I have a strong hunch that my contract will expire some 6 months from now, and that it won't be renewed. When would you start looking for a job?

My situation is as follows: I interviewed with a lot of companies prior to accepting this job. I was declined at all prior applications, sometimes in the final rounds, but still. I was rather happy to finally get a job, but it's not been very great so far. I don't get along well with my senior, who prefers to instruct via riddles and mysteries. In response I usually ask a lot of questions, and sometimes to get to the bottom of things I enter into explorative discussions to get to the bottom of things. My manager wants me to be more obedient towards the seniors and not be as critical as I am now. He has indicated this is a big problem and that it needs to change. I get the feeling this is a PIP in disguise. It's totally not in my personality to not ask a question if I feel the need for it. It's pretty much who I am. I don't have the confidence I will be able to change my behaviour before it's time to decide on hiring me as a permanent employee. I also have some pretty big reservations about the type of work I'm doing, as it's more a support job, and less the dev job I interviewed for.

I'm almost through my 1st year and, as it's my first job, I don't want to have less than one year with them on my CV. Because this bank is a big name here, I feel it would be better for my CV to have it last a bit longer and I plan to serve out the duration of the contract if I can stomach it.

When should I start interviewing with other companies? Is 6 months in advance too early to be useful if I want to complete my contract?

  • We cannot decide if you should stay or go. Your second question was perfectly on topic though so I have edited your question to just focus on that – IDrinkandIKnowThings Aug 25 '16 at 20:50
  • If you are asking this question, you are already late looking for a new position. If the end is inevitable, you know you can leave before they let you go. And earlier you start your job search, better your chances of not being unemployed. – MelBurslan Aug 25 '16 at 23:00
  • Any time you have an end date, the answer to when to look is "Now". – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Aug 26 '16 at 12:50
  • On the spot. If you can say a fixed date from which you will be available, it is a huge advantage. It is not a problem if it is far in the future, you will more likely get long-term offers. – Gray Sheep Dec 13 '18 at 19:21

First, that is a direct order from your boss and you need to follow it no matter what your personality prefers. If you do not, then indeed you will gone. It is not a PIP in disguise, it has pretty much been openly stated.

Likely it has more to do with how you question than the fact that you ask questions. A junior person in his first year of work experience has no business trying to set policy or change processes, for instance. You don't have to agree with things to do what you are asked to do.

You also need to look to the timing of your questions (not when he is swamped with something higher priority for instance) and the tone of voice you use and whether the questions is really an argument in disguise. You also need to look at whether you are asking for guidance on things he has already told you which is something pretty much all bosses and co-workers hate. You need to make sure that you have tried to do things before resorting to asking questions.

The thing about the work world is that your boss, not you, gets to make decisions and choose how things are going to operate. It is your primary job responsibility to make your boss happy. You cannot succeed in the work world until you learn this.

Until you fix this in your head, you will fail at every job, so my advice would be not to search for a new one until you learn a bit more about how to operate effectively in the work world.

I am not saying that there are not places to work that will suit your personality better and that you shouldn't look for them, but that you need to seriously work on this problem before going to a new job and certainly as long as this place is paying you. You want the next job to be better, so you need to learn to be a better employee first.

You can start your job search whenever you want, but seriously think about exactly what work environment you would thrive in and think how you ask ask questions to determine what work environment they have. There are lot of worse places than your current job. And you want to be able to start that job with an ability to get along with your boss no matter what kind of person he/she is.

You have been there long enough that I would have no hesitation about accepting a new job if offered and giving the standard notice required or customary in your country. You don't need to make yourself miserable for some arbitrary six months. But you really should give it a try to learn how to get along with your boss. It's a skill you need in every job. It might be worth waiting a month to look if you improve your chances of succeeding at the next one.


It's a good instinct that you want to complete your contract as you promised, and a longer first job will likely look better on your resume.

A job search, as you've experienced yourself, can take a long time -- you should start a "soft search" now, doing research, networking with people you know, and contacting recruiters. Don't assume that you can wait 6 months and suddenly kick into high gear.

For now, you have the luxury of looking around for options while still employed. If your gut is telling you you're on an informal PIP, then you probably are, or you should act as if you are.

As you do your search, keep in the back of your mind that your employment can end at any time (I'm assuming your employment is at-will), and that you may need to convert job leads to a job offer quickly.

If you're presented with interviews/offers, I would lean towards taking an offer, even if it's before the end of the contract. Trying to find a job when unemployed is a far more difficult task, and leaves you with very little leverage in negotiations.

Having one short job on your resume will not be harmful -- it's when you have a series of short-duration employment positions that it starts to work against you.


Start now. This isn't the job for you - you've already stated that. There's no need to antagonize your boss and co-workers, nor yourself, in a position that you don't want and that doesn't fit your personality. That's too much stress. Find something more compatible.

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