Twentysomething: Why it’s smart to quit a job after just two weeks of work

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This is a guest post from Jamie Varon. She’s 23 years old. Her blog is called intersected.

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.

This is a guest post from Jamie Varon. She’s 23 years old. Her blog is called intersected.

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  1. Sally
    Sally says:

    I’ve hated every single job I’ve had during the first two weeks. Its called transition.

    And almost every single one of them I’ve loved after 6 months.

  2. Don
    Don says:

    Every so often Penelope serves up one of these kids writing a nonsense post on how responsible it is to be irresponsible. And we always take the bait, whacking away with our superior wisdom, and driving up her traffic.

  3. Marianne
    Marianne says:

    Jamie – I’m taking your side here, and adding a big congratulations for a brave choice!

    Let’s take a look at what may have happened if you had stayed. I’m a career coach and work with people in the first 10 years of their career who want a career change. When do I see most of them? In their first 5 years of work. That means that they made a bad decision early on – usually with their first job.

    After some deep soul searching, they almost all remember that actually, they knew this was the wrong job for them from the start! But they were to caught up in the idea of ‘giving something a go’ to leave. Some were worried about how it would look on their CV.

    The result? Some of them start again in a new type of role, in a new industry. Essentially saying goodbye to the past few years. Well done Jamie for being smart enough to see where this was heading and cut your losses after two weeks.

    I disagree with the posts above that this is immature. The opposite – how difficult is it for even very senior people to acknowledge a mistake and cut their losses? Incredibly. If not, there would be no need for we career change coaches!

    I’m not sure the sniping at Jamie’s luck in being able to move in with her parents is helpful either. Any career changer should take realistic stock of their situation and take on the options available to them – there is no need for a recent grad to ignore the fact they have a welcoming parental home.

    Jamie’s choices show maturity, forward-thinking, and quick responses to situations. If more people thought like her, I’d be out of a job.

    Plus, she has thought through her situation and articulates herself well enough to be an impressive candidate to a forward-thinking employer. I’d place bets on Jamie doing very well indeed.

    • Jackie
      Jackie says:

      “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.”

      People with good teamwork instincts don’t quit their job after 2 weeks without making a true effort. Nor do people with these skills take jobs that aren’t a good fit.

      People with self confidence are confident in their choices and don’t quit after 2 weeks.

      Explain to me how someone who is “mature” would make these claims and then not practice them?

      Jamie reminds me of this Harvard grad I used to work with who would tell our boss she was curing cancer and then go back to her computer and surf Facebook all day. All talk with nothing to back it up.

  4. Mary
    Mary says:

    Your parents should make you get a job asap and kick you out as soon as you have enough money to make rent. Maybe you should work for a couple weeks at McDonald’s to realize that your job was probably not that bad.

  5. Taylor
    Taylor says:

    Hey! Boomers and X’s take another look at this brilliant girl Jamie. I read her story. She worked her way through college as the business admin inside the college, worked as a grocery clerk and had a full schedule at college. All the while winning first place awards for marketing and graduated top of her class.

    She worked in Chico for a coffee distubutor after college. She wanted to be on her own, have an apartment and have her own identity. She was much to over quaified for that position. But she stuck it out. She had always dreamed of working for a great company so she decided to see what she could find in SF area and found a company she liked. She had an interview with this seemed to be great company in SF and as it turned out the interview lasted 3 hours. They hired her on the spot and they said they wanted her the next day to start working, but she had to give her other job 2 weeks notice. She uprooted her whole life of 6 years in Chico to a new life in SF. After one week of working at this company, at 16 hours a day and the weekend she found that everything they told her about working there was a lie. She found out the owners tell people things at the company but they never follow through with anything. She found that her co-workers hated thier jobs and that the turn-over was out of control. They had lied to her about what she was hired for and gave her high hopes of advancement and opportunities but that was a lie too.
    She was brilliant to understand the happenings of this company so soon. She figured this out early on and wanted out before she would lose herself and dignity. If people were more like her it would a happier world. But now I see that boomers and X’s are self destructive and idiots and they do not know themselves. The Gen Y generation wants more because they see that the older generation just settle. They don’t take risks and they are cowards. They would rather stay at a company for 6 months and waste that companys time and money rather move on to a richer and more fulfilling happy exsistance. I am positive that Jamie will be successful and be an asset to any company she works for. She is an inspiration to all who know of her.

  6. Cara
    Cara says:

    Just admit you made a mistake and move on. Stop trying to convince everyone you are a genius for quitting your job.

  7. Amanda
    Amanda says:

    UGH. All of you people with your superiority complexes, beating up on Jaime for a decision that was probably right for her, make me nauseous. Get down off your high horses, people.

  8. Matt Cheuvront
    Matt Cheuvront says:

    Just admit you made a mistake and move on. Stop trying to convince everyone you are a genius for quitting your job.

    That is a ridiculous statement and contributes nothing to the conversation. I think this is far from a mistake and I’m sure Jamie knew full and well what she was doing, and that it was the best decision for her at the time, that’s really all that matters. Whether you agree or disagree with her leaving after two weeks is irrelevant.

    My opinion differs from hers, I will admit that – I think most things are worth waiting out a little longer than a couple weeks. You can hate something and feel completely left out initially yet grow to appreciate and thrive in the particular environment through a lengthier tenure, which was the point I made earlier. If you are unhappy with you job situation, that’s fine, it’s common. But take it for what it is and grow from it. I’m sure she grew from her decision here – and I’m sure, in her particular situation, it was the right one.

    • Lance Haun
      Lance Haun says:

      “Whether you agree or disagree with her leaving after two weeks is irrelevant.”

      Actually it is relevant since she says “That's why high-performers leave bad jobs after just two weeks at work.” Of course an opinion is relevant if she is SUGGESTING that course of action.

      Look, if a person is a high performer, they will always have a job waiting for them. Top 5-10% people can find jobs easily (usually without resumes and minimal interviews). If you aren’t one of those people, you aren’t. You know it because you can’t do that. If you can’t do that, you aren’t as high of a performer as you think.

    • Carag
      Carag says:

      How is this not relevant? She quit her job because it wasn’t a good fit, meaning she made a mistake in taking it in the first place. Therefore she should LEARN from her mistake for next time and MOVE ON to the next thing with a better idea of what kind of job/work environment she is looking for instead of writing posts telling everyone that quitting your job after 2 weeks is the smartest career move in the history of all career moves.

