Should I leave my job before I have a new one?

Should I leave my job before I have a new one?

I started my job 5 months ago after a long job hunt. I was miserable in my last job and it was so tough job hunting while working full time. Now I’m not sure this new job is a fit. I like the people but they don’t follow processes and say I ask too many questions. I’m working 24/7 and can’t keep it up. Should I quit so I can job hunt full time or should I try and stay on while I search? D.S., Brooklyn, NY

It’s natural to have very high expectations when you start a job, especially after a long job search. And when you’re unhappy it’s common to lose perspective and find that your judgment is compromised. Look at the reasons you chose this position in the first place. Do those reasons still apply? If so, making a change this early may not be wise.

In your new position, it’s important that you view it as “cleanly” as you can. Try not to compare it to your old job. View it for what it is, not relative to what you’ve experienced in the past. Passing judgment, such as “they don’t follow processes”, is not helpful or likely to endear you to others. More importantly, it keeps you from staying focused on making your situation work.

What have you done to try and integrate into your new company? If they’re saying you ask too many questions, it may be that you’re not hearing what they’re saying. Are you being inflexible when it comes to processes? It would explain why you can’t keep up—you could be creating work for yourself. Are you the only one working 24/7? Distinguish whether there’s a structural problem or if it’s something related to your situation specifically. Make sure you want to leave this job for the right reasons.

If you do decide to move on, you’ll need to explain your decision especially after a tenure of 5 months. Whether or not you stay employed is more a question of whether you can afford to, not whether it will work against you in your search. If you have a good explanation, many employers don’t automatically assume it’s a negative if you’re currently unemployed. Only you can judge whether it’s prudent to leave before you have secured a new position. Just be sure that you give the next job a fair shot. Good luck!

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