I Took a New Job, and I Think I Made the Wrong Choice! How Long Should I Stay?

Catherine Tabuena
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There is nothing worse than starting a new job as a wide-eyed, bushy-tailed employee, only to quickly realize that the job is not what you expected. Sadly, you’re not alone.

Nevertheless, quitting a job is easier said than done. Leaving a job too early has the potential to affect your future chances at employment negatively. Before you hand in your resignation letter, here are some things you need to know.

Question: How long should I stay?

The traditional belief is that you should stay at a job for a minimum of two years.

Nowadays, it’s becoming more acceptable to remain for a one-year minimum.

When you started your new job, you probably brought some expectations with you that weren’t met, which made you frustrated and disappointed. Ask yourself if you're unhappy or if your expectations were too lofty before resigning. If it’s the latter, you need to re-examine and adjust your job expectations accordingly.

Veteran publicist, Amy Brownstein advises her new employees to stay for a month before making any rash decision.

She says, “When I hire people, I tell them they have to stick it out for a month (sic) Especially if it's your first job, how are you expected not to be scared? The key is to stay scared, move through the fear, do what you are asked to do, don't analyze it too much, let it sink in and grow slowly.”

Not everyone agrees, though. Time doesn’t always change someone’s mind.

For career expert Emily Bennington, she believes there are exceptions to the rules regarding how long an employee should stay in a job. She suggests asking yourself these questions:

  • Am I growing professionally?
  • Am I free to do my best work?
  • Is this position contributing to my long-term professional goals?

“If the answers are no, no, no, then you need to search for something else,” Bennington stresses.

However, if you absolutely hate your soul-sucking job or worse, it’s putting your mental or physical health at risk, there’s absolutely no point in staying any longer.

Question: I hate this new job! I want to get out now! Can I do that?

Sure…but have you thought things through?

Look, most people hate their job. Eighty-five percent of workers worldwide admit to disliking their jobs.

It can be tempting to walk out for good, quit the job, and strike a middle finger at your toxic boss, but let’s not get too hasty. Spur-of-the-moment resignations rarely end well.

Let’s put aside emotion for now and put on our rational thinking caps.

As an employee, you can do other things to improve your situation without having to quit and start from scratch.

A lot of disgruntled workers forget that it’s much easier to make internal changes to your job than to quit and look for a new one.

Your employer just spent a lot of time and money hiring you. According to a study, the average cost to hire an employee is $4,129, with around 42 days to fill a position.

Employee turnover costs are ridiculously expensive. They know that retaining you as talent is more cost effective than hiring a new one.

If you’re unhappy with elements of your position, don’t be afraid to talk with your manager about your situation. Explain what’s happening and how it makes you feel. Share your desire to do well, but emphasize feeling lost, unsupported, or overwhelmed.

A good boss will listen and arrange an appropriate set-up for you. Your previous position could be given to another person, in exchange for a position better suited to you. You could be transferred to another department or be given new responsibilities that are better suited to your strengths.

In my opinion, there are only five valid reasons why you should quit a job immediately.

  • The job is putting your mental or physical health at risk.
  • You’re moving to a different state or country.
  • The terms of the job changed significantly (location, pay, etc.)
  • The company is financially unstable.
  • You’re a victim of wrongful hiring.

Question: Will I be labeled as a job hopper?

Maybe, but it largely depends on age and industry.

Job-hopping no longer carries the same stigma in today’s job market than it did twenty years ago- at least, for younger employees.

Employers are more forgiving of millennial workers’ job-hopping tendencies. Employers expect their newly hired college grads to stay with a company for two years or fewer.

However, employers are less keen on accepting job-hoppers in their early to mid-30s (ages 30 to 35)

Some industries, particularly those with notable talent shortages and highly competitive recruitment tactics are used to hiring job-hoppers since many employers expect workers to bounce from position to position. These industries are:

  • Information Technology
  • Leisure and Hospitality
  • Transportation
  • Retail
  • Manufacturing

Question: Can I omit the short-term job from my resume?

Technically, you can.

