I know that the question "is it okay to resign after one month" has been asked before (like here), but in the questions I've read people left mostly because of a bad working environment and that's not my case.

This is my story: I'm in software development, I don't like the project I've been put into, and I don't know whether I should wait a bit to see if I even understand it / like it, or just leave. It's related to a field I'm not interested in, and the UI is so dull it annoys me. I don't feel motivated to improve it, and I get a sense that because of the sheer size of the project I won't have many opportunities to suggest changes to the system. Also, some coding practices are questionable.

So why did I join this place you ask? In the interview I was told that this was a big project where I could learn a lot, full-stack stuff, etc. I like to learn so that bought me in. But here's the thing: they also told me what the project was about, and I still accepted it.

Now, a few weeks in, I feel like this isn't the project for me. I received all sorts of training on basic stuff but I expected training on the business model and got none. How can I ever code for a system whose rules I don't know? I asked my colleagues and they told me that this was expected, that they didn't get trained either. I even talked to one guy who worked there for a couple of years and he said he didn't understand half of the system, but that there's a reason many people stay here for so long. He said I should wait it out, that it gets better.

So to wrap up: it had never happened to me before, but I don't feel motivated to go to work every day, I keep staring at the clock, and it's driving me mad. I think part of this is also because I haven't been assigned many tasks yet, but I don't know how to keep myself entertained during the ramp up period. There isn't much documentation to read.

tl;dr: the title really. Is it okay to quit after 1 month just because you don't like the project you've been assigned to? (A long-running project with no prospects of finishing soon). If it is, how do I phrase that in an exit interview in a way that doesn't make me look like I can't deal with challenges?

  • What is your experience level? "it had never happened to me before" suggests that you have at least a few years experience in the workplace, is that the case? – Lilienthal Dec 1 '15 at 10:09
  • Everyone gets some projects they would prefer not to work on. I currently have at least 3 of them (out of 10 or so I am working on). I have learned that sometimes the best thing to do is work through them and produce something good so that they want you for the better, more interesting project. No project is forever, there will be other things come along if the place itself is a good place to work once you have proven yourself. Running away is not the answer. It feels like a failure because it is. Work on your attitude rather than give up every time you don't get what you want. – HLGEM Dec 1 '15 at 16:52
  • If there is no documentation then start reading the code for goodness sakes. And create teh documentation. – HLGEM Dec 1 '15 at 16:52
  • @Lilienthal, yes. I've worked for 2 years, i'm 24 – in_the_blind Dec 2 '15 at 2:42
  • @HLGEM, i don't mind the project, it's the field. The banking industry doesn't appeal me in the slightest. And I've been told this project will go on for at least another year. Also, I've created some documentation, just not on the code because it's massive. Nearly 200 c# projects is mindblowing to me, I wouldn't know where to start – in_the_blind Dec 2 '15 at 2:43

Unlike the other answers, my opinion is that you should talk to your manager about this, and ask him about the possibility of being switched to a different project.

When you accept an offer, you only know a few things about the company and the projects. The same goes for the company: they barely know things about you, other than what they could see in a couple of interviews. That's why there are probation periods. Don't forget they are trying to sell you the company and the projects and you are trying to sell them your skills.

This similar situation happened to me not long ago. I joined a company and I was assigned to two awful projects, and I wanted to quit. I talked to my manager. I then got transferred to a better project. A few months later, not only I don't want to quit, but I have been recently promoted.

Anyway, if you feel the company is not a good fit for you, don't be afraid of quitting and looking for something else.

I hope this helps, and good luck!


It's not really "okay" -- you wasted some of the company's money and may have kept someone else from getting a job a job they needed. But if you're going to run screaming, better to do it before they waste -more money on you. Don't expect to get references; you might not even want to put this one on your resume.


It is unclear that you will be given a project you like better elsewhere, especially since insisting upon short projects may make you an unattractive candidate for anything much above sysop/code-monkey level. It sounds like you are expecting too much, too soon, too perfectly. The real world isn't academia; it has to deal with legacy code and partitioned responsibilities.

I do wish you luck finding your ideal job. You now have a new set of questions to ask -- carefully -- when being interviewed.

  • Thanks for your answer. I don't mind legacy code at all, in fact I enjoy refactoring and such.... when I understand the codebase. To me, this project looks like spagheti code. And yes, I've learnt to ask a great deal more now :) – in_the_blind Dec 2 '15 at 2:46

If the situation appears very grim and when your work enthusiasm has absolutely been dead, I don't see a reason why you should stay there.

So, it is okay to call quits before you waste more of your time being unproductive and run the risks of getting fired. (Quitting is always better than getting fired.)

However, I would advise you to talk with your manager first, and discuss your problems. He might have a solution which can work for you and the company too.

Else, you can also ask for an internal transfer to a team which you think you'd be an ideal fit.

[Edited to accomodate a nice comment from Lilienthal]

In case you are inclined towards quitting, make sure you have enough financial backup for that. Else, an even better step would be to search for a nice alternate opportunity before calling it quits.

  • @Lilienthal Nice advice(+1). Would include it in the answer. – Dawny33 Dec 1 '15 at 10:13
  • Thanks for your answer. Yes, I've been called by a very big company that is very close to my house, that's the option I'm considering right now. – in_the_blind Dec 2 '15 at 2:47
  • Nice. It is always nice to see yourself an option before quitting. So, good luck with your new gig (in case you're quitting). Glad my answer has been of some help :) – Dawny33 Dec 2 '15 at 2:49
  • I think this might be worth a new question, but... in general, is it better to work for a company that builds software for clients, or for a company that builds the product for themselves? – in_the_blind Dec 2 '15 at 2:54
  • It is completely opinion based. I would go with the product-based company (the second one). I found that these have better software quality and nice engineering culture. But again, it's just my personal opinion – Dawny33 Dec 2 '15 at 2:56

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