Over the years I have been asked on numerous occasions whether it's wrong to quit a job within the first few weeks or even days of starting in a new role, or whether you should really give it a few months before making such a decision.
Naturally there is no right or wrong answer here. And my response is usually that only you know the reasons for making such potentially hasty decision. But as long as you have thought it through carefully, then whatever choice you make is the right one.
I was asked my thoughts again this week by Nikki - a highly intelligent lawyer who unfortunately just found herself at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Here's part of an email I received from her during the week:
"I started [there] a couple of weeks ago but decided to discontinue seven days in. I worried endlessly that this decision was the end of my career, that I was throwing an amazing opportunity down the drain, and that I had ruined my career prospects. I also beat myself up over this decision because I worried about what other people would think (pretty silly I know!) and hence kept my decision from friends and colleagues.
However I realised that this decision was the best one for me at the time. The job was making me anxious and I didn't care about what I was doing any more. I always care a lot about what I do, so this frame of mind came as a shock to me.
There were also elements of the firm that didn't sit so well with me and this, combined with the expressly stated 'need to impress' (emphasised by pretty much everyone at the firm) just left me sitting at my desk literally in a paralysed panic, not being able to concentrate or function properly. So the decision to leave so soon after starting in the role seemed sensible at the time ..."
There is no question at all in my mind that Nikki made the right decision.
I personally feel that there is an entire world outside of commercial law waiting for Nikki and I hope she also recongises that soon. But in the meantime it was without doubt the best thing she could have done.
Firstly, as long as you are able to clearly articulate your reasons for leaving a job to a recruiter or to a potential new employer, then quitting a job will never ruin your career prospects.
Secondly, you should never worry about what other people will think as long as you know that you have made the right decision for yourself.
And finally it should never get to the stage where you start to feel anxious, sick or find yourself in a state of 'paralysed panic' and unable to function because of your desire to impress your manager, peers or anyone else for that matter.
It's just not worth it.
We all spend enough hours during the week at work as it is. And I know I have said this before, but if it ever gets to the stage (for whatever reason) that you are not enjoying it, it's making you feel sick, you've stopped caring about what you do, or you are just there to impress others, then like all the 'evictees' on the reality TV show Big Brother ...
IT'S TIME TO GO ...
Image courtesy of: ninja IX