Send your workplace conundrums to firstname.lastname@example.org, including your name and contact information (even if you want it withheld). The Workologist is a guy with well-intentioned opinions, not a professional career adviser. Letters may be edited.
A few months ago I took a new job, shortly after my previous employer suddenly laid me off. I was grateful to be employed again so quickly — but I quickly realized this new job wasn’t for me.
I work in an office separate from most of my co-workers, the managers seem unhappy with their situations, the company is experiencing high turnover, and the work doesn’t excite me. While some of these challenges were described to me when I took the job, many were not.
Given how I was treated at my last company, I didn’t think I’d ever feel allegiance to an employer again. But I’m realizing that I’d feel genuinely bad leaving a company that gave me a chance when I was in a tough situation. It would seem like I was using them as a place holder until I found a better opportunity, and that’s not the kind of employee I want to be.
I believe upper management wants to keep me and cares about my well-being, but it’s hard to pinpoint solutions to the problems I’m facing. The job market is very good right now and I could probably find work elsewhere. Is it acceptable to consider leaving so soon?
It’s certainly acceptable to consider leaving. Sometimes things don’t work out, and there’s seldom a good reason to stay in a job you don’t like for any longer than necessary. Still, you might want to take your time before you jump — not out of loyalty, but out of selfishness.
First, set aside any feelings of guilt about possibly quitting. Ultimately, employers have to make bottom-line decisions, as you recently learned yourself. And employees have to do the same.
If this job isn’t good for you, and isn’t even quite what you were led to believe it would be, you have every right to move on without feeling bad about it. Be professional and respectful, and give adequate notice, but do what’s best for you.
Sure, it’s possible your new bosses will be irritated with you — but they should want employees who want to work for them, and are not just sticking around to avoid making anybody feel bad. (You didn’t ask about this, but having one short stint on your résumé isn’t a big deal in the long run.)