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I have been in a job for two months, but I have soon realized that I must change the job (I like the job, but the management is awful and is not gonna change), so I have already started considering to apply for a new job. Now my questions are:

1) How long after starting a job is it ok to change it? Should I wait few months more even if I know I will never be happy in this company?

2) For sure if I get a new interview from a new company the first question will be why I am quitting a job after such a short time. How should I answer and justify this (if it helps, I was 6 years in my previous job)?

3) How to make sure that the company I apply for will not contact my current employer before offering me a position? (do they do that?)

PS: I prefer not to leave the current off my resume because of the gap, especially if I cannot find another job immediately.

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    Is that your first job ever? Are you job hopping a lot? If you have longer jobs on your resume, it's easier, it just shows that you know what you want, are proactive, etc. which can be presented positively (just try to avoid blaming your current employer even if they deserve it, use phrases like “not a good fit”, talk about where you want do be, etc.) On the other hand, if you have never held a job for a long time, then sticking around might be more important (because any prospective employer could be concerned that you will do the same thing again, wasting their time and resources). – Relaxed Jul 3 '16 at 13:23
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    I've answered this question before by stating that aspects of the company culture were counter-productive, and that some suggestions were made with the intention to help better some of those things. However, when those suggestions were flat out rejected, rather than make waves, you're seeking somewhere that you believe is a better fit. Having your suggestions arbitrarily gunned down is a perfect example of "what specifically was wrong", but of course when you get asked "do you have any questions", be sure to probe about their company culture to complete this answer. – user41761 Jul 3 '16 at 14:16
  • @Relaxed: Thanks for the comment. This is my second job and I was in the previous one for 6 years. – user53508 Jul 3 '16 at 16:40
  • @TechnikEmpire Thanks for the comment. Actually this is kind of thing that is happening to me in this new job. They don't listen to suggestions at all. However I am afraid that blaming the current employer gives the interviewer a wrong impression. – user53508 Jul 3 '16 at 16:53
  • This is why I didn't post an answer. There are a few high rep hiring managers here that will probably give you a much better one. For me, framing my response to show that I actively tried to appropriately better the work environment before deciding it's not a good fit has been a success. People understand that you're not leaving your job because you love it. There's obviously negative a reason. What they're concerned about is whether or not you're the problem, rather than the previous employer. – user41761 Jul 3 '16 at 18:33
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1) How long after starting a job is it ok to change it? Should I wait few months more even if I know I will never be happy in this company?

Normally anything under a year is a bit suspect, a year is not too bad, 18 months to 2 years is fine. A lot depends on whether there is a trend.

2) For sure if I get a new interview from a new company the first question will be why I am quitting a job after such a short time. How should I answer and justify this (if it helps, I was 6 years in my previous job)?

Just be honest without making any personal remarks about managers. "The job wasn't really a good fit. I'm looking for work which suits me and will advance my career."

3) How to make sure that the company I apply for will not contact my current employer before offering me a position? (do they do that?)

You can't make sure, but normally they will not contact your old job because they know you're still working there. It's a risk you need to take if you apply for jobs while still working elsewhere.

In big cities it doesn't normally happen, but I can tell you by experience that in small communities, and small industries, it actually does happen. I had an interview once and as soon as the receptionist saw me (not even the interviewer) she was on the phone to a friend of hers at my work. (I still got the job, and had her fired, but it caused me quite a bit of grief with my old company).

Since you're in your trial period then you can quit anytime without it making a big difference in interviews. You just say the job was a bad fit for you. It's what trial periods are for, to test fit.

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    @user53508 If you're in the trial period you can leave anytime you want without it impacting on future applications. It's what trial periods are for. I've edited my answer to take that into account. – Kilisi Jul 3 '16 at 18:55
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    "under a year is a bit suspect, a year is not too bad, 18 months to 2 years is fine." - can you quote any research on this? For me it's like the "drink 8 glasses of water a day" rule - many people repeat it, few actually check if it makes sense. – tymtam Jul 4 '16 at 0:03
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    my research is as an employer, those are the general timeframes I use, same with other employers I talk to. It's based on logic, 18 months to two years is the amount of time I expect someone to become really proficient at a job, have learned or made up all the tweaks that make a difference. Up to a year they're still learning. Depends on the job of course. – Kilisi Jul 4 '16 at 2:16
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    Having been a hiring manager in several industries, I'd say that the timing depends a bit on the industry, but what @Kilisi provides is a pretty good rule of thumb. Some places (e.g. academia) will care more than others (e.g. high demand tech firms), but on the whole this is good advice. – Paul Jul 4 '16 at 3:29
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    +1 Good answer as always. I would just add that contract employment, at least in the USA is typically no more than 18 months and usually 1 year or less in the IT field. Recent changes to labor law regulations have made employers skittish at having anyone in a contract for more than a year. – Old_Lamplighter Jul 5 '16 at 13:00
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1) How long after starting a job is it ok to change it? Should I wait few months more even if I know I will never be happy in this company?

