s never too early to resign. 

Is It Legally Allowed To Quit My Job In The First Week?

Technically, nobody can force you to turn up to work. Contrary to popular belief, no state or federal laws state you must provide two weeks’ notice either. If deemed necessary, you can legally quit within the first week of employment.

So, consider all the ramifications of your decision and do what’s best for your mental well being and for your career.

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