Most of us celebrate getting a new job. Then the warm fuzzy feeling goes away. Four months in you can realize that the dream job you landed is actually a nightmare. It might be that the manager who interviewed you turns out to be a fruitcake. It might be that someone you report to keeps using words like synergy and paradigm without understanding what they mean. It may be that the person in the next cubicle randomly emits noxious smells. It might simply be that you realize that you and the organization you work for just do not fit well together.
When you decide that you want to leave and start looking for work, you will probably start to wonder how bad a four-month stint will look on your resume.
If the four-month stint is your first job, it will look bad. Even though the idea of staying at a place where you are unhappy might fill you with dread, for the sake of your career, you want to stay at your first job at least 18 months. If you leave earlier, potential employers may get the impression that you are fickle and unlikely to hang around if things get tough. You should also note that anything less than six months work in some employer’s minds is equivalent to no-experience. Do you remember how much trouble you had getting your first job because you lacked experience? This will be worse. Not only will potential employers look at you as though you still lack experience, they might also consider you fickle and unlikely to hang around.
The longer you have been in your career, the less of a problem this is. The resume of someone with years of experience indicates a willingness not to jump ship when the next rung on their career ladder becomes visible or things get a little tense at the office. Employers are more likely to recognize that sometimes people and organizations do not fit together if the person that they are assessing has an otherwise excellent record. They will not cut this sort of slack to someone with a few months of work experience, but they will to someone who has been doing the job for many years.
Do you want career, training or certification advice? Send an email to [email protected]