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I understand it may seem unprofessional and indecisive to decide to leave a job very shortly after starting, but the situation is relatively messy and was through no action of my own.

I've been contently working at the same company on the same team for a few years, and was even recently told I'd be considered for promotion. Higher powers then decided to reallocate resources to different areas, and moved me to a new team with barely any notice. Not only was my career progress essentially reset, the new work has taken me in the opposite direction I was aiming to take my career. I honestly feel miserable and unsure how long I can endure trying to learn about a new area I'm wholly uninterested in, while appeasing my new relatively demanding management.

I'm now actively sending out applications and seeking interviews elsewhere, but don't know the best way to approach the situation with my new manager and recruiters, if I even should. I've only talked to one recruiter so far, but simply neglected to mention this latest career development, since I was looking for a change from my old role anyways and could justify that exit as well, and I'm trying to avoid coming across negatively and it's hard for me to speak positively about my new role, apart from maybe being an opportunity for new growth (that I don't actually want). Even in my job, to this point, I've tried to outwardly match the enthusiasm of my fellow new team members, but have fallen behind due to taking previously scheduled vacation, as well as a lack of motivation, and am definitely struggling to keep up with expectations.

I know my mental health can't be sustained in this role much longer, and am considering approaching my management with that fact and that I'm planning on leaving. I don't know what I hope to accomplish by doing so, as it's probably impossible to be put back on my old team since the directive came from significantly above either my old or new manager, but I'd really rather be laid off or even fired than keep working at this job, since I'm hesitant to quit and be without income for some indeterminate period.

Should I just keep my head down and work at my new job and accumulate stress from poor performance until I'm likely let go, and avoid the new job in discussions with recruiters, or be more honest with all parties, which I'm leaning more towards on principle? I'd really appreciate anyone's experience or observations I might learn from, thanks so much!

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  • Have you made any effort to talk to management about the fact that you aren't pleased by the new assignment since (reasons) and would like to know if there are other departments, doing something closer to your interests, that you could be moved to? If not, DO THAT NOW; it may be a lot easier than going back on the open job market and would avoid the stain of rapidly quitting a new job.
    – keshlam
    Mar 21, 2023 at 8:05

3 Answers 3

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Should I just keep my head down and work at my new job and accumulate stress from poor performance until I'm likely let go, and avoid the new job in discussions with recruiters, or be more honest with all parties, which I'm leaning more towards on principle?

You should find and accept a new job, give your notice, work the notice period in a professional manner, then leave and put this all behind you.

There is no advantage to telling your boss now that you are planning to leave. Just give the appropriate notice (in the US, it's usually 2 weeks) at the appropriate time.

When a hiring manager or recruiter asks why you want to leave your current job, something along the lines of "After the recent reorganization, my new role is no longer a good fit for me" should work.

This sort of thing happens all the time.

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    Couldn't have said it better myself - especially the last line 'There was a restructure, I'm now not happy' is a perfectly acceptable reason to look elsewhere - you can expand on it with 'it's taking my career in a less preferred direction' - which is also 100% acceptable. Mar 20, 2023 at 23:22
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    This. Don't think of it as leaving a job after a short time, think of it as leaving the company after a few years, which is perfectly reasonable. Nobody really cares that you were only in the last position at your company for a short time, they care that (a) the company liked you well enough not to fire you right away and (b) you are not likely to leave the new company after a short time. Your history shows all of that.
    – Esther
    Mar 21, 2023 at 13:23
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Can your current boss do anything to keep you? Give you different tasks, rearange roles, or whatever?

If yes, you could talk with the goal of staying.

If no, telling your new boss is a high risk low reward move. You may gain some small bonus points for being professional and honest, but that will help you down the line. Also, since not telling before hand is the norm, not telling doesnt carry much downside for you. On the other hand, if they know, they could make all sorts of problems for you, among them just firing you at a time that is inconvenient for you (assuming you are in an at will state). They could also just give you the shittiest tasks, because they don't have to care for your long term stay any more.

Can your old boss do something to get you back? If so, telling them you want back might be an option. You say it is unlikely, it's up to you if you gamble the odds here. This can also backfire if your new manager finds out and gets pissed.

As for the recruiters, if they ask why you want to switch: Im looking for growth opportunities X and Y.

The subtext will be clear enough that you don't think that you will get this in your current company. Quit while you are still motivated, being ground down in a job is really bad for finding something better. A lot of recruiters can tell when you are at rock bottom.

Right now, it seems you are eager for something better (personal Growth !), that's prefered reason to switch.

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As a general "rule" (and this has already been stated many other times in many other answers), never, ever, ever say anything to your current employer about your "intention to leave" until you have a signed contract from a new company.

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