If you are sure about your conclusion that you will be never happy in this company, a few months of hanging around won't make any positive difference for your resume or interviews.

Find your next job, get and accept an offer, then give your notice. Don't just quit without a new job waiting for you.

2) For sure if I get a new interview from a new company the first question will be why I am quitting a job after such a short time. How should I answer and justify this (if it helps, I was 6 years in my previous job)?

Spend some time before interviewing thinking about exactly why you dislike this job so much.

"Management is awful and is not gonna change" is rather vague and not something you would want to say in an interview. Think about what "awful" means in this context, and how you know that they won't change after being there only two months. Be ready to discuss it when asked.

Be as specific as you can in your assessment. That's the best way to avoid getting into the same situation at a new employer.

You don't want to land in a new job with the same attributes as the last one, and a new employer doesn't want to hire someone who will be unhappy and leave quickly. Once you understand what those attributes are, you can help prevent the next job from being short-term as well.

3) How to make sure that the company I apply for will not contact my current employer before offering me a position? (do they do that?)

You can't prevent a potential employer from contacting anyone they choose.

I'm not sure why you would care much, but you could always indicate that you haven't told anyone at your current employer that you are leaving and ask that they not be contacted. Many potential employers will respect that wish.

Be ready with at least three references that aren't your current employer.

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  • I have finally decided to leave my current job only 3 month after starting it and look for a new job. Should I mention the reason in my CV – user53508 Aug 4 '16 at 20:08
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1) How long after starting a job is it ok to change it? Should I wait few months more even if I know I will never be happy in this company?

As has been said, anything under a year is suspect unless it was a contract. That said, leaving a bad position to go to a better job is better than being fired.

2) For sure if I get a new interview from a new company the first question will be why I am quitting a job after such a short time. How should I answer and justify this (if it helps, I was 6 years in my previous job)?

As Joe Stazzere said, be honest. We've all had jobs where we just didn't fit in. You don't have to deride the company or management. Saying it wasn't a good fit is the most professional approach. If pressed, you can say that your previous employer's management style was incompatible with your working habits. This gives you the opportunity to then expound on the wonderful management style of your prospective employer. Always turn a negative into a positive. As an aside, always research the company you are applying to so that you can expound on their virtues

3) How to make sure that the company I apply for will not contact my current employer before offering me a position? (do they do that?)

If you are presently working for someone, a prospective employer will almost never contact your current employer. There is too much liability involved. If they contact your employer and you get fired, they can get sued. However, if you quit before getting a new job, they can and will contact your present employer. The old rule of "don't quit a job until you have a new one" applies in spades in this case.

Also, don't be too concerned since you have six years at one job prior to this one. Anyone can make a bad move, but since you have six years of continuous employment at one employer, that will bolster your stance that this was just a bad fit. As HGLEM said below, you can address this with your prospective employer: "Yes, I left that employer after four months, but I was at my previous employer for six years. It was just a bad fit, and rather than waste their time and mine, I decided to move on". As HGLEM said, this will show that you will stay if it's a good fit and leave if it's a bad fit and can open up a dialogue on just what makes a good or bad fit for you. This is useful for all parties concerned because as you've learned, a good fit is important for both you and the company. Interviewing is a two way street. Use this experience as an opportunity to ask better questions in your next interview so you know what kind of environment you will be joining and whether or not it will be a good fit.

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    While under a year is often suspect, having six years is a big positive to offset it. They can see that you won't stay if the fit is bad but will stay if it is good. Now what everyone has to determine is what is the good fit for you. You might expand in the interview on what you liked about the original company that made you stay for 6 years, Then tell them what things in terms of company culture are deal-breakers. You may miss out on some opportunities that way, but the offers you get will more likely be from places you can fit in at. – HLGEM Jul 5 '16 at 13:59

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