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I'm a Software Developer by profession, someone who values the quality of work and prefers writing good code rather than fast code. I was working with a product startup for a year with great colleagues and I got to learn a lot in this period. The work was a bit hectic, but I loved it. A month ago, I quit the job to join a medium scale service company. Reason for the change was a bit of unstable conditions at the startup.

After joining the new company, I realized that the work here is not of my type, and the people here just write code to meet a business requirement, without thinking much about quality and maintainability. I'm not able to fit myself in the environment here, so I contacted my previous employer and talked regarding this. My previous employer understood my condition and has offered me the same position which I left. I feel that I'll be happy to accept it and continue working there again. I have two main points on which I need advice.

  • I fear that how this thing will effect my future employments, how will it look on my resume. How bad will this effect me professionally?

  • What reason should I tell to my current employer while resigning?

TL;DR: Is it professionally acceptable to return to your previous employer because of less job satisfaction at the new job, after serving a month? What possible reasons can I convey while quitting the new job?

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When people ask "is X going to reflect badly on me?" or "is X professionally acceptable?" my gut reaction is always, it matters as much how you explain X as what X is.

Go ahead and move back to your prior employer. When working on your next move at some point in the future, think about the following:

  • Prior to going on the job hunt, reflect on what you've learned. Make sure you're applying to jobs that match what YOU are looking for. This implies that you're willing to do research and ask good questions instead of just spamming every job opportunity you can find and doing whatever it takes to get a job offer.
  • Once you've found appropriate opportunities, focus on your presentation. On both your resume and in the interview, emphasize the things that make you a good fit. This sounds obvious, but it's critically important, because it sets the stage for the real answer to your question, which is...
  • When the inevitable question of "why did you leave this job after only one month?" comes up, you're prepared to answer, because you've already shown your preferences and described the environment in which you're most effective via the first two bullet points. So, at this point, you can answer with something like,

Well, as we've been discussing, I've found that I am most effective in an environment where I can be challenged to write sustainable code at a fast pace, for an employer who cares about X, Y, Z. When I went to employer A, I found they weren't a good fit for that. As I reflected on my fit there, I realized that I would fit best in an environment that has these factors, which is why I feel like I will be a good fit with you.

This way, you're turning a negative into a positive and instead of worrying about why something may be perceived poorly, you're taking the initiative to show that the very thing you're worried about is actually a good thing with respect to your fit for a particular opportunity.

In terms of your other question - what to tell your current employer about why you're leaving: as with any case when you're giving a reason for leaving, keep it brief and generic. "I don't think I'm a good fit." Don't elaborate.

  • you're turning a negative into a positive and instead -- well thought out answer. – Mister Positive May 31 '18 at 16:18
  • Just be careful telling Employer A too much about why, or the poor souls still there are going to have to start checking "programmer felt challenged" off their list of specifications. – corsiKa May 31 '18 at 20:39
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Leaving after a month would only become a problem if you are constantly switching jobs. However in your case you are returning to a previous employer in the same position, so I would say it isn't a big deal.

When you are writing your resume I would leave off the one month gap unless you did some important work or anything else that may be of benefit to you. If you didn't do much then I would not include it.

As for what to tell your current employer when resigning, I would state exactly what you mentioned.

I don't particularly like the working culture and I don't feel like you fit in well.

Don't give them any other information past that and just try to fade out with as little problems as possible.

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Yes, it is acceptable. In fact that´s the heart of capitalism -> everyone should strive to maximize his own potential. Job satisfaction is one of the best reasons to choose/change jobs. In fact I would consider it unprofessional to stay at a job you don´t like, as you will loose productivity and motivation fast.

  • If it was only for a Month, I would personally just omit it in my CV. As you will rehire at your old employer, you won´t be exactly lying when you just put you original start-date and the final termination date in and omit the 1 month pause. Think of it as personal time off where you tried something...

  • When you resign, you normally are not required and shouldn't give a reason, unless there is a reason that enable you to quit before the end of your notice period. When asked for a reason, just stay positive and make it about you: You have got a great opportunity you don´t want to miss etc. That way you don´t burn any bridges so much in case you ever meet again.

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    Would be nice to get a comment on the down vote to know where I went wrong... – Daniel May 31 '18 at 15:19
  • Your answer seems fine to me. As a user with over 10K, people will down vote you for just that reason alone. +1 – Mister Positive May 31 '18 at 16:37
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Don't ever mention it again, stay with your employer for at least two more years, and don't give a reason to your present employer.

  1. Nobody is going to care about a 1 month stint anywhere
  2. Put time between this and your next job search, the further in the past, the less it matters
  3. Anything you tell your present employer other than "I'm leaving will give them cause to dig around. You just want to slip away quietly and with as few waves as possible.