So you’ve started a new job, and within weeks, you feel you’ve made a bad decision. This isn’t the right job for you, and you want out. Or maybe you were in the job market for a while, took the first offer you got, then got a call from the company with the job you really wanted. Should you quit your new job? How soon is too soon?

In the past, people had ‘rules’ about how soon was too soon to quit a job—the minimum amount of time you were supposed to spend at a job was two years. That’s no longer the case. If you’ve given a job a fair chance, evaluated it professionally, personally and emotionally and found it lacking, you can move on.

That’s not to say it’s going to be easy. Here are four steps you can take to minimize damage to your reputation and your resume:

1) Resign in Person. Be mature about it. Don’t send an email, leave a voice mail, or worst of all just fail to show upYour employer deserves to hear from you in person, and you owe them a face-to-face explanation of why you’re leaving. It may feel uncomfortable, but you’re not the first person to do this, nor will you be the last.

2) Be Honest. Tell the truth about why you’re leaving. Don’t make excuses or be vague. You may be helping them to identify a trouble area at their organization, such as a difficult manager or a lack of training and development. Be up front, and do apologize for the inconvenience you’re about to cause.

3) Offer to Stay Until Someone Else Can Be Hired. You can leave the job on a relatively positive note if you try to help alleviate the damage your departure might cause. If you can put up with the place for two more weeks, the company won’t lose money and productivity while they try to replace you. However, be sure to set a time limit.

4) Don’t slack off after you’ve given notice. If your boss takes you up on the offer to stay until your replacement is hired, continue to do your best work until your last day. You want to feel good about yourself, and you want to leave that employer on a good note. This way, you’re hopefully not burning bridges and enhancing your chances of maintaining a positive professional reputation.

You can greatly minimize your chances of accepting the wrong position if you sign on with Smith Hanley. With all of our years of expertise, we know how to find the right job—on the right career path—for a variety of professionals. Contact us anytime you’d like to find out more!

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