I am considering quitting a job during a probation period. The problem is, during this period I ended up taking a lot of paid time off (PTO) since I couldn't just not show up to work. My roommate ended up getting really, really sick -- it eventually got so bad that I had to take time off to help her get to the hospital and get her stuff moved out of the house -- and then I caught what she had (although not nearly as bad). This all took place in the first month of working at my job.

I did relay all this information to management as it happened and I think in total I had a week and a half of PTO (two days of helping my roommate to the hospital and moving out, a week after getting sick). But the job is just not working out otherwise -- I need job training and I haven't gotten it in two months, everyone seems to be lost as to what I should be doing, and when I ask questions I get sent to people who then send me to other people who send me back to the first set of people. But despite that, I still have projects to do that I'm not sure I can finish.

I have a three month probation period and this month is my third month. I want to quit, but people keep telling me that it looks bad on my resume, especially as a recent graduate, and that I can't quit after taking so much PTO.

Is the amount of PTO that I've taken going to be detrimental when I talk to my boss about quitting? Is quitting after three months going to look bad on my resume?

  • 1
    did you go negative? Commented May 5, 2014 at 15:10
  • I don't think so. They (the two people I report to) said I started with no PTO, but when I asked them about the time I took off they said I was fine, especially considering the situation at hand. But they don't know about me wanting to quit or anything like that, so I don't know if they were thinking I would be able to gain those PTO days back from working or if I just didn't actually "use" any PTO.
    – Ice-9
    Commented May 5, 2014 at 15:26
  • 2
    check the documents you were given at the time you started or even as part of the offer. It should discuss: personal days, sick days, how they are earned, how they are taken, if you can go negative, and how to know your balance. Commented May 5, 2014 at 15:34
  • I hope you are not going to quit with a job to replace it. Its a serious red flag if somebody had a job, left that job, but wants to come work for somebody else.
    – Donald
    Commented May 5, 2014 at 18:22
  • @Ramhound - What are you trying to say ? It's not correct to change from one job to one other job ?? Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 15:24

2 Answers 2


The likeliest scenario is that you will have to pay back the time. For instance suppose you get 10 days a year and you took 5 as most companies let you take the leave in advance of earning it especially if they do not allow you to carry over any leave to the next year. But you really earn this incrementally with every pay check. So if you have worked less than half a year, you are in a negative balance and you will have to pay back the money in your last paycheck. In this case it is usually better to stay at least long enough that you are not in a negative balance.

To check your company's policies, read through the HR handbook you were given when you were hired. It is important to always read this and understand what policies they have surrounding things like leave so that you can make informed choices.

Quitting after three months in a job early in your career is not career limiting, but it is if you do it repeatedly. So take the time to find a job that will suit you better where you will be able to stay. Although frankly nothing you have said sounds unusual in the workplace for an entry-level person, so personally I would stick it out and see if it gets better. The grass is not always greener, you could end up someplace much worse. These people have been very accommodating with your personal problems and many workplaces would not have been. Really 3 months is far too little time to really get going in an entry level job.

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    ... and question to OP: Do you have any guarantees than your next job would be any better? Did you learned enough from this position than you will not get stuck in same way in next one? If not, and if they will keep you, try to stuck around and learn as much as you can. Commented May 5, 2014 at 23:55

If you leave you may get an adjustment pro rating your leave taken over a year. For example if you have taken 75% of your PTO but only worked for 25% of a year you might get a reduction in your final pay cheque – check your company handbook

Some of this may have been Sick Leave which many places treat differently from vacation time. It could be that this time will not need to be repaid if your sick time is awarded in a lump sum for the entire year.

It is almost always better to look for a new job whilst still employed, and you have been at work for just months total; I think you need to give it more time realistically at least a year.

  • Why was the edit approved removing my line that PTO has no bearing on this which is the actual Q the op was asking?
    – Pepone
    Commented May 5, 2014 at 16:59
  • I guess because it does matter: in some jurisdictions and companies sick leave is accumulated, and if you use more sick leave than you have, then you start to use annual leave, and when you have no more of that the company can allow you negative leave or deduct your pay.
    – HorusKol
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 1:04
  • @HorusKol and your point is ? the fact that he may get his last pay cheque prorated to account for AL taken doesn't really matter in terms oh his actual Q We have to answer the actual Question to op asked
    – Pepone
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 17:14
  • The question was "does PTO matter" - and losing money because of negative leave does matter.
    – HorusKol
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 23:24

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