I just got hired on to be a developer (.Net) at an organization which uses a lot of smoke screens to make themselves look big and formal like IBM. On day one they set me up with a Win 7 machine and visual studio 2012. They also mandate suit and tie (first developer position I've been in that mandates developers work in a suit). I'm not feeling their culture or haphazard scramble to get me a dev machine using an OS no longer supported by Microsoft. Would it be poor judgement to tell my recruiter I'm not feeling this position or their culture?

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    It is always ok to leave a position that you feel is not a good fit for you. If the company felt that you were not a good fit they certainly would not feel any qualms about terminating your employment. But you need to be willing to deal with the consequences. – JasonJ Jul 25 '16 at 15:35
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    See also: How to resign from a new job gracefully – David K Jul 25 '16 at 17:49
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    Win7 is still in extended support. Other than that, everything you laid out says that you should bail. If you have other options, I would. Suit-and-Tie for developers is a twice a year thing when big clients come in. Your recruiter needs to know what's going on, but no reason to beat the company up about it. Smile, shake their hand, and lay that classic line out there: "It's not you. It's me." – Wesley Long Jul 25 '16 at 17:53
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    Windows 7 is still a stable windows OS for developers. And you might be able to ask for shirt/pants vs. a suit. All in all, a work dressing policy and Win7 IMO are not the best reasons to resign. IF other, more serious, part of the company are fishy, then of course you can resign. After all, if you were not a good developer, they wouldn't hesitate in letting you go! But do think twice about your reasons. – player87 Jul 25 '16 at 18:20
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    You would be surprised how many companies are still running Windows XP. Windows 7 in corporate world is fairly new thing – kukis Jul 26 '16 at 19:13

You've uncovered the reason why contract-to-perm exists.

Of course, resign. If eHarmony matched you with someone that you knew on the first date that you would never marry, would you keep dating her?

Thank them for the opportunity and try to leave as nicely as you can. When asked, I would just tell them that the suit and tie culture really isn't a fit for you and you realized after a week that you didn't want to waste their time or yours.

I'm puzzled that you didn't seem to be aware of the dress code beforehand, at least during the interviews. It's always a good idea to pay attention to how everyone else is dressed during the interview.

I would additionally prepare some questions ahead of time to ask during the interview. Among them I would ask about the dress code (or work environment) as well as about what kind of equipment you'd be working on. It's not snobbish to ask the latter one because it will also give you an indication of how important they see your position, something that you may have discovered after the fact.

The important thing here is to not burn bridges and leave as politely as you can. If you used a recruiter, make sure he/she also knows how sorry you are that it isn't work and stress that you're doing it not just for you, but so that you don't lead them on and milk them for wages.

In short, use this as a learning experience. Take note of what makes you want to not stay and then put that on your interview list so this doesn't happen again.

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  • I did my due diligence in advance of the interview including formulating questions. Was aware of the dress code but was not aware of how it would be hammered daily and reiterated a few times a day of how everyone must look their best in suits and comments about who picked the wrong tie; neither did I expect a plethora of fancy wordy acronyms. I expect to be a developer not spend my time memorizing their acronyms (IT department know as the Global Strategic Initiative and Research) and listening to fashion critiques. – Mark Jul 25 '16 at 18:41
  • Then I stand by my first line. That's why contract-to-perm exists. It's the time for both sides to see if a permanent relationship will work. Be GRATEFUL for it. I did a direct-to-perm job about 3 years ago that ended up being awful. Out of loyalty, I stayed longer than I should have and ended up getting fired. Had it been c2p, I'd have left after a month or two when it was apparent that my boss valued stylecop compliance above all. – Chris E Jul 25 '16 at 18:55

If all the signs you see are rubbing you the wrong way in this new position and you can live without a paycheck for a while, I don't see any reason why you should stick around. Obviously, this place is not for you. If you drag it out, you will be miserable. Your output will most likely suffer. As a result, they might let you go with no chance to get a good reference from them. So, leaving in your own terms seems to be a better approach at this time.

Just my opinion. You and only you can decide what is best for you. No one else.

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Since nothing serves so well as a bad example.....

I stayed with a company long after I should have left. They literally went to war with me, doing everything they could to make me quit(They didn't want to pay unemployment.) They set me up with a PIP which was so unrealistic as to be laughable. They did everything could to drive me crazy, right until I was carted out in an ambulance.

Don't be like I was. If it's a bad situation, get out. Worry about the rest later.

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Gosh, why not try it for a while? Maybe you'll discover that suit-and-tie looks good on you. Maybe they've got a good reason for using that version of Windows. And, so on.

Basically, I would be very offended if, after hiring you, you "walked out on me after two weeks," just because "we ask you to dress nicely here," given that (presumably) "I've been doing that for years." I would feel very ill-used by you ... and that's a negative impression that I would not soon forget.

"You 'signed up.'"   You accepted.   Strive to blend in and to play-along, and keep your discontentment to yourself. (In other words, "be a professional.") If, after six months or more, it's still not working out for you, then start looking for another position.

Don't let yourself be seen as a "prima donna," nor as a "wallflower."

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  • I would be interested to know if the "must wear a suit" was made clear before the offer was accepted. I am a software developer; I always wear a suit, but only because I want to, and I am always the only developer who does so. I doubt if I would fit in at place where it was mandatory – Mawg says reinstate Monica Nov 9 '16 at 15:43

See this as a good opportunity for you to get to know yourself: why you don't see appropriate this position for you? Why you don't feel comfortable as a developer with suit and tie? And also, brainstorm about this company's strength or weaknesses you can see from inside: why they stick with Win 7? Why they ask developers to wear formal? Try to write down a couple of answers for each doubt you expressed in the original question, and the answer will come automatically. Together with some added value from this experience, whichever decision you might take.

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