      I think you are the one being ridiculous.

  9. Milena Thomas
    Milena Thomas says:

    Some of these comments are making me go “huh?”

    Is Ms. Varon really displaying heights of irresponsibility previously unknown? Really? Is she really destroying all her future job prospects? Really? Is she a criminal and lazy for relying on her parents as a back up plan at 23? Really? Is this really the strangest advice anyone has ever heard on job-seeking in your 20’s? Really? And who in God’s name came up with the 6 month rule?

    Inexperience goes both ways. The answer to learning from inexperience is not to stick it out at a crappy job in all cases. Perhaps she didn’t realize before she took the job how crappy it was. So in this instance, her inexperience taught her not to trust what happens in a job interview, so she quit. If you ask me, she made the absolute correct decision. What is the brilliant rationale that she should not have quit? To gain all-important experience at a job she hates and will not stay at…please. More power to her.

    Also, getting mad that her parents are her back-up plan is like getting mad at someone who has a big enough savings account to do the same thing. A back-up plan is a back-up plan, regardless of the arrangement. There is nothing morally reprehensible about relying on one’s parents in their 20’s. Chances are your parents will be relying on you in the future. Que sera, sera.

    Something similar happened to me when I was out of college, and to be honest, it struck me as entirely unremarkable to quit the job after two weeks, not that I was the biggest mistake of my young-adult life. I was more than capable of discerning the awful management and unappealing work tasks were not going to get better if I stuck it out 5 months and 2 weeks longer. Furthermore, I’ve lived to tell this tale, and since then secured an even better job and stayed there 4 years.

    Maybe this post would make someone reluctant to hire her. Sure. Who cares. But the idea that her views here only prove to prospective employers she is unworthy and incapable of holding a job is nonsensical! There is no employer out there who is so delusional they assume every applicant is ready and willing to devote the rest of their productive years to them, regardless of the value they have to offer outside of a paycheck.

    Bottom line: Jamie is just doing what most people don’t have balls to. Taking action, and gasp, writing about her experiences. If you ask me, everyone else is just jealous. Heck, I was when I saw her website – I think it’s a great idea, and well-executed. Furthermore, she is not irresponsible. Perhaps if she was the sole breadwinner of a family of five – but as a young, single woman deciding where to stake her claim in life, she’s making the right choices.

    • Isis
      Isis says:

      Milena! You said to so well. I think you are absolutely right about the jealousy factor. Heck! I am jealous too. However, it negative and authoritative tone of the majority comment is somewhat concerning.

    • Lance Haun
      Lance Haun says:

      “Maybe this post would make someone reluctant to hire her. Sure. Who cares.”

      Who cares? It seems as though Ms. Varon cares seeing as she laid out justification for her leaving and placed the blame squarely on the company.

      I think hurting your employability, especially when you have little skill (at least comparatively) and there is a small market, is irresponsible. And I don’t know how it became cowardly to learn something from a bad work situation. I’d really love to learn more about that. Don’t stay for the fear, stay for the experience.

      • Milena Thomas
        Milena Thomas says:

        @Lance – I have to be honest, I don’t buy it! You think she made a huge mistake? I can see how it is not one-size-fits-all advice, but it is not objectively bad advice or bad judgment. I’m not sure who said it was cowardly to learn from a bad work situation – it wasn’t me. It’s neither here nor there – that’s my point.

        Put another way – if she stayed to learn something I would also say, “Great choice!” In my eyes neither choice is “better” or “preferable.” Neither choice is going to make or break her life, but people are freaking out about her choice as if she is ruining her life and the fact she aired her opinion is going to brainwash scores of other 23 year olds to act the same. Well, if the people who disagree with her are so confident they are correct, they should be happy, right? Their chances of lifelong success sticking it out in crap jobs just expanded with the masses of inexperienced 23 year olds fleeing from said jobs, no?

        I don’t know, I haven’t seen her resume, but from what I have seen, maybe all she can do is design great websites, generate massive amounts of interest in her personal brand, and write distinctive and interesting blog posts. That’s a lot more than most semi-literate college grads her age are capable of doing. So the claim of her inexperience relative to most 23 year olds doesn’t hold in my opinion.

        I’m generally a big cynic, I think you know this about me. ; )

        But I think that in particular in a competitive job environment when one has arguably little experience, she is doing things to stand out above other applicants. Is it a marketing stunt that is not offering intrinsic value? Maybe. But I think that is debatable, and the results of this social experiment are yet to be seen.

        I think her risk-taking is guaranteed to be refreshing for some employers – for others probably not so much, and that’s a completely valid point. But I’m guessing she is not unaware of that.

        I mean, I write blog posts and Tweets that probably decrease my chances of employability on a daily basis. The fact that I don’t like the current administration’s policies and am vocal about it means 66% of the country thinks I’m an crazy raving asshole. But I don’t care, because I don’t want to have the kinds of jobs that require me to be someone I’m not. And I realize that is a luxury and heavy burden to bear in this kind of economic environment – but I’m willing to pay that price (Heh, and so is my husband, I promise I asked him first.)

        But regarding Jamie, she clearly wouldn’t want to work for companies that don’t like her approach – so that fact they don’t like it is…not an issue. That’s where my “who cares” is coming from. If the worst thing that happens is she doesn’t get a job at Twitter and moves on to the next thing, or moves back home, that is a risk she is wholly willing to take on. The way people are talking about her is ridiculous though – the anger, the incredulity!

        It boils down to this: different strokes for different folks.

      • Lance Haun
        Lance Haun says:

        You said:

        “Jamie is just doing what most people don’t have balls to. Taking action, and gasp, writing about her experiences. If you ask me, everyone else is just jealous.”

        What am I supposed to assume about people who don’t quit after two weeks if they don’t like their job? They don’t have the balls? Maybe they see a better way than quitting?

        “In my eyes neither choice is “better” or “preferable.””

        In my eyes, there is an obvious preferable choice from both a personal development standpoint and a career standpoint. This is something I’ve been talking about for years on my blog. You can’t expect to make your career on two week or two month stints. It is the opposite of being a “careerist.”

        I’m not saying this is the end of the world. Nothing is the end of the world for an under 30 person. But they can’t cry about the injustices of perception when they are the ones creating it. This reinforces stereotypes that I have to undo whenever I go in for an interview or when one of my older colleagues interviews someone else from Gen Y.

