Quitting quickly has some risks. Here are 10 tips to make a smoother exit.
By Robin Reshwan, Contributor
The Great Resignation is upon us. If you haven’t been on LinkedIn lately, you may have missed this trending hashtag that reflects the growing number of employees resigning from roles to find companies that better match their goals, desires and values. Although the pandemic and the juggle between remote and in-person work has increased the acceptability of quitting a job that isn’t meeting your needs, quitting within the first three to six months does have some risks. Here are 10 tips on how to exit your job after a few months.
Have another job.
The best way to make a fast hop irrelevant is to already have another job lined up. If your dream company finally extends an offer to you and you know it is better than where you are – make the move. Your new employer clearly is fine with the hop because they are hiring you.
Do good (or even great) work.
People usually remember (and judge you) by their most recent interaction. If you are preparing to leave, this is your chance to leave on a high note. Even if you have only been there for a few months, be sure to perform to the best of your abilities.
Evaluate how to improve things at work.
If you don’t have a job lined up but feel ready to leave, see if there is anything that could make work better. Could you ask for different working hours so you can avoid a terrible commute? Could you switch projects or make a case for more money? Changing jobs is taxing – so if you can find an improvement that makes you want to stay, you can avoid the disruption of leaving.
Find an interim fix.
If you cannot make a significant change that would make you want to stay for the long term, is there anything that could help in the short term while you are confidentially job seeking? Consider if there are any small changes that may lessen the negative aspects of your job, enable you to do good work and lower your stress. With less negativity and/or stress, people usually have better job search success as opposed to taking any role that gets them out of their current pain. You will reap the benefits if you can buy some breathing room.
Plan around the worst case scenario before quitting.
Finding a new job usually takes longer than anyone wants. And, leaving a job after three months without a back-up plan can impact your candidacy for the next role. Be sure you have the financial resources to manage a long job search if you aren’t employed.
Identify your references.
Prospective employers may be dubious about why you are leaving a role after six months. One way to corroborate that you are indeed a model employee stuck in a toxic environment or in a clear mismatched role is to have a reference who can speak to these issues.
If you cannot afford to lose your job before you have a new one, hold off on sharing your grievances and job seeking plans with co-workers. You don’t want to be fired before you have a chance to line up an ideal transition.
When you are ready to quit after three to six months, wrap up any projects or initiatives whenever possible. Alternately, you could create a training or overview guide that could help the next employee to pick up where you left off. Anything you can do to make the transition easier will be appreciated and may go a long way to leaving as positive as possible of an impression.
Create a resignation letter.
Write a professional and general resignation letter or resignation email. Tread lightly around the reason for your exit if you need a reference.
Stay positive and productive during your notice period.
A two weeks’ notice is considered standard. A company is not obligated to keep you on board or pay you for a notice after such a short tenure. Make sure you are prepared to lose your income as of the day you resign but also be willing to work the full notice you offered. If you do work for two more weeks, be as helpful as possible.
Leaving a job after only a few months is tricky – but sometimes it’s the best (or only) option. Start by having a plan that considers the worst case scenario of a long job search. Whenever possible, maintaining professionalism and productivity throughout is usually the best insurance for future references and good will.