I was at my first job after graduating from university for 6 months. It was close to my dream job, but I met with issues that made me really confused in the workplace and found it difficult to work productively. I became from hopeful to unhappy and to a certain extent, humiliated. So I tendered resignation after 6months. It was a difficult decision because I enjoyed what I was doing (the job itself). The company is a big organisation that works for a good cause, but it often comes under the public's criticism for some reasons.

Here are the problems I faced with:

  • the severe lack of direct and open communications between my direct supervisor and myself: I found myself having to go through a middleman to communicate with my direct supervisor and it wasn't me who initiated doing that. There were a lot of information that weren't passed to me which resulted in false accusations. There was a situation where I was misunderstood and it led to rather serious character attack from my supervisor. I felt humiliated because I know that is not me.

  • There was a colleague who is serving her bond to the company, started working at the same division and same time as me. I felt that the supervisor was training and promoting her to take on higher management roles at my expense. It was a situation like a new graduate employee trying to train another new staff member on the organizational operations.

  • I was often left out in many division matters, like being left out in important decisions. For example, my own team members were being pulled out to join another team. It made me looked really bad to my team members and difficult to earn respect from them. (I had a team under my charge.) Also, my supervisor does not seem to acknowledge my presence in the division. She does not look at me in the eye, she rarely speaks to me face to face, and she does not respond to my work-related texts.

  • I worked after office hours on weekdays and on weekends as well. The company advocates a balanced work-life for staff. I am willing to put in extra time and effort when it is necessary, but I felt that this will not work out if it goes on continuously. I was not recognised for the overtime effort because my then-supervisor had someone to relay the message that I do not have to include her in the email correspondences.

The above reasons are the real reasons for leaving. I hope to share so that I may get constructive help. I was really confused and stressed over management issues, plus I was still transiting from school to corporate culture. To people outside of the circle, it would seem like it does not justify to leave my previous employment because I am fully qualified for the job. Hence I am at a loss of how to answer the question of why I left previous job in interviews. The toughest part is explaining in the most positive light why I left after 6 months without another job lined up. I would appreciate constructive help in tackling the toughest part.

  • Hi freshgrad, please take a look at the duplicate post and see if that answers your question. If it doesn't, please edit your post to clarify so that it's clear to those answering what you're seeking that isn't made clear in the other post. We don't want to just simply give you the same information that won't be helpful. Good luck, and welcome to The Workplace! :) – jmort253 May 20 '13 at 7:02
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    I mean, it is understandable and expected to work overtime It may be expected when absolutely needed but it should never be accepted. Once you accept overtime as a norm then managers expect it of you all the time. – maple_shaft May 20 '13 at 11:37
  • @jmort253 Thanks for pointing it out! :) I saw the post before I posted the question. It does help, but I think that my situation is a little trickier. I graduated just last year, and I do not have a year of working experience. Plus, I left without securing another job. How can I justify my reasons in the most positive way? – freshgrad May 20 '13 at 11:50
  • @JoeStrazzere yes, that is what I am worried about. I feel that I had to move on at that point of time. Any suggestions on how I can rephrase my reasons without putting down my previous employer or myself? – freshgrad May 20 '13 at 12:53
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    You were managing a team 6 months out of university? – user8365 May 20 '13 at 18:51

To mitigate this, first you have to understand that what went wrong was partly your own fault. Until you can recognize what you should have done differently, then you will not be able to explaining what you learned from this experience and how you will prevent it from happening again. No one will want to hire someone who thinks every bad thing that happens at work is someone else's fault.

What happened to you is that you took a job as a manager (which is a team lead job) that you were not qualified for (no one who just graduated has any business in a management position even if you have an MBA unless you have professional work experience). Because of that you had no idea how to play the organizational politics that are about 90% of a manager's job you got played by the people who did know how to play the game. Your first task is to find every book on organization politics and read them to understand why you failed at this job.

Once you understand what went wrong, you can focus your job search on something you are more able to handle at your current skill level and explain that you were in over your head and explain what you did wrong that allowed the politics to overwhelm your job. Until you can humbly explain how you caused your own problem, you will trouble getting someone to take a chance on you. Under no circumstances should you apply for any job at the team leader level or above. You will need to prove yourself as a worker before attempting management again. It is also easier to tell a possible employer that you accepted a team lead job before you were ready and now you are looking to get some lower level experience first.

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