Accepting the wrong job is an easy mistake to make. Within a few weeks, you might already know it's not the job for you, but you're worried that leaving after such a short time will negatively affect your future prospects. Is it better to stick with a job you dislike or quit a job you just started?
If a position negatively affects your well-being or you receive a better offer elsewhere, quitting after just one month is okay. But if you do, it's best to leave it off your resume.
If you find that a position seriously compromises your well-being, or if an exceptional opportunity presents itself elsewhere, leaving a job after only a month might be a decision you consider. If you decide to leave so soon, it's often advisable to omit this short stint from your resume to avoid raising questions with potential future employers. Remember, every employment decision has nuances, so it's crucial to evaluate your unique circumstances and consult trusted career advisors when in doubt.
In this article, we'll discuss good reasons to quit a job after a month, when to include or exclude a short-term position from your resume, and what to do when you realize you want to leave your new job.
Is it bad to quit a job after a month?
Generally speaking, yes, quitting a job after just one month is not ideal. Having one short-term job on your resume is not a major red flag, but if you show a pattern of more than two short-term jobs in your recent employment history, it will likely raise concerns with recruiters about your commitment and reliability.
However, the negative impact of a short-term position largely depends on the circumstances of your employment and your reasons for quitting. If you have an adequate, professional reason for leaving and don't show a lengthy pattern, one short-term position is not a concern.
If you're uncertain about whether to exclude a job you left after one month from your resume, upload it to the tool below. It will scan your resume and offer personalized suggestions on what should be included and what might be better left off.
Is it bad to quit a job after six months?
Six months is a reasonable time to stay in a new position to assess your fit for the role. Leaving a new job after six months is not as concerning to future employers as quitting after a month, but again, be wary of showing a pattern of frequent changes.
Is it bad to quit a job after only a week?
Yes. Accepting and rejecting a position after just one week will come across as unprofessional. If possible, it's best to honor your commitment for a little longer before deciding to leave.
Good reasons to quit a job after a month
While it can be beneficial to stay in a new position until you've found something better, there are always situations when quitting after a month is still the best option. These include:
- A mismatch of job expectations, like when the role isn't what was described to you during the hiring process
- Receiving a better job offer with a more desirable position
- Changes in personal circumstances, like relocating or needing alternate working hours
- A toxic work environment, such as bullying or harassment in the workplace
- Health concerns negatively affecting your physical or mental health
- Personal or family emergencies
- Ethical or moral conflicts when the policies or practices of your new employer go against your personal values
- Concerns about job security, like discovering your employer is facing financial difficulties or impending layoffs
Should you include a job you quit after a month on your resume?
Generally, it's best to leave short-term positions off your resume unless they are specifically relevant to the job you're applying for. If a job only lasted a few weeks, leave it off your resume, as this isn't considered adequate time to showcase or learn any new skills. If the position lasted only a few months, consider carefully if the job adds any skills or experience that will benefit your current resume. Be wary of showcasing more than two short-term positions to avoid presenting a pattern of short-term employment.
When to include a short-term job on your resume
Consider including a short-term position on your resume if:
- The role adds industry-specific skills, qualifications, or experience that are relevant to the position you are applying for
- It's related to your career goals
- Leaving your previous job can explain your reason for applying for a new position (looking for career growth, leadership, skill utilization, etc.)
- You lack other experience in your desired field
When not to include a short-term job on your resume
It is best to leave a short-term position off your resume if:
- The job only lasted a few weeks
- The skills you utilized aren't relevant to your new application
- You left the company on bad terms
- Your previous employer might provide a poor reference
- You have multiple other short-term positions on your resume
- You have other long-term jobs that showcase the same skills
What to do when you know you want to leave your new job
If you want to leave a new job shortly after starting, it's best to start your job search before quitting. While it can be disheartening to stay in a role you're not enjoying, looking for work while still employed eases the financial pressure of finding a new position and gives you the opportunity to find a job you’ll really enjoy.
Also, consider discussing your dissatisfaction with your employer before quitting. If your issues stem from unutilized skills or mismatched expectations, you might be able to adjust your role to better suit your skillset or find a solution that suits both you and your employer.
How to avoid a negative pattern of short-term employment
To avoid constantly jumping between jobs, ensure you're applying to positions that align with your career goals. Consider what you want from a job, and apply to roles that offer your desired balance of skill utilization, growth, and values.
If you're underqualified for the positions you really want, instead of accepting a less desirable position, consider investing in training to boost your resume. Target your resume to your desired position to make yourself a more competitive candidate and use a keyword finder to assess if there are any industry-specific skills missing from your resume.
If you're unsure about accepting a position, consider taking a temporary, part-time, or freelance contract to discover if the role is right for you before committing to a permanent position.