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I really want to leave my current employer but I'm feeling a little trapped due to my three month notice. I've been with my current employer a little more than one and a half years and this is my first job in the industry so I'm still a junior software developer.

I've applied for a few jobs and been on a few interviews but a lot of recruiters have told me point blank that the notice period is too much. Especially for a junior developer.

My current plan in my head is to quit my job and start looking for jobs in the last month of the notice.

I've got quite a bit in savings and a pretty big safety net back home with my mum if it gets to that point so I'm not too worried from a financial point of view.

Will it look bad for prospective employers? Does anyone have any experiences with this? Am I being stupid?

I'm in the north west of England if that's of any help.

  • How much vacation time do you have left? Have you tried saying "I will be quitting in 3 months, but during my last month I'd like to take an extended vacation"? – V N Jan 27 at 23:22
  • My holidays are January to January and I have about five days left I think. – S. Doe Jan 27 at 23:25
  • I don't understand, sorry - does that mean you'll be getting one more year's worth of vacation on February 1st? Or how does it work? – V N Jan 27 at 23:26
  • Sorry. Just our holiday days get reset on the 1st January. I get 28 days holiday (that includes bank holidays) a year and I've used two days so far and if I leave in the next three months I'd have about five days to use I think. – S. Doe Jan 27 at 23:33
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    What would the ramifications be if you violated your notice period? – djohnson10 Jan 27 at 23:42
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Will it look bad for prospective employers? Does anyone have any experiences with this? Am I being stupid?

Yes, yes, and well...

Fair or not, potential employers tend to look down on people who aren't currently employed due to choice. It tends to show that work isn't as important to the applicant as it is to others.

Additionally, it sometimes happens that the unemployment period stretches out far longer than hoped. Mounting financial pressures can lead to a poor choice for your next job.

While it might sounds like fun to move back in with parents, many folks find it difficult after a short while.

Suck it up, start looking now, find a new job, then leave this one.

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    This is not helping, since this is what the OP is doing, but his problem is the 3-month notice – user Jan 28 at 0:49
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I'd say try finding a job without quitting at least for a month or so. A lot of employers will be willing to wait 3 months, even for a Jr. Developer (often there are more than one position open and in that case, a later start date can even be nice).

You can also tell prospective employers/recruiters that you hope to negotiate a shorter notice period than 3 months. It depends on the company, but in my experience, most companies don't force employees to work the full notice period and agree to a shorter one (negotiate AFTER you find a job and give notice - not BEFORE!).

If it proves hard because of the notice period, then I don't think it's crazy to quit and then search for a job.

However, take what commission-based recruiters say with a huge grain of salt. Their field is very competitive and many will try to convince you to do things that are in their advantage (for example, agree to a lower salary, shorten the notice period by quitting etc). Better go by hard evidence. If recruiters/companies really turn you down mentioning the notice period, then it's fair enough, but don't jump to the conclusion if recruiters have merely mentioned it.

  • +1 for negotiating a shorter notice period. Notice periods are a mutual agreement between employer and employee. It can always be shortened (or even lengthened) based on the employer and employee mutually agreeing to do so. (Be sure to get these agreements in writing, just in case!) – Flater Jan 28 at 9:34
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How long did it take you to find those jobs that would not hire you due to the 3-month notice? How long a notice would they be comfortable with? If you feel you can find a job in a month or less, you could do it. For the new employer you’d still be employed, if you find the job fast enough, you need not tell them you gave notice to leave. Usually interviews take some time, so I would start earlier than just the last month. Also, make sure that the 3-months apply to the employer too. Not sure in England, but in other jurisdictions the employer could let the employee go on a shorter notice than what the employee needs to give.

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