11 steps to gracefully quit a job you just started

Updated on August 30, 2023
how to quit a job you just started

You might be wondering how to politely quit a job you just started when you went through all this trouble just to get hired.

Not to mention that you took a job that another candidate might have loved (or needed really badly). Here you will find how to leave a job you just started with grace and dignity.

Can you quit a job you just started?

You can quit a job you just started, but it's important to approach the situation professionally and consider the potential impact on your future job prospects.

Ensure open communication with your supervisor, provide a resignation letter, and support a smooth transition to minimize any negative consequences.

It is OK to quit a job you just started when one or more of its aspects don't meet your expectations.

Also, It’s perfectly fine to leave if you have been presented with a better job opportunity.

A new hire leaving is a common occurrence expected by most employers.

One more detail to consider if you are considering how to resign from a job you just started is that, as a new hire, you are in your probation period, which typically lasts from 3 to 6 months.

During this period, you (just like your employer) might decide that you are not a good fit for the company.

Common reasons people quit jobs they recently started

Deciding to leave a job shortly after starting can be driven by various factors. Here are ten common reasons:

  1. Getting a better job offer - received a more aligned job offer with better benefits after starting the current role.
  2. The interviewer lied - job details were misrepresented during the job ad or the interview, leading to a mismatch in expectations.
  3. Unexpected additional duties - assigned tasks beyond the initial job description without appropriate compensation.
  4. Dealing with difficult coworkers - encountering a toxic work environment or continuous conflicts with colleagues.
  5. Not fitting into the company culture - feeling out of sync with the company's values or overall environment.
  6. Health and well-being - the job negatively impacts your physical or mental health.
  7. Lack of growth opportunities - limited scope for professional advancement or skill development.
  8. Inadequate compensation - the pay doesn't reflect the skills and responsibilities of the job.
  9. The commute takes too long - facing a draining commute or struggling to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
  10. The employer has a shady past - discovering questionable or unethical practices linked to the company's history or leadership.

Whatever your reasons might be, don't back off and move on to what you think is best for you.

If you are having any difficulties, take a look at our guide on leaving a toxic work environment.

How to quit a job you just started

How to politely quit a job you just started

Your current employer is not going to be happy, but there isn’t anything that they can do about it.

These things happen when it comes to employment, so don’t feel bad about it. Here are the steps that you can take to resign and minimize the impact.

1. Express your desire to leave

When you make the decision to leave, contact the most relevant person as soon as possible, be it your supervisor or an HR representative, and unequivocally state that you would like to leave the position.

This way, they can start looking for a replacement hire. Hopefully, they will be able to find one soon.

Also, If you would like to be nice about leaving, make sure to resign on a day that is convenient for your superiors.

2. Offer a written resignation letter

While it may seem daunting, drafting a well-structured and professional resignation letter is an essential step when quitting a job you just started.

This formal document allows you to clearly outline your intentions to leave and provides a record of your decision.

A well-written letter also demonstrates your professionalism, which can leave a positive impression even when you're leaving the company.

3. Request a final meeting with your supervisor

Before leaving your job, it's important to have a face-to-face conversation with your supervisor.

This meeting allows you to express your reasons for leaving, discuss any concerns, and reinforce your commitment to a smooth transition.

It also provides an opportunity to thank your supervisor for their support during your time at the company.

4. Apologize to your supervisor and coworkers

Make sure to speak to your coworkers as well. Tell them that you leaving the job so soon has nothing to do with them. Hopefully, they will understand and won’t hold it against you.

5. Be prepared for questioning

Naturally, the relevant company staff will be curious to find out why you want to leave after you just started.

It is very likely that you will be asked to explain your reasons in a face-to-face conversation.

6. Resist persuasions to stay

Somebody might try to persuade you to stay. You might hear all kinds of promises. Don't give in to empty words about benefits and bonus systems.

How come these things were not on the table when you were being interviewed for the job?

7. Anticipated psychological pressure

The conversation might take a dark turn. They might resort to negativity and even threats to change your mind.

Don't forget that you can always file a formal complaint to the relevant local authorities.

8. Remain respectful and cooperative

Let's hope the employer will respect your decision to leave and they will work toward a smooth exit.

But even if they don't, keep your cool and retain a polite tone of communication in order to quit your job in the most professional manner possible.

9. Ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities

A key component of leaving a job with grace is making sure your responsibilities are handed over smoothly. Start by creating a comprehensive list of your tasks, projects, and deadlines.

Share this list with your supervisor and colleagues to ensure that they are aware of your workload and can prepare to take on any tasks you were responsible for.

Offer your support in training a colleague or assisting with the onboarding of a replacement if possible.

This thoughtful approach shows that you care about the well-being of the company, even as you move on to other opportunities.

