Saturday, April 20, 2024

Quitting a Job You Just Started 3 Months Ago: Handle it the right way


There’s no shame in admitting a job isn’t a great fit after just a short trial period. With tact and respect, you can and should make a change for your own good without burning bridges unnecessarily. Handled right, one short tenure need not define your career trajectory or professional reputation.

Why do people often quit jobs early?

Some common reasons why people may want to quit a new job within the first 3 months include:

  • The job duties are significantly different than expected or discussed during the interview process.
  • The company culture or working environment is not a good match for your preferences and personality.
  • Unreasonable work expectations, long hours or an unmanageable workload have been imposed.
  • Personality conflicts or lack of support from the manager or teammates have made the job untenable.
  • A better job opportunity has come along that is too good to pass up. Whatever the reason, if you feel strongly that this job is not right for you in the long run, it’s best not to prolong the inevitable. Staying in a job you are unhappy with will only create more negativity over time.

The ideal way to handle resigning early

If you’ve decided this job needs to end, your goal should be to depart respectfully while preserving your professional reputation. Here are some tips for resigning gracefully after only a short tenure:

1) Give proper notice

Provide at least 2 weeks’ notice in writing. This shows respect for your employer’s need to find a replacement. Submit a short, polished resignation letter detailing your last day.

Example 1:

Dear [Manager’s Name],
Please accept this letter as formal notification that I am resigning from my position
as [job title] at [company name], effective two weeks from today on [resignation
date]. I have given this decision serious consideration over the past couple weeks. However, I do not feel that this role is the best match for my skills and long term career goals. The day-to-day responsibilities have differed significantly from what was discussed during the interview process. I have appreciated the experience and opportunity you provided in joining the company. During my time here, I have learned [something you learned from the role]. To help ensure a smooth transition, I am happy to provide training assistance to the incoming hire or help complete any open projects over the next two weeks. Please let me know if there are any other ways I can help support the handing over of my responsibilities. Thank you for your understanding. I wish you and the company all the best moving forward. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need a reference in the future.
[Your name]

Example 2:

Dear [Manager’s Name],
It is with regret that I submit my resignation from my role as [job title] at
[company name]. My last day of employment will be two weeks from today on
[resignation date]. While I found the work itself meaningful, after close consideration I no longer feel this position is the best fit for me professionally. The fast pace and high pressure
environment has proven difficult for me to sustain over the long term. During my short time here, I have appreciated learning from senior team members like [name someone you’ve worked with]. This experience has helped expand my skills in [specific skills improved]. In my final two weeks, I will work to wrap up any ongoing projects and ensure a smooth handover. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to assist with the transition. Thank you for the opportunity you provided in joining your team. I wish you and the company all the very best moving forward.
[Your name]

2) Schedule an exit meeting

Request a meeting with your manager to discuss your decision face-to-face. Come prepared to reiterate the reasons for leaving and thank them for the learning experience. Avoid blaming others.

3) Offer to train your replacement

Volunteering to help onboard your backfill shows goodwill. Share what you’ve learned so the transition is smooth. This leaves a positive lasting impression.

4) Consider counteroffers cautiously

Weigh any counteroffers carefully. Only accept if you’re truly convinced the core issues will change. Otherwise, it may just delay the inevitable resignation. Respond respectfully and truthfully When your manager asks for an explanation, keep responses factual, concise, and
honest while still maintaining a respectful tone.

Some examples:

      • For a mismatch in job duties:
        “The day-to-day responsibilities have differed significantly from our initial
        discussions. I don’t feel this role is the best fit for my skills and career goals long
      • For cultural/working environment issues: “The fast-paced environment has proven to be a poor match for my work preferences. I don’t think I can sustain peak productivity here over the long run.”
      • For unreasonable workload/hour
        “The workload expectations have exceeded what I feel is reasonable or sustainable. I don’t see the situation improving, so we should part ways amicably now.”
      • For personality/management issues:
        We seem to have differing communication and management styles that have caused conflicts. I don’t see the relationship improving, so I think it’s best for both of us if I pursue other opportunities.”

Always keep responses centered around work aspects within your control rather than
attacking others personally.

5) Alternative scenarios to consider

In some cases, there may be better options than an outright resignation:

6) Table the decision

briefly If the core issues seem resolvable with adjustments, request a temporary leave of
absence to reconsider. Use the time to consider if improvements are sustainable.

7) Explore internal transfers

Inquire if other departments have openings better suited for your skills where culture
may be a better fit—network internally before resigning.

8) Don’t burn bridges

Refrain from badmouthing coworkers or the company. You want to part on an amicable note in case you cross paths professionally again someday.

9) Negotiate a reduced schedule

If workload is the main issue, see if a short-term reduced hours arrangement can be
mutually agreed upon to test drive adjustments. Weighing alternative scenarios may prevent prematurely burning bridges if the job could still work out with tweaks. But if after consideration the job just isn’t fit, then resigning respectfully becomes the best path forward.


Handled properly, resigning from a job you’ve held for 3 months or less need not damage your future career prospects. With open communication, courtesy, and professionalism, you can exit gracefully and leave the door open for positive references moving ahead. The lessons from a short-lived job choice need not be career-limiting if you exit with dignity and self-awareness.

In the end, choosing to resign from an unsuitable role, even if new, prioritizes your long-term well-being over sinking further time and effort into something not meant to be. With compassion and honesty, you’ve given a fair chance to the job while also respecting your own needs – a balance any employer with integrity would understand and respect.

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