I graduated college in September of 2017. Upon graduation a was able to land a job with a company I had interned with for a year and three months. I have been employed full-time with this company for 7 months now. During my time here I was able to network with some of our vendors, one of which offered me a full-time position. They gave me until the end of the year to circle back with them. After comparing my current role and the offered position, I believe the new role is more in line with my future goals.

A part of me feels guilty leaving my current team because they went through a lot to bring me on board. Additionally, we are short handed with people going out on maternity and paternity leave so it doesn't feel like the right time, but I'm not sure if an opportunity like this will come along any time soon. I also don't want to burn any bridges because I truly do like my current team.

Is it too soon to be making career changes?

How should I approach my current employer with this?

  • What does your contract say? – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Jun 12 '18 at 7:12
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    FWIW at this moment: Do not approach your current employer saying you want to resign until you have a signed offer from another company in hand. – Stefan Jun 12 '18 at 7:25
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    We can't tell you whether or not you'd burn bridges by leaving so soon (it also depends how productive you were during that time). Leaving one company too soon shouldn't affect future opportunities too much, but just don't make a habit of it. You should check your contract to see whether it says anything about going to work for a vendor. – Bernhard Barker Jun 12 '18 at 8:03

While feeling guilty may be a good thing (this means you're committed to your current job and coworkers), this is basically a business decision. You feel like your new offer fits your future goals better than your current position. Assuming that you're not the manager of your team or department, the fact that your current employer is short handed is not your problem.

Leaving your current company may burn bridges with them, seeing that you're jumping ship when they already have to pick up the pace due to people not being available. However, there will always be a bad situation in which it seems like a bad time to leave so there may never be a 'good time' to leave a company for another job.

Though the time you spent at your current position is quite short (<1 year), I think it's justified with your reasoning that the new position fits your future goals better. If you don't do this every year, you should be fine in your career.

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The only time you should talk about leaving with your current employer is to notify them that you've accepted another offer and will be leaving the company. To do otherwise can be seen as unprofessional. At worst, they might start planning to replace you and fire you before you have another solid job lined up.

If the offer from the vendor in question is substantially better in some way (e.g. better pay/benefits, better fit for your skillset, more in-line with your career goals, etc.) then there's nothing wrong with accepting it.

Just keep in mind that when applying for positions, if your resume shows that you tend not to stay at one company for too long then that can raise some red flags with prospective employers. Jumping from one job to the next too quickly can give the impression that after they've finished training you, you won't be around long enough for hiring you to have been a good investment of their time and money.

Generally speaking, the best way to avoid having your resume make you seem like a job-hopper is to spend a minimum of 2 years working for a company before leaving. If you leave before the 2-year mark, you should have a good explanation prepared in case you get asked about it during an interview.

The following are examples of some explanations that will satisfy most interviewers:

  • You accepted an offer that was "too good to refuse".
  • You had to move, or the new job offered a shorter commute (e.g. 15 minutes vs. 1 hour).
  • The new job made better use of your skills and/or degree.
  • You had personal conflicts with your manager.
  • Health reasons.
  • Change of field/career.
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