I'm a recent college grad. I spent 10 months total, 2 months post graduation, looking for a job. I moved back home into a horribly abusive situation because I didn't really have another financial option.when the first job offer finally came, I took it despite many, many red flags.

They told me one compensation amount in the interview, then switched to a much lower number come offer time. The position is base plus commission, but the base number is just barely livable and I won't see commission for at leat 90 days. I tried to negotiate, but they basically said take it or leave it. I was so desperate for a way out of my bad living situation that I took it.

I've been at my job for 2 months now. In that time, my very old car completely died and I was forced to buy a new one. I bought the cheapest reliable vehicle I could find, but I was still in a situation where I needed financing. So, now I have a car payment as well as medical bills and student loans soon. Basically I NEED to have income now.

The company had huge turnover. 2 executives left in my first 3 weeks. They shut down an entire sister company with no notice and 40 people were out of work the next day. The company has no clear direction--it's just a scattershot approach. From everyone I've talked to, no one below executive has been there more than a few months. They're stickers about attendance even for exempt employees--arriving 5 min late or leaving 5 min early gets a demerit, and you can't "bank up" time spent in office, at all.

Worst, they expect me to break the law. I work in an HR related position, and they have directly told me to discriminate. I give them an excellent candidate and they say "no, he is too old." I've mentioned that age discrimination is illegal (and horribly wrong in my opinion), but they tell me "I know, but the clients want someone younger. We need to make them happy."

There have been other red flags, but these are the main ones. I dread coming in every single day. I literally cry some days about how horrible I feel working for such disorganized, lying bigots. But due to my financial situation, I'm stuck until I can line up another job.

Two questions: how do I explain this extremely short stint to potential employers? And what do I tell my current employer when I resign?

  • 3
    Leave and never look back. Aug 5, 2015 at 2:33
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    Three things to never buy new: cars, houses, furniture. Aug 5, 2015 at 7:27
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    @kevincline, Agreed. I make a six-figure salary in a low COL area and I drive an '86 rustbucket (but of course my wife must have a nice car). People assume I'm dirt poor when I roll up, which can be useful. :) Not so sure on the furniture thing -- Never buy a used mattress, unless you like bedbugs.
    – James Adam
    Aug 5, 2015 at 12:31
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    Miserable conditions aside, these two questions have already been answered. Search this site for Resume short gap for a whole list of similar questions.
    – Kent A.
    Aug 5, 2015 at 12:35
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    I didn't buy the car new. It is a used Cr with low miles that I plan to drive until the car dies, like my old one. It still needed financing because I'm fresh out of college and broke.
    – john
    Aug 5, 2015 at 15:12

3 Answers 3


All you need to say is that you don't feel it's working out and will prefer other opportunities. Don't give details of why to the company, don't vent your spleen at them. They won't care if they are as unethical as you claim. Be the professional one and leave with dignity.

What to say to potential employers? The same thing! Just state again that it wasn't a good fit for you personally and that you felt it better to leave for something more suitable. Don't badmouth the previous company to any prospective employer as it comes across as sour grapes.

It's never easy, but don't elaborate. Explain what you did professionally while you were there, say that culturally it was a poor fit and move on :)

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    Agreed. Key thing is never talk bad about your current or previous employer. It will not look good no matter what they did.
    – Dan
    Aug 5, 2015 at 13:05

how do I explain this extremely short stint to potential employers?

You should explain that you made a mistake and the company turned out not to be what you had hoped for. If you are going into a new commissioned job, you can talk about how the base salary is too low to be viable - many employers will understand that.

Try hard not to bad-mouth your current employer. Just indicate that you quickly realized that it isn't working out. Don't tell them that you cry about it. Don't talk about laws or turnover or your car or dwell on the other nastiness at your current employer - those don't make you a more appealing candidate.

And what do I tell my current employer when I resign?

First of all do not resign until you have accepted a position at a new employer. Otherwise, you risk jumping into an equally-bad job simply because you are in a difficult financial situation. It's important to be on a payroll continuously, even if the situation is bad.

When you are ready to resign, just simply say "Thank you for the opportunity, but I found a great job and I need to give you my notice. My last day will be in [whatever the usual notice period is in your locale and industry]."

No need to go into any depth, or burn any bridges here. Just quit.


I'll disagree with the other answers on this one. Claiming that it wasn't a good fit is sometimes seen as a potential red flag to interviewers because it's very vague and bad employees tend to bring it up to hide real problems. In this case you have a much better answer:

Shortly after I joined the company started struggling financially and one of its sister companies was closed. Given that I am one of the most recent hires I feel it's best to start looking for a more stable opportunity.

It's indeed not a good idea to bad-mouth a former or current employer, which is why, however you decide to word it, it's important that you remain factual and neutral when explaining this. Job insecurity with the threat of impending lay-offs is a common reason for people to start job hunting and one of the few that justifies leaving early.

In your case, the fact that they were requiring illegal practices should be another valid reason to leave but in practice that is a can of worms that you just don't want to open.

As for what to say when resigning, I'd recommend going with the tried but true "I got an opportunity that was too good to pass up". There are any number of possible, trite alternatives that don't really mean anything. You should also have a look at the questions in the exit-interview tag.

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