        The difference about writing about a political matter is a bit different than this though. I would argue that writing about your sex life online is different than this too. I can convince a ton of hiring managers to look past politics and look at your work record. This is a reflection of her work attitude. I think the two are completely different.

        And yes, she will certainly learn from this but I think she would have been better served dealing with a dose of unhappiness for more than a couple weeks.

        Following your dreams can break your heart and make you unhappy more than a job and if that’s what she wants, then I think it is an easier lesson to take when you’re young. Dealing with the disappointment of a job helps you deal better with the disappointment of having a book proposal rejected or the disappointment of the business you started suffering through difficult times.

    • Milena Thomas
      Milena Thomas says:

      @Lance –

      You make excellent points I hadn't thought of. And boy am I glad to hear you say my political views don't stand in the way of my future career prospects! ; )

      You say,

      “What am I supposed to assume about people who don’t quit after two weeks if they don’t like their job? They don’t have the balls?”

      Not at all. I don’t mean to imply staying means people have no balls. I just think Jamie showed courage most people wouldn’t, despite obvious risks. I don’t think quitting jobs is a great idea as a rule, but I think it works in this case, and some people make the wrong decision by staying in a job too long.

      I’m someone who stayed in a non-dream-job, but I’m glad I did, having learned things I never knew I needed to know. I'd do it over again, which clearly supports your thesis.

      I don't think there is a career – €˜silver bullet', and even if you have your dream job, it requires 90% work, and 10% fun. My husband is an artist, and he has his dream job basically drawing pictures all day – €“ but he experiences the same kinds of frustrations every employee does from time to time. However, I still don’t think the issue in this post is black and white. For some people staying in a bad job is a bad idea, for others it’s a good idea.

      There are two comment streams going on here. One is general career advice, and honestly, I probably subscribe to your thinking more than Jamie's for my own personal goals. You come from a place of authority and clear, rational thought (which I'm a big fan of!) – €“ so I'm not attempting to supplant common sense with “new rules for career-seekers." Nor I do not subscribe to the limitless “if you dream it you can achieve it” mentality prevalent in pop psychology and talk shows which I think can be incredibly damaging in the heads of unstable and flighty people. Some advice is absolutely not meant for everyone, but that doesn’t make it bad advice.

      The second level of commentary is about Jamie on a personal level. I happen to think she made the right choice, and has not marred her future chances for employability. Maybe my impression is differently formed because I've been chatting her up on Twitter, but she doesn't strike me as flighty, or unaware of the risks or possible impact of her decisions or goals.

      But beyond all that, I’m baffled at some of the more bizarre personal attacks from what seem to me to be overly-emotional and possibly insanely jealous commenters. I wanted to speak up because I know how frustrating it is when people are completely clueless how to hold a civil debate, and instead hurl personal insults irrelevant to the topic at hand. Some people need to get a grip.

  10. Tania
    Tania says:

    All I can say is – I wouldn’t hire you now no matter what your skill set.

    There’s a couple of reasons for that… most of which have to do with the current economic climate.

    a. you’ve just proven that you’ll bail at the first hurdle
    b. you’ve just spoken publicly about the fact that you’re only in this for yourself and have no sense of loyalty to your employer, making ME vunerable to corporate attack.
    c. there are now a heap of experienced, well proven people out there in the market place that I can hire instead of you.
    d. I’d have concerns how you would work with others in my team given that these are the attitudes you are willing to put out in public.

    The truth is that even if you get your “dream” job you will go through a period of discomfort when you start. And you almost never get your dream job out of college.

    My only advice is to go out and get any job you can. And then stick at it for at least six months.

  11. Lesley
    Lesley says:

    I commend Jamie on several points.

    First, you’re a fabulous writer, you’ve networked well, you know a lot more about Twitter and social media that MOST people your age, and you’re obviously hard working and passionate (otherwise, you wouldn’t be doing what you’re doing.)

    Second, while some might think this post was risky– you’ve most certainly driven a lot of traffic to your Twitter blog. Smart move girl. Smart move.

    I think you may actually be a 20 something that leaves college knowing what she wants to do, and what it will take to get there. If your gut instinct told you to run after two weeks, then good for you. (I did the same thing at 24 when I found out the company I was working for lied and cheated. I had to live off a credit card for months before getting a different job, but that was better than selling my soul.)

    Good luck to you!

  12. Jakob Stoeck
    Jakob Stoeck says:

    Some comments look like envy to me.

    I like the – €ždo what you want" attitude. If you're clever, and it seems so, you'll find your way/work.

    Instead of moving back to your parents' home I'd suggest lending money from them (if you need it) so you can move to another place, perhaps in another country.

  13. Alicia
    Alicia says:

    I feel like many people hit this point in there life, but instead of quitting they suck it up and go home feeling miserable everyday…what a waste of time in your life! Jamie, you were right to quite after two weeks.

    A question to oneself: do you sacrifice your own morals, ethics, and mental state to a company you don’t fit or agree with? No, you remove yourself from the negative energy. And NO company would spill all the beans during the interview (they usually sell themselves to you as well, so you want to work there). Obviously this company was doing something she did not feel comfortable with.

    I think what Jamie did was risky, and I think she is brilliant for what she has surfaced for herself and her blogs.

    • Lance Haun
      Lance Haun says:

      Most people don’t spill the beans about themselves either. I bet Jamie didn’t say to her interviewers “if things get rough here, I am totally bailing.” So who is misrepresenting themselves?

      People also deal with rough patches at their dream job. You’re either naive or clueless if you don’t understand that. I love my second job but it is frustrating and it makes me unhappy sometimes. Not everything is rainbows and sunshine.

  14. Rorie
    Rorie says:

    I completely agree. I quit a job after three days; I knew it was a bad fit the first day (and a heck of a lot different than was presented to me in the interview). I thought about “sticking it out” for a while then came to my senses and realized it was best for me to leave and not waste their time or mine. Although the hardest work-related decision I ever made, by far the best. Three years later, I’m still with the job I took following my three-day stint.

  15. Gary
    Gary says:

    Jamie really is brilliant! I wasn’t totally convinced after the first five posts that said she was, but I am now. Who could argue with all those exclamation points? And what could possibly be more brilliant than bolting a job that totally sucks?

    People used to say Einstein was brilliant, but what did he ever do? Just some stupid science stuff that nobody cares about. He never had a blog, and if he did, it would have been SO boring. Plus what’s up with that hair???

