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I started a new job about 6 weeks ago. Though it's difficult to point to a single reason, I don't like going to work. On one hand I want to give the job a fair chance and realize that things do change. On the other hand, some of my concerns seem like things that wont change.

A lot of the technology and equipment we use is old, outdated and no longer supported. There's a higher degree of bureaucracy than I expected. For example there's a rule that you need to ask the receptionist's permission before taking a new pen or other office supplies. Some people just stand there if she's not at her desk. Though everyone's has been cordially nice, I find there's a feeling of distance. Not once has anyone talked about any personal activities or hobbies. I think some people believe it makes them look like they are working harder by not talking? Honestly I almost find it rude when I tell someone I'm working with I am new and all they say is "hi" without giving some background about themselves. I find the physical building to be depressing. There are no windows and the brick walls just look ugly to me. (As an aside, I find I often have trouble communicating things like this to other people, for example I told my friend and he said "well if that's the worst then the job doesn't sound bad". But often times when people see for themselves something I tried to describe, they come back with "I see! You're right!"). As a positive there is a high amount of job security and the benefits are good.

My question is how long should a person give a job a chance before deciding to quit? On one hand if I quit very soon then I could just leave it off my resume. If I take too long there would be a gap. What’s the minimum amount of time to stick with a job so it doesn’t look like you’re hoping around, I’m guessing 6-12 months? It seems like the recommend length to stay at a job is 2 years.

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    Rules about stationary supplies arise because someone was abusing unrestricted usage, burning through pens or whatever at a rate that was simply irresponsible. Once in place it can take years for that sort of rule to unwind itself. Annoying but not indictive of anything else.
    – keshlam
    Aug 6, 2023 at 12:53
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    "Not once has anyone talked about any personal activities or hobbies." - for many of us (or me, at least) this sounds ideal. Aug 6, 2023 at 14:03
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    Many, many years ago we calculated how long a software developer should be allowed to search for a pen instead of grabbing a new one. I think the time was less than 60 seconds, then the wasted (paid) time was more. I think nowadays the time would be a lot shorter.
    – gnasher729
    Aug 6, 2023 at 21:28
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    These days, pens are rarely used by software developers... and the person responsible for the stock room is not the person responsible for productivity, in most cases; conflicting goals lead to compromises that may be suboptimal. In any case, this point is a nitpick and certainly not something to gate a career decision upon. "When faced with having to write in space, the Americans came up with a fancy pen using pressurized ink. The Russians just used grease pencils."
    – keshlam
    Aug 6, 2023 at 23:55
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    What makes you think that you won't have a similar issue at a new company ? If that is the case, would you switch jobs again after 6 weeks ? Aug 7, 2023 at 2:45

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There's 2 parts to this question that I think need answering and I'm going to do them in what I believe to be chronological order:

1: When you have an interview for a job... you should be interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you.

This is the first step to avoiding this sort of situation to begin with. I've interviewed with companies where simply put - I didn't like the Vibe of the company - this is not to say that those companies were bad or that they would have been bad empoloyers - just that for whatever reason, it wasn't for me. One example was a Boss who lectured at length about the importance of qualifications (and had a massive ego wall of 'basic' MS qualifications e.g. word, excel quals) and talked about how it was absolutely critical that I be at my desk 15 minutes before the start of the shift. I passed - I'm not a morning person, not that the boss isn't within their rights to demand this - it's just that's not the right environment for me.

Point being is this - when you interviewed (assuming it was at the office) - you should have weighed the unappealing-ness of the office as a factor, the way people interacted with you when you were waiting for your interview etc.

Now, obviously - this has been done and it's now in the past - the key takeaway though is to learn that when you are looking for a job, it's just as important as whether they like you, as to whether you like them.

2: A single short stint at a company does not make a job-hopper. Now, assuming a period of 6-8 weeks with a company would certainly raise questions and could result in your CV being passed over - but let's assume that you get to the point where you are asked about it - either by a Slave Trade... I mean 'Recruitment specialist' or during one of the Interviews:

There's no shame in saying upfront "I started working and it soon became clear that the position wasn't right for me" - case in point, a family member had a similar issue, moved into a type of position that very infrequently comes up (rather niche, not many openings) and quickly realised that they had a better internal candidate - he stepped aside and let that person take the position within a couple of months. That didn't hold him back - Most businesses can understand that sometimes things just don't work out.

It's when you see a CV with multiple instances of this - like the old dating adage goes 'If all your exes are toxic, then maybe you are the problem' - e.g. if you you only lasted a short period of time at multiple companies, maybe you are the issue.

A single one-off instance can be excused with an acceptable explanation.

Finally (which is tangentially related to the above) - if this is the first time you've experienced this with a company and otherwise have a solid track record at sticking with companies - I'd trust your gut and if it's not working, start looking and then let them know that it's simply not the right fit for you. If you are someone who often chops/changes things, I'd suggest sticking it out for 3 months - 3 months is about the time it takes for people to truly get acclimatized to a new position - if it still sucks after 3 months, chances are it's not going to get better.

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  • Only one note I would add is that if you left a job relatively quickly, and in probation, leaving it off the CV is not a bad option either, skips the questions entirely if you rather not explain it at all at expense of widening the gap between jobs.
    – Aida Paul
    Aug 6, 2023 at 7:06
  • Having experienced a bait-and-switch myself, I'd say that 6-8 weeks is easier to explain than 3 months to a year, as long as you're clear as to what went wrong, where your red lines are, and the steps you can take to avoid repeating the episode. It's true that the interview is for both sides to see if they like each other, but so is the probation period since it's perfectly possible for either side to get a false impression in the time it takes to interview. Aug 6, 2023 at 14:29
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I think you should give this job a chance. So far, I don't see anyone intentionally attacks, isolates, ignores, or disrespects you as you wrote "Though everyone's has been cordially nice, I find there's a feeling of distance."

You have only worked here for 6 weeks. You are new here. So, maybe, they are keeping some distance in the beginning because they don't know you very well yet.

This is also an opportunity for you to improve your soft skills to get along well with coworkers, who are new to you.

After you work here for awhile, you will get to know people more, and they will be more willing to talk and get to know you during lunch or break time, and chat more often about social events, etc...


Generally, you should stay for at least 1 year at a job. Try not to have too many jobs that last for only 1 year or less.

Don't quit this job till you get another official job offer from a different company. You never know how long it may take to get a new job.

BTW, you wrote "As a positive there is a high amount of job security and the benefits are good." So, it is a good idea to give this current job a chance for at least 1 year.

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I would say that (my experience is strictly in the U.S.) usually you would want to stay in a job at least a year. However, circumstances vary.

If you start to feel that the company / managers want you to leave, that's quite different and you should leave as soon as possible.

Try to make the best of the circumstances.

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