Quitting early won’t necessarily be held against you
Paul Heng, founder and managing director of Next Career Consulting Group, says leaving your job should be encouraged – as soon as the realisation hits that it’s not taking you places. “With the speed of change and the continuous disruption of existing business models, it’s important to ask yourself if you are still learning at your job,” he explains. “It’s not about how long you’ve been at a position – whether it’s a month or a year, if you are not growing, you should leave.”
Paul says people need to think of career progression in three stages: learning, working to become an expert, and hitting expert level. Keep tabs on where you’re at in your job, and if you quickly get to the third stage and there’s nothing else to learn, move on.
While Paul says people leave their jobs because of bosses, work environment or unfair compensation, the biggest push factor should actually be lack of growth. “There’s no better reason to look for other options than knowing that you are stagnating, or cruising.”
Still, a short stint doesn’t make an interviewee unemployable, says an HR manager who chose to remain anonymous. “We hired an employee who was at her previous job for less than three months, and she’s been here for more than a year,” she says.
While the manager admits a previous short stint may not earn you brownie points, it’s not a lost cause. “In our case, this hire’s personality suited the company,” she explains. “We also look out for job competency, potential for growth, and whether his or her values are in line with ours.” Basically, your short employment at a previous firm isn’t as big a deal as you think it is.