  16. T. Meehan
    T. Meehan says:

    I did this a couple of years ago as a 30-something, and it was one of the most empowering experiences of my life.

    I had just taken a good job at a large organization, but by the time I started the job, the company had gone through a re-org and they not only changed my job, but my soon-to-be collaborator quit (his last day was my first day), and my predecessor left no paperwork/files whatsoever. Bad management, policies and morale were rampant. I’d seen the same kinds of bullshit at my previous company, and knew I wouldn’t be happy working there, ever.

    On the second week, I called one of my agency contacts, who assured me I could get a contract gig within a month. I thought about it over the weekend and so…

    On the third week, Monday morning, I drove into work, packed up the few items I had at my desk, left a note on my cube that said, “be back never”, and presented my boss with my security tag, much to his complete shock and dismay. He wanted me to explain the situation to his boss (a ball busting bitch), but I told him he could have the pleasure.

    Now that economy is different, I still honestly feel that I would do it again, if I needed to. But then, I have mad waitressing skills. ;)

  17. John
    John says:

    Honestly, Penelope’s last guest post made me want to unsubscribe, and her own posts lately don’t do much for me either.

    Now, I see this and I’m convinced. I’m unsubscribing.

  18. Paul
    Paul says:

    It’s funny, I was just talking to a coworker today about all the crap “The greatest generation” went through when they were your age. The Great Depression, WWII, Civil Rights, Women entering the workforce… Do you think at ANY time they said to themselves “This is difficult, therefore I will no longer do it?”

    I labored in a job I semi-loathed for 5 years after college, and you know what? It was COMPLETELY worth it. Employers notice it – they don’t need to worry about me leaving when I have a bad day and forget to Tivo “Idol”.

    And from a personal perspective, I have so much more appreciation for my current (dream) job because I invested time in finding out what I didn’t like, what I could overcome, and what it turned out I could actually live with without sacrificing my integrity.

    You are typical of your “instant gratification” generation, and I have very little sympathy for you. Just because you’re female doesn’t make it okay when you tell a date/employer THAT YOU LIVE AT HOME. No matter what they say to your face, they’re all thinking “LOSER”. And yes, that includes your parents.

    Turns out, in this life you still have to work for things. Short cuts might get you ahead in the short term, but they’ll leave you cold in the long one.

    Get your crap together and take a “job”, as terrible as that sounds. Boo freakin’ hoo.

    • eliz
      eliz says:

      Who would ever take advice from you? God, the negativity. Suffering doesn’t always lead to enlightenment, you know.

    • Ryan
      Ryan says:

      All I hear is bitterness and a lack of confidence in one’s own life decisions throughout this whole post. If you want to get your point across, try sounding a little more objective.

  19. BA
    BA says:

    I will acknowledge that quitting her first job and moving back home will not automatically doom the author’s future, but it wasn’t a smart move. And brilliant? Hardly. We don’t know the details but it didn’t sound like it was the job from hell, just not her dream job. Sticking it out and giving it an honest chance would have been the courageous move. I’ve never liked a job until a few months in but never quit until at least a year.

    I don’t take fitness advice from fat people or financial advice from poor people and I’m certainly not about to take career advice from someone who just quit her first job after 2 weeks. You sound pretty sharp so I’m sure you’ll recover and land another gig. However, as an older fella with kids, I can tell you that your parents are probably very concerned right about now.

  20. Mary
    Mary says:

    Finding a job is a lot like dating. Everyone starts off hopeful and optimistic. Sometimes you know after two dates (or two weeks) if it isn’t going to work. Sometimes you can spend years together. It just depends on the fit.

  21. Two Weeks!?
    Two Weeks!? says:

    OK, I’m old, been working 30 years, and I don’t even know where to start. You have no idea what a job is like after 2 weeks unless you were outright lied to. Last job I gave it a year to decide, then I quit.

  22. Sumi
    Sumi says:

    Wow. And I’m usually ready to stand up for my quirky generation, but this… I think this is what happens when one mixes intelligence and complete immaturity.

    I’m not that much older than this twink, but to say that someone can really know what a workplace and a job is going to be like in two weeks is a load of crap. A month at the least, three to be safe, six if you’re overly cautious like me. And especially right now when jobs are scarce and there’s a lot of more experienced and mature workers competing with you out there, any upstart fresh out of school should be happy anyone even took the time to interview them. (I can’t imagine what this looks like on a resume either…)

    But I think what really pissed me off was the “I can just go back and live with mommy and daddy, no questions asked!” Blurg! Learn some responsibility, will you? It’s one thing to come home because you were fired, or gave it your best shake (for longer than two stupid weeks) and the city just got the best out of lil’ ol’ you, but to just flit on home because you didn’t like it is ridiculous.

    I’m sure this was posted just to get the readership riled up. It worked.

    • Anthony
      Anthony says:

      The fact that she can go home to live with her parents does not tick me off. That, in my humble opinion, is between her and her parents. What does anger me is that she suggests this to others as though it is a given, as though an individual is owed that opportunity by their parents simply by virtue of sharing the same genetic material.

  23. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:


    Many people who have commented here don’t know your background or the circumstances of why you quit your job after two weeks. I didn’t either until I went to your blog and new website earlier today and spent some time reading various posts.
    I am impressed with the amount of work, passion, and creativity you have put into these sites. Very good job in a small amount of time. I didn’t come across the reason you quit your job after two weeks but I wasn’t looking for that though. I just read Taylor’s comment above and will assume the reason for quitting is as stated there. I can’t verify as your site was inaccessible – probably due to the heavy traffic. :)
    This is the thing though, I shouldn’t have to read through your sites to get some understanding why you gave this advice. After the sentence “It took me about two weeks to admit to myself that I was unhappy. So I quit.” in the first paragraph I think you need to explain why you were unhappy and why you quit. It definitely would have helped me to understand the advice you gave in the rest of the post.
    My first reaction to this post was you didn’t spend enough time on this job to really know if you made the right decision or not. I was ready to comment stuff like “patience is a virtue” which it is but it may not be applicable here. The devil is in the details and you have the details. I hope you write a follow up post and include a link from this post.
    Penelope has given you a great opportunity to get exposure and feedback from this post. There’s a lot that can be learned from many of these comments so be grateful for that also. Good luck to you in your future endeavors.


