Here's my situation:

After nine years at my job, I left it and relocated across the country. I had a storied career and left on great terms. However, I did not have a network in place in my new city, and my industry is much smaller there.

After only two months in the new city, I found a new position through a third party recruiting firm. I was unsure if it was the right fit, and initially rejected the offer. However, after I rejecting it, the recruiter got aggressive (which I had not expected), and scared me into accepting the offer ("we don't get many positions like this", "you just moved here and don't have a professional network in place", etc). In hindsight, he may not have had my best interests in mind, particularly if he received commission if I accepted the offer.

Upon starting my new position, I quickly realized that my initial instinct was correct, and it's not the right fit for me in terms of job responsibilities.

I'm a seasoned professional with a high salary, plenty of savings, and no history of job hopping. I am not considering relocating back to my old city, but I'm wondering how to best deal with my current situation. Should I cut my losses and leave my current job now without a new one in hand, should I keep my job and start a search immediately, or should I wait 6+ months before looking again?

closed as off-topic by Jim G., Jan Doggen, Garrison Neely, IDrinkandIKnowThings, yochannah Sep 25 '14 at 19:28

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions asking for advice on what to do are not practical answerable questions (e.g. "what job should I take?", or "what skills should I learn?"). Questions should get answers explaining why and how to make a decision, not advice on what to do. For more information, click here." – Jan Doggen, Garrison Neely, IDrinkandIKnowThings, yochannah
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  • 4
    The way youve presented yourself here suggests that you won't have a problem finding a new job, meaning that a short stint on your CV isn't going to be a problem. – geekrunner May 7 '14 at 3:07
  • 6
    The honest response to future employers about any short stints is that you were trying something new and it wasn't a good fit for you personal goals. As long as your reasons are sound, it shouldn't be a problem. – Jeremy Smith May 7 '14 at 13:06
  • I've had a hard sell from a recruiter one time in my life, and it made an easy decision (stay at current place with a very good counter offer) very hard. I basically had to hang up the phone on the recruiter because he was not taking no for an answer. So I know your pain. – Garrison Neely May 7 '14 at 15:38
  • It sounds like you are in a strong position to get jobs, so I question the use of a recruitment agency at all. – user2813274 Aug 4 '14 at 14:50

I can answer your questions as a seasoned professional with a high salary, little savings, a tendency toward moving around rather than not, and with a strong gut instinct that I sometimes ignore; I also sit on the other side of the table and interview (and hire) people I often find in situations like yours.

You ask:

Should I cut my losses and leave my current job now without a new one in hand?

If you can financially afford to support yourself for up to 6 months, and you are sure it is not the right fit, then resign now, especially if the position is lower down the rung than you're used to and/or you just dread going in to work every day. Either of those situations tend to wear on a person such that even the best employee in a bad situation is likely to end up being a bad employee in a bad situation. This is why a 90 day probation period is common -- both for employers and employees to figure out if they made the right decision.

Also, it's a lot easier to explain a 2-month short term stint to an interviewer as "I realized it wasn't a good fit, and here's why I left" than it is "I knew it wasn't a good fit from day 1, and I stuck it out for 6/9/12 months and made myself and everyone around me miserable." You might be surprised (especially if you have aggressive recruiters telling you otherwise) how much hiring managers actually understand; a track record of stability, plus a simple "not a good fit" comment, isn't likely to bother someone hiring a senior position. Now, if you have like 5 2-month stints of bad-fit places, everyone's going to wonder what's up. Right now you're firmly in the "things happen, no big deal" category.

Should I keep my job and start a search immediately?

If you're not utterly miserable and you need the income, then sure -- stay; if you can afford to quit, then you might consider quitting because for senior positions in a new area, you will likely want to devote a lot of energy to finding the right fit. Some of that energy will be spent finding a recruiter who is right for you as well, should you go that route.

Should I wait 6+ months before looking again?

Why? Then you'd have 8 months in a place that is not a good fit, plus the 3 - 6 months it might take you to find something else. In my experience, that's a quick path to a year of your life you'll want to forget, and a year you'll be explaining to hiring managers over and over again. I see no reason you should delay looking for a position when you know you don't want to be in the one you have.

  • Leaving without another job lined up isn't just about being able to support oneself - Why is quitting without having a new job lined up seen so negatively by employers?. You can easily defend a 6-12 month stay without saying / making it sounds like "I knew it wasn't a good fit from day 1, and I stuck it out for 6/9/12 months and made myself and everyone around me miserable". – Dukeling May 7 '14 at 14:31
  • I've left more than a few jobs without having something lined up, because I judged the negative effects for myself & the company to be too great, with little to no effect on my next job search. This is often a luxury enjoyed by senior folks with good overall track records, it's true. Of course you can defend longer shorter stays, but if it is really not a good fit, the time spent there will not be time well spent. Wanted the OP to hear that. – jcmeloni May 7 '14 at 14:44
  • @jcmeloni - Thank you for the well thought-out, complete answer. I will clarify that the 2 months was the total job search time after relocating. I knew within a matter of days after starting that it's not the right fit. I'm planning on discussing this with my manager this week, asking him for his advice if he were in my shoes, knowing full well that I may not be welcome back on Monday. I've also started reaching out to those who contacted me about other opportunities after I accepted the offer. I may need to explain the situation to them, but in my experience, most people are reasonable. – user19347 May 8 '14 at 4:25

You are probably better off starting your search right away, because a three-month gap in the resume may be easier to explain than leaving the job after six months. The other thing you should expect is a nasty phone call from your friendly local recruiter, who is having his commission slip between his fingers and who may threaten you that he is connected with other recruiters and that you'll never work in this town again. If you are prepared to call his b.s., then you should do what's right for you and what's right for you is probably not six months at a position you hate capped with a reference that you may not get as a result of your early departure plus an awkward explanation to a prospective employer as to why you hung around that position for six months.

I'll give you a piece of unsolicited advice, which may not apply to you and in fact, does not: making instant business decisions over the phone is usually not a great idea :)

  • I did not make an instant business decision over the phone. I just didn't make the right final decision. – user19347 May 7 '14 at 2:46
  • @user19347 Thanks for the clarification - I am editing my answer accordingly :) – Vietnhi Phuvan May 7 '14 at 2:52
  • Good points. Leave the recruiter out of the equation. Unless they have a better job. – user8365 May 7 '14 at 13:07

Well I can suggest you to stick to your current job profile for atleast some time now, before you make another move. Since frequent changes can give you bad name in any industry. It is better to optimize the time in new profile, in the meantime keep your search on for a better job.

  • 2
    A 9-year position followed by a 2-month position is "frequent changes"? – Monica Cellio Sep 23 '14 at 16:27

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