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Switching jobs - how soon is too soon?

I've recently got a job with a big consulting firm; however, I'm not enjoying the work much. While I don't see much advancement within the team, I know that the company might have some good opportunities down the line. Actually, I'm dissatisfied with my daily job, but I hang on because of future prospects and good conditions.

I was contacted recently by a friend to join him at a company where he works. I'll have to review the position with him and see if it's interesting (have no idea what position I might get offered).

My main concern is that leaving my current job so soon would definitely sting my reputation a bit, and since I'm unhappy at work, coworkers have picked up on that. Again, leaving so soon will cement my fragile reputation among my current coworkers (although I'm starting to pick it up strong now). I'm pretty sure that I will get a no-rehire mark.

TL:DR : Most likely to stay at current job, but what do I do if the new offer is super great?

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    Do these help? Switching jobs - how soon is too soon? and How do I maintain a good relationship with an employer after resigning? Is there any particular problem you're having that isn't solved by the answers to those two? – Rarity Jul 25 '12 at 1:58
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    Wait, do you actually have a job offer in hand where you can sign the offer and start working there in the near future? If not, the whole situation very different. – tehnyit Jul 25 '12 at 7:58
  • Regardless of how long you've been working at your current job, if you leave be sure to spend some time making as easy as possible for someone else to pick up your work. For example, create a README or README.TXT file at the root of your project directory summarizing the project, what you've been working on, what you were planning to do next, and anything else that's not obvious -- basically whatever you would want to know when picking up somebody else's project. Give your manager this file, or a pointer to it, as soon as you make him aware you're leaving. – Keith Thompson Jul 25 '12 at 20:54
  • "My main concern is that leaving my current job so soon would definitely sting my reputation a bit" - people have been known to fudge their resumes, by omitting short jobs – Mawg says reinstate Monica Jun 6 '18 at 6:56
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As much as I, as a hiring person, am not fond of jumpers, life is to short to get stuck in dissatisfying job.

In this spirit I wouldn't consider leaving soon a mistake.

Bearing that in mind I wouldn't consider the situation a problem unless there is a real offer on the table. Not only do I think about the salary but also about description what you're going to do etc. If you trust your friend you can expect the description would be honest.

Then, I'd consider a move only if the new offer was significantly better than what you have now. There's no point in changing one mediocre job to another.

  • When do you consider someone a jumper? – Andrzej Bobak Jul 25 '12 at 7:50
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    No clear definition, and I always like to hear candidate's explanation but if none of your past few jobs lasted at least a year I'll definitely ask you about that. – Pawel Brodzinski Jul 25 '12 at 10:58
  • @AndrzejBobak - If you are changing companies often that is often a red flag. – Donald Jul 26 '12 at 15:23
  • @Ramhound: it' obvious. I'm wondering when is "too often". – Andrzej Bobak Jul 26 '12 at 19:00
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You don't actually have a job offer, you have a friend that has submitted your name to HR to be considered as a potential employee.

If you are seriously considering looking for another job, then put this one on the list, but only if you think your friend is a good judge of companies/work environments.

Among the things you don't know are:

  • Will you be working near your friend? (this could be a plus or a minus)
  • Do they have any interesting jobs?
  • Do they have jobs in your desired salary range?
  • Do they have jobs in a desirable work location?
  • Long term prospects, future growth?

If your friend had the ability to give you a actual offer letter that would be different. What he has done is put you at step 0.5 of the process.

How you act is related to some of the other questions about interviewing for positions you don't intend to take.

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If you're not happy with your current position, it makes your productivity go down. It's a good reason to change job.

You can always go for an interview. Think whether you'd fit in the new company or not. Get to know workplace, ask about wages, projects you'd be working on, etc. If all the important conditions satisfy you, don't hesitate, apply.

You only have about 35-40 years (max) of your life to be spent on career. How many of them are you willing to waste?

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There are things you can do at a consulting firm/contracting agency to help your situation out. If you're unhappy your current work try to talk to your boss in private about it. Hopefully the firm will be serious enough to consider putting you on other projects that are not completely brown-field development.

As long as you'll let your boss know where your actual interests lie and your actual expertise and remind him of this he can do something about it. Consulting firms usually have resource meetings, figuring out how to allocate their resources. If there are any openings that are more interesting for you, let your boss know. Changes in positions may take months, but do make sure that they know what you want.

If you're serious about being unhappy at work and the firm can't absolutely do anything for you then you should consider other opportunities. There is nothing worse than to be let go from a company because you were unhappy about it.

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