  24. avant garde designer
    avant garde designer says:

    There are so many things about this post that bug me, I don’t even know where to begin. Taylor’s comment on Jamie’s hard work in college softened me a bit, but then I remembered lots of people are working their butts off in college and in the workplace.

    Someone mentioned it above and, no, Jamie didn’t give herself enough time for transition. Working while you’re in college is really different than working in the “real world,” no matter how important your college job was. When you’re in college, you deal with the crummy aspects of a job because it’s temporary and part of working toward the goal. When you get your real job, you think it’s going to be great. After all you’ve put in all that hard work while you were in college, right?

    Guess what, rude awakening. You’re wrong. All jobs have crummy aspects and newcomers usually get the crummiest. It’s called biding your time and paying your dues. That means more than two weeks because, yes, you’re a newcomer no matter how prima dona you were in college.

    Jamie was also transitioning into a new city, apparently. Duh, does she think she’s going to settle in and like things in just two weeks? Did she even meet anyone there? The stress of a new place often affects perception of a job and an ability to cope. She should have given it time.

    If Jamie had written this 5-7 years ago she might have gotten away with it. Not these days. Gen Y is quickly learning that job hopping at the drop of a hat may not be the smartest thing to do. Layoffs are happening in two areas: those with too much seniority and those with not enough.

    If you work for me and I have to cut back, do you think I’m going to be impressed by the supposed job skills you learned hopping from one to the next? I don’t think so. I’m going to be looking for an employee who can creatively help my business weather this storm, someone who knows how to figure out the tough spots, not bail on them.

    23 Years Old
    You gotta love it. High performance, confidence and, oh, a wealth of wisdom. Weren’t we all that way at 23? I mean, after all, we were out of college, what, a whole 6-12 months?

  25. Grace
    Grace says:

    You CAN get that unhappy in two weeks.
    Once I took on a job that was a great opportunity; a job that everyone told me I would be crazy to pass up. I had to agree that the job looked fantastic on paper, but I knew my heart wasn’t completely in it. Still, I thought I was just being resistant to change. When I was told that I got the job, I just started to cry. I didn’t know why.

    I stayed there for 3 miserable years. It was a fine job, but not the right one for me. At work, everyone said I was wonderful, but I still always second guessed myself and lost a lot of confidence. Yes, I learned a lot about myself. I also gained weight, racked up credit card debt, and almost ruined my marriage. If only I had trusted my intuition. When you are happy, you make better choices.

  26. Deadhedge
    Deadhedge says:

    I had 2 jobs that I had bad feelings for after 2 weeks.

    1. Junior year in college, I signed up to work part-time at the main cafeteria to make some money so I could get a car. Hated it and quit after 2 weeks. It was strictly a transactional relationship as I was just working for the paycheck, no career impact, and not a blip. I actually took an on-campus job mopping floors which I liked better and did that in said (which shows how much I hated the cafeteria job).

    2. During the my first 6 weeks of Peace Corps, I was having trouble adjusting, felt that I was offering nothing to my community, and was miserable with the lack of privacy. I told myself to suck it up for 3 months since adjusting to a new job, new country, new everything was tough. I evaluated my goals for joining the Peace Corps and confirmed them. Also, the fact that I was giving myself an out in 3 months made it easier. After 3 months, I turned the corner, stayed the 2 years, and changed my life.

    I’m joining the pile on that your post sounds like a rationalization to yourself. If the job is purely transactional and for a paycheck that you don’t need to live on, well, leaving is a different story. If it’s a down payment in a potential career, it is worth more time to consider. An interesting post could be evaluating this decision in 1 year or later to see if you view it differently.

    Penelope, I also wonder why you selected this as a guest post and if you had any guidance for Jamie about the post?

    2 cents poorer,

  27. Dave Atkins
    Dave Atkins says:

    Your post would have more validity if you could demonstrate how this choice actually benefited you rather than simply presenting your hopes of how it will work out in the future. I don’t think you are necesarily a “flake”–I’ve been in jobs I knew were a mistake within 3 days–but your post is just a collection of rationalizations. Now that you have quit, you are explaining it in a way that makes you feel empowered, but another option would have been to give the job a little time and look for ways to make that choice–to work there–work instead of just hitting the reboot button.

    It is a cliche, but life it not easy or fair. No job I’ve ever had was what I expected and I think before you jump ship, you should make an effort to make your choice work because there is a good chance you will encounter similar problems in the future. I don’t know the circumstances…maybe it was totally insane…but people should make a significant effort to adapt before they just reject something.

  28. Irina
    Irina says:

    I am 22 years old and started my first job out of college a few months ago. The first month or so, I was depressed because my life changed dramatically. I no longer had the free time I had in college and my life was no a lot more structured by my 9 to 5 job. That is when my mentor told me that it is completely normal, that it will take some time to adjust and that I will be learning a lot in the next couple of years.

    Three months later, I am really loving my job. I am learning something new everyday. Most of these skills are “soft,” like communicating effectively with managers, managing my own time, etc. In my first two weeks, I did not understand ANY of this.

    I think there are good arguments to quitting a job early and I expected to see some of them when I read the title, but I have to disagree with most of your points.

  29. Sadistic Manager
    Sadistic Manager says:

    I’m having hard time believing a post advising people to ditch jobs after two weeks in an environment where jobs are so hard to find right now.

    Let me toss a clue in here. I don’t know the details of your job, but if you tried to tell me in an interview that you’re a high-performing go-getter after quitting your first real job two weeks in and moving home to your parents’ house because you decided you didn’t want to do what it took to make it on your own, I’d walk you out the door and never look back.

    Yeah, great, I’d be saving the money that might have gone to training you. But had I hired you only to have you quit two weeks later because you just knew you’d hate it, my first question would be “why didn’t you ask me more about the job during the interview in the first place?”

    I especially don’t like that you’re placing the blame for your unhappiness on your employers. It was partly your responsibility to determine whether you wanted the job before you accepted it. Once you got it, did you bring anything up to management about what was wrong? If it’s that bad that you just know you’re going to hate it five minutes after you get there, did you do the decent thing and say something? Or did you just quit and let them wonder?

    So now we get around to the clue. When you’re just starting your first job out of college, you have zero credibility. If you walk off the job, you’re going to be seen as a flake who got a dose of reality and went crying home to mommy.

