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Quitting Work
What To Do When Your New Job Isn't What They Promised
© spey / Adobe Stock
Jennifer Bewley
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Each month, three million Americans decide to take a new job — hopeful and confident about their future. 

In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' most recent version of the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), an average of 3.5 million Americans quit their jobs every month in 2018. And they're doing so mostly in search of opportunities that pay better or offer more prestigious titles.

Unfortunately for some of these people, however, not all companies live up to their promises.  While you may take a job that sounds enticing because it offers you unparalleled benefits like unlimited paid time off, for example, you may come to find out that the company culture actually intimidates people out of using that time off, and so no one actually benefits from it anyway. Likewise, you may take a job because of promises of future opportunities with the company, but you may work for the company for just a few weeks before realizing that it's actually a sinking ship.

If you find yourself in a position in which the company you just started working for isn't at all what you'd anticipated, here are some steps you can take for a quick and seamless exit.

Give it some time to think over.

If you feel like quitting your job, give it some time to think about. You may even want to talk to your manager about how you're feeling to see if there's anything they can do to rectify the situation that's causing you to want to quit. If it's about money, maybe you can negotiate a raise. If it's about status, maybe you can negotiate a title change. If it has to do with a lack of support, maybe your manager has been unaware of the problem and is happy to get you the resources you need to be successful.

Whatever the case, take time for yourself to think and don't make any rash decisions before talking it out in our own head and, if you want, also with your manager.

Make a decision to stay or to go.

If leaving immediately is an option and the company is unbearably toxic, every expert says go.  Career coach, motivational speaker and media executive, Heather Monahan said, "it is always a risk to leave one position without another. But, if things are so bad that you can't fathom going back to the office, you may need to take that chance."

There is no doubt that it is less risky to stay.  If you stay, there are two options: try to fix the company or start looking.  You should and can pursue both. Tawanda Johnson, Principal of RKL Resources, a Virginia-based recruiting firm, recommends meeting with your immediate supervisor to make them aware of the differences between your expectations and the reality.  “There is no harm in asking if changes to your job duties or the work environment can be made,” said Johnson.  In fact, you can use the company’s actions and answers to your questions as additional rationale for your decision. 

Give a sincere explanation, as sincerity is very important.

Whatever your choice, you need clear reasons as to why you are considering leaving or have left the company when interviewing for a new role. Johnson recommends just stating, “I am fortunate to recognize very early on that the position at ABC Company is not the best match for me, based on my qualifications and what I am seeking in a position at this stage in my career.”  Monahan explained it’s important to come up with reasons that others can empathize with and understand. Monahan said, “make it as positive as possible while being honest.”

See what else is out there.

You may want to see what else is out there even before you quit your current job. We actually recommend taking a look at what else is out there before you make any decisions to leave your current role for something better, in case "better" doesn't exist. But, if you feel that it's necessary to leave before finding a new job, now is the time to start hunting around. Take a look at what else is out there and start applying to new jobs.

List your work experience on your resume accurately.

Honesty plays into how you update your LinkedIn profile and resume.  Johnson says it’s important to list your work experience accurately and not erase the position.  If you don't and the gap is discovered, you instantly lose credibility as a candidate.  Most experienced recruiters understand that life happens and sometimes a job change is outside of your control.  Reasons that Johnson finds perfectly acceptable? Caring for an elderly or sick parent, maternity leave, furthering your education, taking a mission trip or sabbatical, that the company downsized, your position was eliminated and that the job just wasn't the right fit.

Believe in yourself.

Changing jobs is one of life’s top stressors.  To have it go astray can be a serious bummer, but don’t let it get the best of you. Monahan believes "you can spin anything.  I have seen talented people spin leaving multiple companies and still land on their feet."  

Bottom line:  The universe is abundant, and you are deserving of reaching your full potential.  

FAQs

People also ask the following questions about quitting.

1. How do I say I left my job because of management?

Tons of people quit their jobs because of a toxic culture that management tends to perpetuate or, at least, not address. Women and millennials, in general, quit for these reasons. All you have to do is be honest about why you're quitting your job — or why you had quit a job (to a new prospective employer) — without burning bridges.

2. What is a good reason to put for leaving a job?

There are tons of good reasons to leave a job — unfair pair, unequal treatment, a toxic company culture, no work-life balance, no room for growth, negative coworkers who bring you down, little to no support, a bad boss, an unfavorable commute, an illness or health complication that prohibits you from doing your work, etc. Here are the best reasons for leaving a job.

3. What are good reasons to quit a job?

If you feel like quitting your job, it's probably because it is indeed time to go. But what's helpful in figuring out some good reasons to quit is understanding all the wrong reasons to quit. Here are some reasons you shouldn't quit your job — and everything else is likely justifiable.

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Jennifer Bewley is the founder of Uncuffed which provides detailed research into prospective employers. Jennifer has an unhealthy love of financial data and speaking her mind and she uses each to help candidates choose the company they work for wisely.

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