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I hate my current job so much that it makes me physically sick. I've been there 2.5 years and on top of harassment I'm just not learning or growing. I have to quit because it's affecting my whole life. It was my first job out of university.

Anyways, the tricky part is that my husband and I want to relocate in about one year as we don't currently have the funds to do so. We want to move closer to family. We hate where we currently live and it's wearing on us both. He's made up his mind that we'll go in a year with no exceptions.

I've had an interview and it looks promising. It's much higher pay and a better company.

I could try to transfer once I'm in as they have a branch near where we want to move but that might not work out.

How can I minimize the impact this would have on my future career prospects?

It doesn't look like I'd get a good reference from either places with my situation.

Perhaps as a software developer who hasn't committed to being an expert in anything yet this won't be such a hit?

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    Not a big deal unless you make it out to be one. First job out of college is often a mistake, so savvy hiring managers won't hold that against you unless you put a bad "spin" on it. A subsequent job that lasts one year is not an issue either if there's a family move and it still is early in your career. Based on your previous posts, the biggest challenge you may have is keeping your job history in a positive point of view. No one wants to hear about drama. – teego1967 Aug 10 '15 at 10:31
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At first it seemed both counter-intuitive and somewhat paradoxical but I received some insanely good advice from a mentor midway through my career that I think applies to your situation as well...

Basically, the key to success for any job, whether you hate it and want to move elsewhere soon or love it and want a promotion and to continue contributing to team in a greater capacity is

...wait for it...

To begin almost immediately to start making for the exit. I don't mean that literally, of course. The core of the idea is that if you want to leave because you hate it, you need to make it as painless as possible for everyone. That usually means documenting the hell out of everything you work on so that it is trivial for anyone to come behind you and pick up your responsibilities. This is made much simpler if your firm has a centralized knowledge base, but the tools shouldn't really matter - Google Docs or Word are fine.

When I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING - Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly responsibilities should be explained at a high level then thoroughly documented in as much detail as you can physically muster in a day. Code that you check in should be documented extensively as well: from inline comments to function signatures with examples of usage to class diagrams if your employer is into those things (and maybe even if they're not).

The goal is to have made it so that you are actually leaving them better off than they were before because they probably never had that level of process and activity documentation before. If you provide more value than they paid you for, then at least you can feel ok about your decision. At the end of the day, it's a job - they pay you and you do work, and if you give back more value than they compensate you for, the time you spend there is irrelevant.

On the other hand, if you WANT to stay then you need to be thinking about how you can progress in your career development and still not impact the team and Manager to whom you'll start off reporting. I've been on both sides of this one and it's tough to have to make a decision about whether or not you can afford to lose a solid employee who contributes to your team's objectives.

I have never personally had to prohibit an employee from making a requested change but on a few occasions I have had to work with them on the timing of a move due to fiscal considerations or perhaps other organizational issues. Keep in mind some places have regular freezes where headcount is locked at a level on a certain date and if you leave before that date your Manager may wind up down a Full Time Employee on their team permanently or for an extended period time.

Nonetheless, the strategy in this scenario is mostly the same as above - make yourself replaceable. If your knowledge is capture in your comments, documentation, and knowledge base articles then a less-skilled or equally skilled co-worker can pick up where you left off and your Manager will have less objection to your departure. In this case, I'd suggest going a few steps further and being pro-active in finding an ideal replacement candidate who you think shows promise and offering to be their mentor.

Not only does this demonstrate leadership skills but it shows that you're not solely focused on your own career advancement and is something that any good Manager will recognize as a value to your organization. Even if you don't have a good Manager, though, even a bad Manager will recognize that you've worked out a way for your departure to have as least of an impact on the team as possible, and as I mention above you may even actually leave the team better off if you leave more knowledge documented than existed before you arrived.

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How to minimize the impact with walking into a job with no intention of staying for more than a year?

If I wanted a new job for no more than a year, I'd become a contractor. I would use my skills for a one-year contract, or perhaps several shorter-term contracts.

That way, I'd maintain my professional reputation, it wouldn't damage any future employment prospects, I wouldn't have to lie to anyone, and I'd still get paid. For me, my reputation matters quite a lot.

If that isn't an option for you, consider sticking it out in your current company. Once you know for sure that there is a specific end date in sight, it often makes it far easier to tolerate unhappy circumstances. A year could go by very, very quickly.

For me, I'd never mislead a company into thinking I wanted to be employed there when I knew I'd be leaving in a year. That's not something I'd like done to me as a hiring manager, and that's not something I'd do to someone else. Your mileage may vary.

  • Sir, you are great ! Are you a career consultant ? – user18840 Aug 11 '15 at 13:34
  • True, but what if you didn't know this at the time if you catch my drift? – Kerry Aug 11 '15 at 21:00
  • I'd say in all my time having a job has been much more of an investment from me then what I get back out of it. I've yet to see anything worthwhile at all. It's just an exchange of money nothing more. – Kerry Aug 11 '15 at 23:48
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How can I minimize the impact this would have on my future career prospects?

I think you overestimate that impact. Of course, you should not tell them from the very beginning that you intend to stay only one year. Then there is the possibility to move to their other branch, close to your future home. It's best not to tell anything about your plans, try to do your best, and as the answer above said, try to document everything you do.

When the time comes to move, you should explain that it's a choice you and your partner made for personal reasons, and if a transfer to their other office is not possible, depart on good terms.

You can always explain that to any future company that will interview you: "I worked there for only one year, because then I wanted to move closer to family". Make sure you emphasize that moving had nothing to do with your work, it was a choice you made for your personal and family life.

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