    Your alternative is to stick it out for long enough to actually learn the job, and making suggestions while you learn it. That’s how you show that you’re a high-performing go-getter. After two weeks? You haven’t performed at all, so how are companies supposed to know what they’re apparently missing out on?

  30. Chanin Walsh
    Chanin Walsh says:

    You go girl!

    20 years ago I did the EXACT same thing. It seems hard at that moment, (especially when your brand new boss screams at you saying you’ll never amount to anything) but alas, when you go forth to do what you are meant to do, it will be perfectly clear that you did the right thing!

    Congrats on following your heart!

  31. Sally
    Sally says:

    I don’t believe Jamie’s decision can be put down as a Gen Y stunt.

    Remember the classic Gen X movie: “Reality Bites”.

    A bunch of my mates made the same decision as Jamie in our early 20s, ten years ago. I remember when I came straight out of uni (sorry Aussie term), moved cities and landed my first professional job. It was bloody difficult and I was ready to pack it up. As I said, a bunch of my mates did. Its an early 20’s thing, not a Gen Y thing.

  32. Jamie Varon
    Jamie Varon says:

    Upon reading these comments, my response to all of them would be, as another commenter said up there:

    Different strokes for different folks.

    It may take you six months to know you won’t like a job. It may take the next person a year. It may take someone a day. Three days. Two weeks. Five months and 29 days. It’s entirely unproductive to claim you know the exact amount of time it takes someone to realize if they will be happy or not in a position.

    Yes, it could have been quite a learning experience, I’m sure. But, the magic six months, felt like ten years to me, especially since I was at a job previously for six months after I graduated from college (that wasn’t clear in this original post).

    I was ready to be doing something I loved, not something I tolerated because I was too scared that my work history would be scarred for eternity if I didn’t stay for six months.

    I agree with the comments that I could have asked different questions in the interview, but the company did misrepresent themselves. And, had a history of doing so, which I learned later from colleagues, all of whom WISHED they could leave the company and actually patted me on the back as I left.

    Completely and without any shame whatsoever, I stand behind this decision. My parents do, too. They are as passionate about me finding something I will be happy doing as I am.

    I haven’t regretted leaving (neither does another woman who quit a week after me). And, while some of you brought into it that this could potentially hurt my Twitter campaign, what you missed is that if I were still at that job, I would have never had the desire and passion to create the campaign.

    Everything happens for a reason, people. And, if it’s so difficult to recognize that this was a well-thought out decision that I made to passionately NOT put my life on hold for the magical time of six months, then, well, that’s not on me.

    I did the right thing for me. And, I wrote this post so people who are struggling about making this decision will feel both understood and validated.

    (This was a relevant article about how now it takes one month [or less] to make a good impression on a new hire. Not six months? Hm.

    • Anna
      Anna says:

      “Everything happens for a reason, people. And, if it’s so difficult to recognize that this was a well-thought out decision that I made to passionately NOT put my life on hold for the magical time of six months, then, well, that’s not on me.”

      You’re coming off so defensive here. Did you think when you came up with the topic and title for your post that it wouldn’t be controversial? Come on now.

      The reason it’s difficult for us to recognize that this was a well-thought out decision is because all you wrote was that you were unhappy. You didn’t tell us why you were unhappy, how your employers had deceived you, etc. Nobody can feel rationally happy or unhappy about their new jobs in the first two weeks. It’s the same reason why, when I was an RA in college, we refused to do roommate changes in the first two weeks.

      So you, writing that it’s “smart to quit a job after just two weeks of work,” when there are a lot of people who have been unemployed for months who would gladly take a job that might take a bit of an adjustment, just doesn’t generate an overwhelming applause from PT’s audience. You can’t seriously be surprised at that when you didn’t give us any details beyond rationalizations.

  33. Dave Concannon
    Dave Concannon says:

    I don’t think two weeks is enough to get over the shock of being in a new place. There’s a certain period of adjustment in a new job while your mind tries to assimilate all of the things that are new around you. For most people this is quite stressful.

    I would rebut several of your points in turn, but I think this is the most important:

    “You’ll have more respect for yourself if you respond to your needs”. Feeling unhappy is just one of many emotions people can go through when starting a new job. In general, people fear change. I’m trying to picture an entrepreneur starting a business “responding to their needs” instead of doing what’s needed when they’re forced to work longer hours to make their business a success, or having to chase funding, or having to let employees go during tough times.

    A critical indicator of success is most definitely not the instinct to quit at the first sign of discomfort, it’s hard work and tenacity, plain and simple.

  34. Jamie
    Jamie says:

    I’m sure this is JUST GREAT if you don’t have any responsibilities. If you have parents that can support you, no binding lease agreements or roommates, no bills etc. etc. This is great advice for upper middle class or rich kids, but what about everyone else?

    Sometimes you have to gut it out until you can move on. In this economy this is terrible advice. I’m 25 and I’ve been “unemployed” for almost a year. Sure I have a JOB to pay my bills, but not my dream job, not anything that a 15 year old couldn’t do. But I sure as hell can’t afford to just quit b/c omg I hate my job. And i can’t move back in with my parents (at least not for more than a few weeks).

    Sure this might be the best choice for the writer, but just like no one can’t make a blanket judgment of her choice I don’t think it’s fair to say that this is what everyone should do.

  35. Alison
    Alison says:

    I was the twentysomething who stuck it out at a job I hated for 5 years because of expectations just like I’m hearing in the comments other people are writing.

    I think it’s entirely possible to know if a job is rotten in 2 weeks, it’s just whether or not you’re willing to admit you judged your employer or dream job incorrectly.

    Staying in my rotten career mainly because it was my foot in the door into the industry I trained for, was a big mistake that started a bout of depression & just about ruined the rest of my life.

    Since then I’ve learned a lot about expressing myself in many more ways to help not become so unhappy, but in my first job after my career demise I realized that it wasn’t just the job that drove me away. My new boss and I clashed & it felt like history repeating itself.

    Kudos to anyone who has the courage to “cut the cancer” right away.


  36. Don B.
    Don B. says:

    We have lost people after one or two days. Once an employee left for Lunch the first day and didn’t come back. We would prefer someone settle in and give it a try for a couple weeks. I think in a couple weeks many jobs can be reasonably evaluated even those with a need for technical on job training. We would also be interested in the reasons during an exit process for our benefit and attempt to help the person leaving find a better fit. We at times have had such a person follow up with us so we know where they ended up. If genuinely unhappy and convinced it will not work we would prefer to lose a person at two weeks rather than invest significant training effort and loss them at six months.