If you feel that your current job doesn’t highlight your strengths or could hinder your future chances of employment, then leave it out.

Your resume is not a legal document, and you are under no obligation to list every job you have had.

However, consider that omitting a job from your resume could raise questions, especially if there’s an apparent unexplained gap on your resume.

A hiring manager could easily discover your past employment history—including the omitted job—during pre-employment screening. Be prepared to explain the gaps and why you decided not to include the job on your resume.

Overall, remember everyone’s situation is different and if the circumstances present themselves to you and you need to quit, you need to do what’s best for you and know that there will be questions about why you left, so just be ready to answer them. And according to a survey of 11,000+ job seekers here’s what they recommend when it comes to staying at a job you hate.



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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for all of the great comments! @Rich M sorry about that job. We know how excited you were to be given the chance. The fact that they didn't give you a reason should be enough for you to let go and move on. Why would you want to work for a company who would just let you go - no reason given. If they were going to do this, why didn't they tell you while you were on the job? That way you could have at least asked why. Now you are back at the drawing board. We all wish you well on your next adventure. @Brenda that's great advice. However, not all of us are sales folks. Some of us are complete introverts and would never survive in that environment. However, great advice for those who wish to do sales. @Vickie Z thanks for your comment. Truly a sad situation. We should be hired on merit, not on age. Sooner or later companies are going to realize the mistakes they are making and start bringing some of the talent back. Who has the talent? Seniors! Thanks again everyone for the great comments. Don't give up. Keep searching!

  • Brenda R.
    Brenda R.

    dont you recognize ageism as the real reason ? these companies dont hire older applicants because they want to be compensated for doing more than these younger dumber workers- and who do you think the main complaints are from? The younger dumber workers- they dont want you to 'out do' them at the job and they complain to 'higher ups' that you dont do it 'well or correct'- or that you just do not 'fit in' with the demographics of their majority of office employees ! Do yourself a favor- reach out to be come an independent sales representative for any company and you will succeed and capture more sales on your own merit- and they dont care your age- you dont have to work in the demographics of these under achievers generation any longer ! YOU will make tons more at your own pace ! usually a training period is required -but most are offering compensation for that time period before being switched to commission only. You may very well outdo yourself - so dont let the people get you down-just go for it !

  • Rich M.
    Rich M.

    On September the 4th of this year, I thought I had at last landed a job that would carry me though to retirement(I'm 60 years old). Well that didn't happen. I got a call that Friday(it was Friday the 13th, go figure.) when i got home. The company decided to end my assignment and didn't or want to the agency I was going through to say why. I think as an employee, you should know why or at least a very valid reason. It shouldn't be because you might work a little faster or better than some of the other people who work there. I mean, if there's a product they want made or done, shouldn't you want it completed on time or maybe a little earlier, if that's possible. I worked for a company that got penalized because the shipment was late and they scolded us for their error. One company I worked for always had a parts issue. They either on their way or detained at customs. I could go on and on, but I don't think you would want that.

  • DILIP P.
    DILIP P.

    How does it affect I, as I have not subjected to such anomalies!

  • Sandra M.
    Sandra M.

    Of my professional requiremenhts but all the recruiters look at is age!

  • Sandra M.
    Sandra M.

    I agree. Ive worked 44 years and perfected my work strategies and knowledge of handling the services and time efficiency

  • Agnes C.
    Agnes C.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your comment. I’m experiencing the same problem. HR is run by a younger generation who may not see the value in a diversified workforce especially when it comes to experience and age.

  • Vickie Z.
    Vickie Z.

    I'm 70 years old im very alert still i wanted to work and the minute everyone sees my age and date of high school graduation you never hear from anyone again. What are we suppose to do sit back and die. Look how many seniors are homeless and why because of all the employers closing the doors on them. Half of all the jobs in this little world were created by us seniors this is the thanks we get. Would you do this to your family if they needed to work? I bet not! Think about it .

  • Narges D.
    Narges D.

    You can accept that without search because important things that you have to attention that insurance and save about job

  • robert r.
    robert r.

    Don't waste precious time

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