Is It OK To Leave A Job After 3 Months?

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Shorter Version

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Early in my career, I remember starting new jobs only to discover:

  • The work environment was toxic.
  • The position description was wrong.
  • My boss was a micro-manager.
  • My coworkers were not inviting or friendly.

There are many reasons why a job may not be a good fit, but sometimes you don’t realize it until you’re there.

Guess what?

  • It’s ok.
  • Mistakes happen.
  • You can start over.

As a previous job-hopper, hiring manager, and career coach, I want to assure you that it’s never too soon to leave a job. Whether it’s 1 week, 30 days, 90 days, or 1 year, there’s no shame in leaving for a better fit. Below are my top 3 reasons why it’s okay to leave a new job in less than 3 months.  

Avoiding a large gap

If you realize after 1 week that the job is not a fit for you, this is the best time to continue your job search. Your resume is up-to-date, your interviewing skills are fresh, and if you land a job within the next 30-60 days, you don’t have to list this short stint on your resume.

The average hiring manager (and society) knows that the average job search takes 6 months. Most will automatically assume that you’ve just been job searching during that time. I have personally found that most leaders aren’t overly concerned about gaps under 3 or 6 months.

Strong bonds/relationships haven’t been established

When I ask my clients why they stay in roles they hate, they often tell me it’s because of the relationships they have formed. They either love their boss or coworkers.

I get it, it’s hard to break up with friends and disappoint them, but the reality is… if you are “real life” friends vs. “work” friends, you can continue to remain friends even after you’re long gone. Trust me, I’ve continued building friendships outside of a previous role years later. I can also tell you that many work friends are sometimes only your friend out of circumstance, so don’t get tied up staying at a job just because of a relationship.

If you’re the type of person that struggles with this, leave before potential relationships can be established.

The company has not put tons of money into you yet

The hiring process costs money, having a vacant position costs money, but do you know what costs even more money? You staying in a position that you hate for 1 or 2 years out of guilt, perceived perceptions, or relationships.

During the first two years, employers are investing heavily into a new employee with training, resources, education, travel, etc. To avoid wasting an employer’s money and your time, it is better to leave sooner than later. I’d rather that additional money be used towards someone who loves the job rather than someone who is just there to put in their time.

Still nervous to leave a job after 3 months?

  • Know starting all over can seem intimidating.
  • Understand how guilt can start to set in.
  • Also realize that you may face criticism from family or friends regarding your choice to leave a position that you were once so eager to start.

I want to let you know that it IS ok to leave a job after 3 months. Things will work out. Your family, friends, and employer will get over the initial shock and wish you the best.

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Remember what is important

This is your life, you deserve to work in a role that inspires you, motivates you, and utilizes your expertise. Most importantly, you deserve to love your job!


Find a better fit

No matter if it’s 1 week, 30 days, 60 days, or 1 year…start your job search, turn in your resignation, and move on to a better fit!

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About the Author

Chelsea Wiltse

Chelsea Wiltse

Career Coach

Hi! I’m Chelsea and I specialize in helping job hoppers and mid-career professionals switch to more fulfilling roles.

LinkedIn| Connect with Chelsea | Facebook

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