  37. Barbara
    Barbara says:

    Dear Jamie,

    I have a lot to say about your post, and I hope my stepdaughter does not read it.

    One, I looked at your blog and gist is spelled gist, not jist.

    Two, I agree with the previous commentator who said you sound like a mini-Penelope. The fact that you sound so much like her might be a clue as to as to why you quit a job after two weeks and moved in with your parents.

    Three, post-college is a confusing time. Back in 1979, I quit my first job after two weeks (stamping the name of an insurance company president on policies) and after a couple of restaurant fill-in positions, moved back in with my mother (my father passed away my final semester in college, and she did invite me to move back, but it cramped her style during a time when she was discovering new aspects of herself).

    I can tell you that my attempts to avoid reality by quitting and moving back home, set me on a negative career course that took a long time to correct.

    I believe in my situation, the roots were lack of confidence, and lack of a true sense of what I wanted in terms of a career.

    Not sure what exactly is going on with you, but talking with a career coach might be of value.

    Personally, and I am basing this on experience, I don’t think what you said in your post has any real value for your peers.

    Also, speaking on behalf of Baby Boomers everywhere, we don’t want our kids back home unless there is a MAJOR life transition reason (like cancer, divorce situation involving baby/small children…)

    I am sure all the Gen Yers will rip me up for that, but it’s the damn truth!

  38. Bill
    Bill says:

    Read her blog – Jamie IS Penelope, minus twenty years and the volleyball bikini. So drop the cliches about “paying dues”. Not gonna happen. I doubt she will ever take a conventional job again, unless her parents kick her out.

  39. Andy
    Andy says:


    When you engage in bridge-burning behavior like that, you come across as flaky and irresponsible, and your reputation takes a hit. Remember, people have long memories when they have been burned (especially with Internet search technologies helping to remind them), and this industry is smaller than you think.

    FYI, I told my children that their butts are out on the street when they hit 21. The best way to help a child grow up (even an adult “child” like you) is to force them to learn how to make their own way in life.

    • Taylor
      Taylor says:

      You can formulate an opinion about a company within the first couple of weeks. Interviews can be misleading since the company will try to put its best foot forward and may not show their true colors until later. There’s a lot of bitter parents on here but most baby boomers wouldn’t understand Jaime’s motives since they’ve been conditioned to sacrifice their happiness for a paycheck. Baby boomers are out of touch with the entry level job market anyways.

    • S.G.
      S.G. says:

      Daughter (now 31) went to law school & her husband also. She loved firm she ended up with, but he didn’t so after 5 yrs. they relocated to another state for him to “find his passion.” Unfortunately, now she hated her new job at the law firm she ended at. She stayed there practicing successfully while deciding to follow her TRUE PASSION–become a law prof. So she pursued this WHILE STILL BEING EMPLOYED at the firm she “hated.” When she got a position as a law prof she left the firm on good terms (never “burn bridges” if you can help it).

      If she had a major catastrophic illness or something, I think she would return home to live with us. Otherwise, both our kids were proud to be “off the payroll of the parents” as soon as they went to college on scholarships & figured out the rest themselves. They both had jobs since they were 15–working maintenance at a tennis club or at McDonald’s or working the front desk at the tennis club (coming in at 6:00 a.m. Sat. & Sun. morning to start her shifts).

      We could afford to pay for them to not have to work, but my husband & I were both basically set out on our own in our teenage years & you learn quickly not to give up on a job after 2 weeks unless you have a better job in the wings.

  40. ScottS
    ScottS says:

    I commented early on, but I feel compelled to add to my original comments.

    Yes, I am a boomer with 20-something children. No, I would never advocate doing something you hate forever. But what grinds my gears is the complete lack of appreciation for the concept of having to support yourself. It’s Maslow turned upside down. No worries about physical needs because hell’s bells, somebody will always take care of me–parents, government, somebody–so ALL I ever have to think about is self-actualizing. It’s better to be happy than to pay the bills since I can always create a website and say “I don’t have any money. Give me some.”

    Yes, don’t work in a job you hate, but have another job before you quit.

    All I am saying is please appreciate the fact that somebody higher up on the food chain has had to do an awful lot of sacrificing in order for you to indulge your desire to “respect” yourself. At some point, SOMEBODY has to work to put a roof over your head. And all of those wonderful personal fulfillment things you describe in your post aren’t available to those of us that not only have to support ourselves, but our 20-something children that live with us.

    You’re welcome.

  41. Dale
    Dale says:

    I want more for my kids than I had myself. I was raised to stick it out, to keep at it and to think that I did not have to like what I did because it was just a job and I work to live not live to work. But alot of what I learned was WRONG!
    I have hated my job for a long time and cannot find the courage to leave – the programming is too strong. But at 23, with no responsibilities other than to her or him self, a person should experiment!
    Parents should provide a safety net – within reason – as I will with my kids. Life is meant to be explored to the fullest. And that means starting life with the ability to explore, advance, or retreat as needed until one finds one’s calling.
    Cheers to you Jamie. I wish I could do what you have done. It will make you a more effective, happy, focused and well adjusted person in the future when options are not so freely available.

    • Taylor
      Taylor says:

      You are the most BRILLIANT person that has responded to this so far! Everything that you said is so true. Why waist your life away at something you don’t love or even like. Even only for two weeks!!!! I was brought up that way too and I was forced to work at terrrible jobs and in terrible situations because my parents told me to stick it out. I was miserable…Jamie is a person that has outstanding insight in what she is capable of doing and what she wants to do. I think she is an inspiration to all young people.

  42. The Opinionator
    The Opinionator says:

    Easy to have “integrity and passion” when you have mommy and daddy to run home to.

    As you are young and have a support system to take care of you, this will result in “no harm, no foul.” But this story is also an example of why you never take career advice from a 23 year-old who has yet to launch their career. All the blogging and linking to studies that support your decision are well and good. But eventually, you have to get out and actually go to work. And entry level jobs are what they are, an entry. You are not going to find self-actualization in them. But it sounds like you may find it back home at mommy and daddy’s house with a room and three squares a day.