10. Stay professional during your notice period

Maintaining professionalism during your notice period is crucial for leaving on good terms. Continue to fulfill your duties and avoid any temptation to slack off or gossip about your decision to leave.

Attend meetings, engage with your team, and complete your tasks to the best of your ability. Your attitude and work ethic during this time will be remembered, so make sure to leave a positive and lasting impression.

11. Keep networking with colleagues post-departure

As you transition out of your current role, don't forget the value of maintaining relationships with your former colleagues. Keep in touch with them through professional networking platforms, such as LinkedIn, or by exchanging personal contact information.

These connections can be valuable for future job opportunities, industry updates, or even just for maintaining a sense of camaraderie.

By remaining connected, you can continue to nurture these relationships and potentially open doors for future collaboration.

What to say when resigning from a job you just started

What to say when quitting a job you just started

So, how to explain leaving a job that you just started to your boss and coworkers?

Well, if you have a hard time finding the right words, then here are a few examples based on different circumstances.

1. Leaving for a more promising position

"[Supervisor's Name], I wanted to express my gratitude for the opportunity to work with you and the team here at [Company]. However, I have recently been offered a position that aligns more closely with my long-term career goals. While it's been a pleasure to be part of the team, I feel that this new opportunity is the best fit for me at this stage in my professional journey. I am committed to making the transition as seamless as possible and will do everything I can to support the team during this period."

2. Realizing the job isn't the right fit

"[Supervisor's Name], I appreciate the opportunity to work here at [Company]. However, I have come to realize that this role isn't the right fit for me, both professionally and personally. I believe it's best for me to explore other opportunities that better align with my skills and values. I understand this decision may cause some inconvenience, and I apologize for that. I am committed to supporting the team during this transition and ensuring a smooth handover of my responsibilities."

3. Personal or family reasons

"[Supervisor's Name], I want to thank you for the chance to be a part of the [Company] team. Unfortunately, I have encountered some personal/family circumstances that require my immediate attention and make it impossible for me to continue in this role. I have given this a great deal of thought and believe that stepping away from the job is the best decision for me and my family at this time. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and will do my best to help the team during the transition period."

"[Supervisor's Name], I truly appreciate the opportunity to work with you and the team at [Company]. However, I have recently been facing some health issues that make it difficult for me to continue in this role. After careful consideration and consultation with my doctor, I have decided that it's best for me to focus on my health and well-being at this time. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and will do everything I can to ensure a smooth transition for the team."

5. Returning to education or pursuing a passion

"Supervisor's Name], I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with you and the wonderful team here at [Company]. However, I have decided to pursue further education/enroll in a program that will allow me to follow my passion in [field or subject]. As a result, I need to step away from my current role. I understand that this decision may create some challenges for the team, and I apologize for any inconvenience. Please know that I am committed to assisting with the transition process and ensuring that my responsibilities are handed over smoothly."

How to quit a job you just started without notice

Consider the fact that it is usually a lot better to quit your job than to be fired.

You can quit a job you just started without notice if you don't have an employment agreement that specifically outlines a notice period.

This means that you can simply inform your boss that you are quitting and leaving. Also, consider the fact that you don’t have to go through an uncomfortable conversation with your boss.

If you want to, you can simply text them to tell them you’re quitting.

Still, consider some of the steps outlined above to minimize the impact on everyone. Do your best to be polite about it and apologize.

An employee leaving without notice is a disruption that can harm a company.

How to quit a job you just started via email

Email is probably the best place to start when you decide it is time to leave your job.

Simply put all relevant company staff in CC, put your name and “notice” in the subject, briefly explain you have decided to leave, and send your email.

Here's a simple example draft that you can use.

Dear [Supervisor's Name], I am writing to formally submit my resignation from my position as [Your Job Title] at [Company Name], effective [Last Working Day, typically two weeks from the date of the letter].

I deeply regret that I have to leave the company so soon after starting, and I want to express my sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. I have given this decision a great deal of thought, and after careful consideration, I have come to realize that this role is not the right fit for me at this point in my career.

I truly appreciate the opportunity you and the company have given me, and I have enjoyed working with my colleagues and contributing to the team. However, I believe it's in the best interest of both myself and the company that I step down and explore other opportunities that better align with my professional goals.

I understand that my departure may create challenges for the team, and I want to assure you that I am fully committed to supporting a smooth transition. I am more than willing to help in training a colleague to take over my responsibilities or assist in any other way to ensure minimal disruption to ongoing projects.

Please let me know how I can be of help during this time. Once again, I apologize for any inconvenience my decision may cause, and I am grateful for the understanding and support I have received from you and the team.

I wish the company and my colleagues continued success, and I hope our paths cross again in the future.

