Not too long ago, I started a new job, in which I moved my self from point A (college town) to point B (Bay Area). This was supposed to be my career launch. It took me about two weeks to admit to myself that I was unhappy. So I quit.
I had the security of knowing I could go back to my parents’ house to live. (Which, by the way, is such a good idea that 65% of new grads do it.) Here are five reasons why I am sure it was a smart decision to quit my job after just two weeks:
1. Your job performance will be terrible if you hate your job.
If you hate your job from the beginning, then you will never fully dedicate yourself. In fact, you’ll resent both the company and yourself for staying at a job that you knew you didn’t like early on.
I get it: You have this desire to prove to yourself that you are capable of sticking it out. Or you’re worried that this makes you a complete failure and you have given up. So what? You learn from your failure. You learn from that mistake. You’ll end up quitting at some point soon, so why draw it out?
2. You’ll have more respect for yourself if you respond to your needs.
Once I admitted to myself that I hated my job, I worried that if I didn’t quit this job immediately, even if I had no backup plan, that I would be setting myself up to allow negative situations into my life. If you know that going to your job will make you stressed, unhappy, and angry, every single day, then continuing to go is being disrespectful to your well-being. The more you continue to disregard your own feelings, the further away you get from happiness.
When we’re in our twenties we need to learn about who we are and what we like, so that we can find a work life we are passionate about. Staying in a job you hate doesn’t help.
3. You’ll prove your commitment to passion and engagement at work.
Quitting that job after two weeks is actually one of my proudest moments. I think it shows that I have integrity and passion. I understand the fact that productivity comes more easily in the face of happiness. Quitting quickly is showing impatience for a meaningful work life. Everyone should be impatient for that.
Also, people who switching jobs regularly makes people more engaged in their work. This makes sense. If you stay in a job for a long stretch of time, your learning curve goes down and things do not feel as new and stimulating.
4. You’ll do the company a favor.
If you stay unhappy at a job and then quit after, say, six months, the company will probably never know that you had hated your stint there. When you quit a job after two weeks, the company will notice and question what they had done to push you away so quickly. (A smart company, at least.)
Employees at, Apple, for example, produce the best products in the world because they are passionate about the company’s mission. You are not helping the company by staying at a position you hate when someone else may be better suited for it who will, no doubt, excel, while you are just getting by. Do the company a favor and quit so they can reevaluate their training, that position, and their hiring strategy, so the next person doesn’t want to jump ship after a week.
5. You’ll set yourself up for success.
High performing employees in companies like GE, Proctor & Gamble and UBS all get to rotate through a wide range of jobs at the beginning of their career. This is because job-hopping is a great way to build skills early in one’s career. We should all have that chance. There are no rules that say you need to stay at a job that is not teaching you enough.
And there are no rules that say how long it takes a person to know a job is not right. But there is a rule for who succeeds and who doesn’t: People who have self-confidence, respect, good teamwork instincts, and a sense of when it’s time to cut their losses; these are the people who succeed. That’s why high-performers leave bad jobs after just two weeks at work.