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I am a software developer (With approximately 6 years of professional experience), and have been at my current job for 3 months after being made redundant (along with my entire Business division) from my previous job. Due to several work related reasons, I decided I want to start looking for a new job. These reasons are basically cultural and personal fit within the group, and other things I am not happy with about the company (Bad Management and poor practices, and several personal problems with other team members).

As to my question. I could either update my resume with this current company, and be prepared to be questioned about why I want to leave, and give a politically correct answer along the lines of "I found that the role is not a good fit for me because I thought I was going to be working on some new exciting project but I ended up inheriting legacy code and working on something else / I find the company not structured enough to be a good fit for me..." etc,

Or, I could very well leave a 3 months gap, and have a really good explanation for it such as: "I got made redundant so I took a few months off to go back to my country and visit my family, as well as learning a few things on my own and working on some personal projects (Which is true), and now I am looking again for a new position, etc.

Which one would you think it is the best approach?

PS: I know there are similar questions on this site about crossing short term employment, but I feel my case (being a bit longer in time) is still relevant.

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Gaps are generally undesirable, especially as they become larger. You can explain them away to an extent, but it is better not to have a gap in employment if possible.

A short explanation which does not place blame is the best approach. E.g., "After I started, I found the job was not what I anticipated."

Alternatively, "After my division was closed at Company A, I accepted the first reasonable offer, which was Company B. However, Company B is not an ideal fit for me so I am looking for a better opportunity elsewhere." A reasonable employer will understand that your first job after a layoff was an emergency decision that may not align with your personal goals and preferences.

During interviews, you should look for an opportunity to ask about the conditions which prompted you to search for another job. Repeated job-hopping is a red flag, so you don't want to land a new job only to realize that it is another bad fit.

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Sorry that I'm not going to be much help here however I do want to stress that as an employer I find it very difficult to deal with people that take shots at another business and I feel it's not the best way to deal with the situation.

I don't fully understand if you have been lied to i.e. been told you WILL be working on new and exciting projects or weather you haven't done enough investigation to fully understand the job that you accepted.

Furthermore unorganised management is never a good reason to leave in the eyes of a new employer to me that says, not good at working with people.

It maybe that you have been lied to, that the work culture is terrible and the managers don't know what they are doing but you can't use these as reasons to leave.

Personally I wouldn't mention on your CV about this particular role and like you said used the time to do X

HOWEVER a 3 month holiday isn't a good reason, explaining that you used the time to develop your own skills to compliment your current academic success would be better.

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    Hi! Thanks for the feedback. I am curious as to why saying that I took a break is such a bad thing. Does it really look that bad that when someone is made redundant (especially around the holidays), they take a break and go to visit their family and while doing so also develop their skills? Is it the 3 months that is not credible? – user85630 Apr 5 '18 at 16:57
  • There is a question asking similar on here; workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/18616/… However my reasoning is, a 3 month gap to take time with Family and work on projects over the holidays or unable to get hired? That's the question I would be asking – AdamT Apr 5 '18 at 18:48
  • AdamT: new-ish developers may be terrific workers but a bit naive about the job market. Eventually they learn how to spot a bad shop, but until then they may naively accept offers that they should turn down. When they land in a good place they stay. Smart employers can tell the difference from a good developer who hasn't found a good job and a developer who will never find a job good enough. There are plenty of shops where no one good lasts two years. – kevin cline Apr 6 '18 at 18:24
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Leaving within 3 months is not unusual.

You go to a job interview, the company thinks you're Ok for the job, you think the job is Ok for you, and you start. Then there will be a few months time where the company learns the reality about you, you learn the reality about the company, and either side can come to the conclusion that you are not made for each other. And either side quits. It's normal.

With more experience you will get better at picking jobs, and this will become more rare. Of course if the company outright lies to you, there's nothing you can do about it.

Put this job on your CV. Don't hide it, especially through lying. If you lie about it (like your "really good explanation" which is in fact a lie), and that gets found out, then is likely to get you fired immediately, even years later. Taking the job was a mistake, you figured it out, and you are acting to fix it. Everyone makes mistakes, how you handle them is important. And as an employer, I prefer someone who quits after three months to someone who stays for two years, is unhappy, not performing, and pulls everyone down.

  • Thanks for the answer! At the moment I am already out of that company. To be perfectly honest, they decided to terminate the probation, as it was clear that I was not happy with the work there. When I wrote the post, I was already decided because I felt things were not going so well, but they beat me to it I guess. I want to be as honest as I can be, but of course I don't want to shoot myself in the foot. I've read other advice that said it was better to say I made the decision and left. I'm wondering what do you think. – user85630 Apr 11 '18 at 15:31

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