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I started 6 months ago at a software consulting company, with a temporary contract for 9 months. Last week, I was contacted by HR, and they said that I would be having a meeting with my manager, the head manager, and the executive director, at the end of this month, where I will have a performance review and then be given a new contract to be signed once the present one expires.

I've been told by my colleagues that this is standard practice in my company for contract employees and that a majority do do get the new contract. Also, I've been told by my manager that the same will happen to me.

But I am seriously considering leaving the company due to

  • certain facts that cannot be changed on their behalf since they are a part of the company's business strategy.
  • difficulty working with some colleagues.

I've already started applying, but I find it unlikely that I will get any leads before the end of the month.

I have a hunch that in that meeting, I will be asked whether I want to accept the contract. While the answer will not be binding, any answer forces me to take a stand, which I don't want to do just yet.

Ideally, I would just continue working until I secured another job, and exit cleanly, stating better opportunities as a reason. I might even leave with recommendation letters from my current employers, which would help me a lot, since my formal education is not in IT ( instead it's Mechanical Engineering), and this is my first job.

My question is: how should I handle this? Should I just bite the bullet, take the initiative and quit, and not reply to any questions? Or, is it OK to break the implicit agreement, after, say, 1 month?

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    IMO, never leave a current job until you have secured another one. It's easier to be hired if you're still employed. But, what does your contract say? – Michael Oct 15 '17 at 21:45
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    Knowing your locality would help here. If you have several months notice like here in the Netherlands and work in a field where it's relatively easy to find a job, you might take the risk and decline the contract, living off of your savings for a while. If you're in the US where it's a courtesy to give even 2 weeks notice, you should probably just take the contract and leave when you find something new. – Cronax Oct 16 '17 at 8:56
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As you said, a verbal agreement that you will accept a contract doesn't mean you accepted the contract. Look after #1, which is you. The company will look after themselves, they don't need your help for it.

Go and look for a job, find a good job, and when you've signed a contract with the next employer, then you give your notice, and nicely say "goodbye" to everyone.

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1. This is your first job and you are getting used to the world.

Therefore, you might be feeling the growing pains of being thrown into the corporate world. It has only been 6 months and you are thinking of quitting because of incompatibility between your colleagues and also because the company's business strategy does not align with your perspective.

2. This is your first job and you haven't made a name for yourself yet.

You have to gain recognition so that when you do move on to the next one, the HR executive of the next company is not questioning the genuineness of the reasons why you left after less than a year. No one would want to hire someone who does not feel like staying because that increases company costs both monetarily, and effort-wise.

3. This is your first job and you can take risks.

Considering all the aforementioned points, if you want to leave, you can, stating that your contract was for 9 months, and therefore you planned ahead of time. Unless you sign anything, it shouldn't hold true, just like how your manager informed you verbally that you too may get an extension. Unfortunately, there isn't an easy way. You either tell them that you're staying, and then leave towards the end, or you inform them now - stating that you weren't aware of this possibility and therefore, you planned ahead - and hope for the best.

However the case may be, don't expect to walk away with glowing letters of recommendation, given that you're severing ties with the company in less than a year. You are entitled to an experience letter stating your duration of employment. Anything more would be a favour and will depend on if your quality of work exceeded expectations by their standards.

Good luck!

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    It would be petty on behalf of the company if they sign a 9-month contract with someone and then refuse to give them a recommendation if that person leaves after the 9 month contract. (That's not to say that some people aren't petty, but still.) – Erik Oct 16 '17 at 7:06
  • Absolutely. However, going by what the OP said, it seems to me that the whole contract system is just another probationary system. Thereby, as far as the company is concerned, it may not feel right to them if an employee leaves, especially if he or she does not mention it during this "Performance Review cum Contract Extension Discussion". The morality of the company's tactic is beyond the scope of this topic, but given how things are, there exists choices which are difficult, but have to be made. – ValarMorghulis Oct 16 '17 at 9:27

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