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I've been working with this small interior design firm (although "contractor" would be more accurate) for a total of 10 days, but I can already tell that I won't enjoy being in this line of work for years, let alone the full 6 month probation period. The few reasons I feel this way are:

  • travelling from work to home and back takes hours (since I use public transport), and in addition to that I have to travel to the renovation sites that are out of the way and adds to the travel costs [I live in Singapore]

  • after haphazardly teaching me some pointers on site and how to handle some paperwork, the boss puts a design project on me with a bare understanding of what the project even wants (they considered it a small project so they didn't even provide a 3D template of the final design). The inhouse designers, including the boss, undertake everything from planning to ordering materials to visiting the site when things need clarifying with the workers on site; ultimately the projects they undertake are all one-man shows.

  • I've had some bad panic attacks since working, the worst happening last night with a burning sensation at the back of my neck from anxiety and nigthmares. It feels as though the base of my skull is cooking my brain and I've never had a bad experience like this with other jobs I've had.

I have been looking through some job listings and have a few saved for me to apply later. Would it be a good idea to hand in my resignation notice and then apply for the job listings after my last day? And how should I pen down the resignation letter without sounding unappreciative, considering that I've only just started working AND that they've already put me in charge of a project with no team? From my contract details, I can give them a week's notice during the probation period.

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    You always get the new job first and then resign from your old position. – Simon Nov 10 '18 at 6:56
  • I see, but seeing as my work schedule is from 9.30am to 6.30pm, this makes attending any interview very difficult. How should I get around that? – eranovablack Nov 10 '18 at 7:07
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    @Simon That's true unless being jobless is better than the current job. If it's damaging your mental health as much as the OP indicates (only 10 days in and panic attacks) then bailing out now may be a better option, if only to be in a healthy state when next interviewing. – Julia Hayward Nov 10 '18 at 9:13
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    Public transport in Singapore was excellent last time I was there, not a huge place so I cannot see how it took hours – Kilisi Nov 10 '18 at 21:56
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    @Kilisi - I live at one end of the island and the workplace is at the other end. Taking the train one way is about an hour or so, depending on whether there are any issues with the track. In total about 3 hours is spent travelling back and forth in between work and home, which doesn't count any travels to works sites and back to the office. – eranovablack Nov 10 '18 at 23:29
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How to write a letter of resignation, so soon into the job? Same as any other resignation letter; but it wouldn't hurt to show some understanding that they will be inconvenienced by having to replace you so soon after hiring. Perhaps something like:

Please consider this letter my notice of resignation. I understand that according to my contract I am required to give one week's notice, so my last working day will be (date).

I would like to thank you for the opportunities that have been offered to me during my brief time here. I regret leaving so soon after joining, but it has become clear that this role is not a good fit for me, and I thought it best to move on before any further investment in me was made.

Should you have a job before leaving? Ordinarily, yes. You don't know for how long you will be unemployed, and you are usually both more attractive to employers and in a better position to negotiate terms if you are currently employed.

However, if a job is causing panic attacks, anxiety, nightmares, burning sensations, etc. - then your health is more important than any job. In those circumstances it can make sense to hand in your notice immediately, and begin looking for a new job immediately; as long as you are able to cope with a period of unemployment, of unknown duration (or at least, as long as coping with unemployment will be easier than coping with panic attacks and nightmares).

You may also wish to consult a mental health professional.

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It's easier to leave a job when your in a job. However, if you are becoming as ill as you say you are... go....your place sounds pretty toxic.

What is your notice period? What does it say in your contract? If I were you I read that with a FINE tooth comb and find out the notice period for you as the employee; and for them as the employer.

With that in mind I would write the following:

Dear XXXX

As per the conditions of my contract, I would like to give you my formal resignation. So as of (insert date here) will be my last professional working day.

This has not been a easy decision to make, and I feel the role is a great opportunity, but I don't feel it is a good personal fit for me. I fully appreciate all that I have learned during my time at ABC LLC/PLC/Company. However, I feel its important to make this role available to someone who can really grow and develop it to its full potential. I wish you all the best in finding a suitable replacement.

Best wishes

(your name)

Speaking from personal experience. Things you should do AFTER giving your resignation. You have to be strategic and tactical when leaving a role.

  • If a job makes you as unhappy as you have described, once you hand in your resignation DON'T change your mind. Your last working day is set in stone. Never be manipulated or convinced to stay longer than you need to. In the past, I've been convinced to postpone or to rescind my resignation by my manager. On both occasions it was a huge mistake which I regretted. If they say things such as 'can you stay so we can find your replacement? Tell them 'NO', don't be pressured into offering a justification if you don't want to - you owe them nothing. Never stay in a toxic environment longer than is necessary. Them finding a replacement is THEIR problem, NOT your problem.

  • Carry on your tasks to the best of your abilities. However, make sure they don't give you extra work which they expect you to complete before your final professional day. Inform them of your leaving date and that it would be not be feasible to take on extra work as you are focused on working towards completing your current tasks(notice I said 'working towards' not 'completing' that gives you wiggle room to give hand over notes for anything you don't finish.

  • Prepare detailed handover notes for your replacement. It show good will to your employer and will help your replacement.

  • my contract stated a week's notice for resigning. – eranovablack Nov 10 '18 at 23:32
  • @ eranovablack I'm going to tell you something a friend of mine did. Its not illegal but it is ruthless. Is it possible to get your Dr to sign you off sick? If so go to your and ask for a Dr's note for 1 week due to the pain you are suffering. Once you get Doctor's note, contact your office and say "you are unwell and your Dr has signed you off' for a week and that you will be back on Monday. During your break, take a moment to physically and mentally 'decompress' , sort out your CV out and talk to recruiters. Next, Monday hand in your resignation knowing your job plan is in place. – fypnlp Nov 11 '18 at 15:45
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should I have a few job opportunities in mind before I turn in my week's notice?

Normally yes, but considering your previous question, no, you need to get out of there both for your own sake and for the sake of the business as soon as possible.

Any time longer you spend there being totally out of your depth is going to impact badly on the projects and yourself. This will translate to ill will and a bad reputation.

You made an error in judgement, rectify it as smoothly and quickly as you can before it escalates into major health and career problems.

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