How Long Should You Give a Job a Chance?

You’ve hunted through job postings, interviewed well, and landed the job. Congratulations! But what happens when a new job isn’t all you wanted? What happens if the first days on the job seem very different from what you discussed in the interview? Should you jump ship at the first sign of trouble? 

Frankly, it’s a complicated question. There are two schools of thought on whether people should leave a new job that isn’t right for them.  


School 1: Always Give It a Fair Shot

It’s customary to give each job you hold at least one and a half to two years before searching for a new one. Back in the day, that was how you established that you were a reliable and responsible employee. And for many people, that’s still the day.  

If you don’t have much experience, especially, you need to gain experience before people will hire you for another job. 

You should know that Human Resources Departments, staffing agencies, and other people who screen resumes have this “one and a half to two years” minimum rule firmly in mind when they look at your job history. If you’ve left before that, you will very likely have to discuss why.  

Not only that, but a resume with several short stints on it will lead to them thinking you’re a job hopper. That’s not a good thing. The hiring process is time-consuming and expensive for companies. They don’t want to risk hiring someone who has jumped quickly out of a job before. In their view, that means it’s likely to happen again. 

Also, remember that the first few weeks of any new job can feel overwhelming. If you stick it out, you may feel entirely differently once a month or so has passed. 


School 2: Listen to Your Gut

The other side, though, believes new employees need to do what they think is best. There are times when it might be better to leave a job quickly. 

One is if you feel that you were promised a job in the interview process that feels very different than what you have. If you were expecting to be a social media manager and your job turns out to be a very low-level assistant, you aren’t getting the job – or the future experience – you wanted. 

The other is if the job feels all wrong – hostile, chaotic, or negative in some other way. Not all workplaces have a culture where you can thrive. 

Deciding to leave quickly under these circumstances can be prudent if you’re in a field where there’s a lot of demand. In technology, for instance, the market can be hot enough to overlook a short stint. 

You’ll need to weigh both sides before coming to a decision that’s right for you.  


What type of career are you interested in? 

No matter what type of work experience you have, exciting opportunities are waiting for you in a wide range of fields. To find out more about jobs in your area, contact us today. 

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