  43. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    Being a generation Xer, I believe that it is possible to know from day one that you are not going to stay with a company for several years; I've felt like this on my last two jobs. However, I did not quit after two weeks. Instead I stuck the jobs out for a couple years each and I learned a lot of valuable things. I also learned that I need to ask better questions in the interview to ensure I know EXACTLY what I was getting myself into instead of going into a job thinking I'll be doing one thing and then actually performing another. In my generation it's not ALL about the money but, having some sort of job fulfillment. We know the perfect job doesn't exist however; working is a major part of our lives – why not at least like where you work or what you're doing? Quitting after two weeks may be a little rash.

  44. Matt Cheuvront
    Matt Cheuvront says:

    I wasn’t planning on jumping into this but I want to address the comments regarding ‘moving back in with your parents’ and being irresponsible. The two don’t go hand in hand.

    First, let me pre-empt by giving a little background. I am a 23 year old college grad, graduated last May – and I am ENTIRELY independent financially. I have a great job at an ad agency I live on my own, pay all of my bills, insurance, and bought a new car 6 months ago – so I handle those payments as well. I have always sort of been ‘on my own’ – started working when I was 15, paid for my first car on my own, etc. I am proud of where I am today – damn proud. It’s self-fulfilling to know that I am at this stage of my life and this secure – and I have established goals of where I want to be a year from now, 5 years from now, 10, and so on.

    I’m not trying to sell myself on here or give myself any credit. My point here is – I didn’t have the support system behind me that Jamie has. I tried to move back home after graduation so I could save money, work on paying off student loans, car payments, saving up for an engagement ring, etc. I had the conversation with my parents, and the long and short of it is it didn’t go well. I was mad, I was somewhat hurt by the lack of support – but in the end, it made me stronger, and If I would have moved back home, I would have regretted it.

    I apologize for rambling – but I just want to say this. I will do whatever my children need as far as support. At least, if they are in a similar situation I’m in, or Jamie is in. Being lazy is one thing – but moving home to save some money while you pursue your passion – give me a break, there is NOTHING wrong with that. You can tell me I don’t know how being a parent is, and you’re right, I don’t – but Scott, your comment is so bitter on taking care of your children, who are the most important people in your life. Your wonderful personal fulfillment should include supporting your children, bottom line. It’s selfish to say that no matter what – I’m kicking my kids to the curb after college.

    To reiterate, I do think that two weeks time is too short to realize if you are a fit with a company – I speak from experience there. And it is ALWAYS best (and realistic) to have something else lined up before you pull the trigger and quit. I disagree with some of Jamie’s points but I also respect her for being bold and doing what she wants' to do with her life. And good for her that she has a family that will support that.

    • rainie
      rainie says:

      Matt, my situation growing up was very much like yours. We apparently took away from it very different ideas! :)

      I think most parents are more than happy to support their children while they are children. The most important person in my life is my spouse – because when the children are grown and doing their own thing, it is my spouse that I’ll be growing old, fat, and happy with, hopefully near the beach.

      We’re happy to help with lots of things for the sake of our kids (just last night, hubby was heading out at 11pm to help our 25 year old son with a bad radiator hose). But everything we’ve done has been to raise them into self supporting, strong individuals. Parents put a lot on hold willingly and joyfully, to see their children through to adulthood. But once they reach that point, it’s time for us to move our focus back on ourselves. Parents want personal fulfillment, too!

  45. Scott Woodard
    Scott Woodard says:

    Wow, did this post make me feel old! As a 50 something male, who reads Penelope’s blog frequently, and often learns something from it, I struggled with Jamie’s post. How would I feel if my 22 year old son showed up on my doorstep having quit his first “career job” after just two weeks because he wasn’t happy in his work?

    I’m a strong believer in being happy in one’s work. If one spends 8 to 10 hours a day at something, one should find some enjoyment from it. But two weeks? Part of growing and maturing is finding the things one can be happy with. If it’s not the company, can it be finding a mentor in the company who can provide advice?

    My boomer sensibilities say that it’s not up to the organization to ensure that the work one does is meaningful. Rather it’s up to the individual to find meaning in one’s work, whatever that might be.

    So, if my son showed up after quitting 2 weeks into his job; you’d better believe he would be paying me rent to live at my place again. Which means he’d have to find another job pretty damn quick and he probably won’t like that one any better than the one he just left.

    ~ Scott

  46. rainie
    rainie says:

    I do not think that unless you killed someone on your way out, that you’ve damaged your career forever. Really, it’s just not that big a deal. I think unless you were working on an assembly line, two weeks isn’t really enough time to know but some people are better at making lemonade out of lemons than others.

    I cannot stress enough that moving back in with your parents is not a ballsy move. It does not take courage. I don’t think you should stay in a job you hate for 5 years or even 6 months. I think you should stay until you have secured another job. Brian, Brandon, Will, if you’re reading this, know that you cannot quit a paying job and move back home with your dad and stepmom.

    Beyond that, Barbara and ScottS summed it all up nicely.

    “Also, speaking on behalf of Baby Boomers everywhere, we don’t want our kids back home unless there is a MAJOR life transition reason (like cancer, divorce situation involving baby/small children – )

    I am sure all the Gen Yers will rip me up for that, but it’s the damn truth!” posted by Barbara

    “All I am saying is please appreciate the fact that somebody higher up on the food chain has had to do an awful lot of sacrificing in order for you to indulge your desire to “respect” yourself. At some point, SOMEBODY has to work to put a roof over your head. And all of those wonderful personal fulfillment things you describe in your post aren’t available to those of us that not only have to support ourselves, but our 20-something children that live with us.” posted by ScottS

  47. Steve
    Steve says:

    Great article! I recently quit my job after 9 months, yet I hated it from day one. The first three months I felt I had to prove something. After three months, I felt that I had too much invested in the company and couldn’t just quit. I found every excuse to stick it out but never truly enjoyed the job which probably prevented me from achieving my fullest potential. I apparently hid my lack of interest pretty well, but as you mention in the article, the Company had no idea that I hated it since day one.

    Well, I am now at a new job and absolutely love it. I still look back and try to find the benefit I received from staying there so long but can’t find anything. I sometimes wish I would have manned up and quit after two weeks, but there isn’t much I can do now.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Mizz Information says:

    Gen Whine In The House…

    Penelope Trunk has a guest poster on her blog today–a 23 year old writing about why it’s smart to quit a job after just two weeks of work. The crux of her rationale being, of course, the tenet upon which the entire Gen-Y work philosophy is based: li….

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