Sincerely, [Your Name]

How to quit a part-time job you just started

To quit a part-time job you just started, simply inform your direct manager and notify HR. You can drop them an email when you are outside of work or ask to speak to your manager in person.

Follow the tips outlined above to leave in a way that minimizes the impact on everyone. And if you are about to start a new full-time job, you might want to take a look at our guide on how to negotiate salary without losing the job offer.

Risks of leaving a job you just started

There are some risks of leaving a job you just started, but this shouldn't discourage you from pursuing the better alternatives that you have. Here are a few things to have in mind.

  • The employer might not be willing to give you a reference.
  • The same company might not be willing to hire you again.
  • Some coworkers might become frustrated and block communication with you.
  • Your reputation within the industry might suffer.
  • You might not get paid if you quit without notice.

Still, none of this will matter if you have stumbled upon your dream job, right?

My experience with a new recruit who decided to quit

As a project manager at a leading international tech company, I've seen my fair share of new hires joining our team, eager to make their mark in the industry.

Recently, we were fortunate enough to bring on board a particularly promising team member who had the potential to make a real impact.

However, it quickly became apparent that the intensity and high level of professionalism at our company were overwhelming for him.

One day, the new recruit approached me looking visibly distressed, and after some gentle probing, he confided in me that he couldn't handle the pressure and was considering quitting.

As his project manager, I felt responsible for ensuring that he had the best possible experience, even if it meant helping him make a graceful exit from the company.

I began by assuring him that his feelings were valid and that the decision to leave should be based on what was best for him in the long run.

I encouraged him to draft a professional resignation letter, detailing his gratitude for the opportunity to work with us and his reasons for leaving.

Together, we approached our supervisor to request a meeting, during which the new recruit openly discussed his concerns and decision to resign.

Our supervisor appreciated his honesty and offered understanding and support.

To ensure a smooth transition, I worked closely with the new recruit to create a comprehensive list of his responsibilities and tasks, which we then shared with the team.

He took the time to train a colleague who would be taking over his duties, and I was impressed with his dedication to providing a seamless handover.

Throughout his notice period, the new recruit remained professional and committed to his work, despite knowing that he would be leaving soon.

He continued to contribute positively to the team dynamic, and his colleagues expressed their appreciation for his efforts.

As his last day approached, I encouraged him to maintain relationships with his soon-to-be former colleagues by connecting on LinkedIn and exchanging contact information.

I reminded him of the importance of networking and the potential benefits of staying connected in our industry.

Lastly, I emphasized the need to uphold the confidentiality of our company's sensitive information even after his departure, as a sign of integrity and respect for his former employer.

In the end, the new recruit left our company on a positive note, having learned valuable lessons and with the support of his team.

As a project manager, I was grateful for the opportunity to help him navigate this challenging experience and to ensure that he could make a graceful and professional exit.

Frequently asked questions about quitting a job you just started

How long should I stay at a job before quitting?

There is no set time frame for how long you should stay at a job before quitting, as it varies depending on individual circumstances and reasons for leaving. However, it is generally recommended to stay in a position for at least a year to demonstrate stability and commitment to potential future employers. If you feel that the job isn't the right fit, it's important to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision to quit.

Will this negatively impact my future job prospects?

Quitting a job you just started may raise questions for future employers, but it doesn't necessarily mean it will negatively impact your job prospects. It's essential to be prepared to explain your decision and what you learned from the experience in a positive and professional manner. Demonstrating growth, self-awareness, and the ability to make tough decisions can help alleviate potential concerns.

How do I explain my decision to quit a new job during future job interviews?

When explaining your decision to quit a new job during future interviews, it's important to be honest, yet professional. Focus on the reasons for leaving, such as a misalignment of values or goals, personal circumstances, or a better opportunity elsewhere. Emphasize the lessons learned from the experience and how it has contributed to your personal and professional growth. Avoid speaking negatively about your previous employer or colleagues.

Can I use my short-term job as a reference when applying for new positions?

Using a short-term job as a reference depends on the circumstances surrounding your departure and the relationship you built with your supervisor or colleagues. If you left on good terms and demonstrated professionalism during your time at the company, it may be worth asking your former supervisor or a colleague to serve as a reference. However, if your departure was not amicable or you didn't have time to develop strong professional relationships, it might be best to seek references from other sources.

Is it necessary to provide a reason for quitting a job I just started?

While it's not legally required to provide a reason for quitting a job, it's generally considered good practice to explain your decision to your supervisor. This allows for open communication and can help maintain a positive relationship with your former employer. Providing a reason also demonstrates professionalism and can contribute to a smoother transition process for both you and the company.

Written by:
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co-founder / office worker
Alex has been an office worker for more than 10 years. He is dedicated to helping other office workers to achieve the perfect life-work balance through well-being, effective communication, and building productive habits.

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