Need a good way to explain why I'm quitting my job

I plan to quit my job - I’ve only had it for a month but I don’t foresee any improvement in the situation. I live in a fairly small city (80,000) and of course when I quit I’m going to do my best not to burn any bridges, but I don’t know if that’s possible - my boss (the owner) and I are equally unhappy with each other at this point.

I have two interviews today and one tomorrow. What is a good way to explain why I’m quitting?

It is an entry level job but there is a lot to learn - the learning curve is expected to be at least one year. The training so far has been disorganized and inconsistent. The owner doesn’t handle stress well and I find that by the end of each workday I am equally stressed. Throughout the day I feel not only useless but stupid because she expects me to be busy and helpful, but without the appropriate training, I make more mistakes than either of us would like. It’s been extremely frustrating and at this point in my life I just cannot find the strength of will to stick with this job, especially when there are so many jobs in my city right now. None of them will make me rich, but there are many that pay at least as well, with hopefully better working conditions.

Any ideas how to put a positive spin on this for prospective employers? Thanks!

To the extent possible, focus on why you are interested in the new job. “I’ve heard great things about working for Acme Co.” Try to give the impression that your current job is OK, but the new one genuinely appeals to you. Is your current employer small? Maybe you are realizing that there won’t be much room for advancement, but at Acme Co there would be more room to grow? Or, if there is a skill used in your current job, but not key to the new job, you could say you are realizing you are just not cut out for X. Just make sure it’s not a near-universal skill, like customer service or working independently.

There’s also the possibility you are just at a natural frustrating peak of the learning curve in your current job. And the owner is likely to reach that same frustration with any new employee. Since you are a Doper, you are probably smarter than the average bear. Maybe there is room to resolve this with open communication about the pace at which you can learn this stuff.

Whatever you do, do not speak ill of your current employer. It is the kiss of death in interviews. If you must speak ill of something, make it something impersonal–a task, the size/structure of the business, etc.

In an ideal world, you could just say that your boss and you are not a good fit.


“The position I’ve been asked to fill at Company Tuvwxyz requires someone with specialized training. They’re in a catch-22; they want to train someone to do it, but they don’t have the time to train someone, because they need someone who is already trained. I am happy to learn new skills, but they really need to either find someone with the requisite skill set, or set up more time to train incoming employees.”

The thing is, I will probably end up quitting (my boss and I are having a “chat” on Monday) BEFORE I find something new. Not ideal, but it’s nearly impossible to job hunt while I’m working there.

Should I even bother putting this job on future resumes, if its duration is only a month?

I kind of rule-of-thumb it as only putting a job on a resume with a tenure of six months or more.

Who are you explaining it to - your soon-to-be-ex-boss, or prospective employers? For your STBEB, I’d just say that it isn’t working out, and if pressed, tell her exactly what you told us - that she needs to make the time to train employees properly, and she needs to not be a stress-carrier. A word of advice here - when you go to quit, don’t let her talk you into staying. I’ve made that mistake in the past, and it just wastes your time. If it’s bad enough to quit, you really need to leave.

I wouldn’t put a job of only a month on my resume, so you probably won’t get asked about it. Most jobs have a three-month probationary period for just these reasons, and you’re well within that. If you do get asked about it, say you gave it a fair try, but it wasn’t a good fit for either side.

**featherlou ** - I’m looking for a good way to explain to people at job interviews why I am leaving/have left my current job.

So, it’s not considered lying or unethical to omit jobs from a resume? Good to know!

What about applications that you have to sign, verifying that all of the information is correct? (I’m thinking of the sections where they ask for your previous 3 employers).

I’ve always used the vague “for reasons personal and professional I have elected to end my employment effective ______”. It’s not going to matter why you quit a year from now and anyone checking for a reference is mainly interested in if you quit voluntarily and with notice.

Just to clarify, I have absolutely NO problems explaining to my current employer why I am quitting.

The OP refers to my curiosity about how to explain, in a positive way, to the people interviewing me why I am quitting / have quit.

Interviewer: “So Stainz, why are you leaving your current position after just one month?”

Stainz: “Uhhhhhhhhhh …”

This is the part I need help with. :slight_smile:

I have two years in my resume which get listed as:
“Several Companies; Spanish Region. Short-term contracts. blahblahtasks.”

Nobody has ever wanted to know the details of a string of 1-wk to 3-months jobs.

Why did I leave? “End of contract.” Every single time. Why are you leaving? Talk about it with your current boss. That way you may even be able to use her as a reference.

Oh, good lord, no! I have many different types of resumes, with different selections of my work history on each one. It would be lying or unethical to add jobs you didn’t have, but if I worked at a job that I hated and never wanted to do again, and it didn’t leave too obvious a hole, out it goes!

Again, a month-long job that didn’t work out is not too large to omit. I’d just go back to previous three before it. While I’m at it, may I say how much I hate stupid application forms? If I never have to fill one out again, it will be too soon. Why don’t I just jump through your hoops, filling in all the information that is already available for you in my resume? :mad:

You’ve been there one month? What were you doing five weeks ago? Make that the last thing you’ve done. In the ensuing weeks, you’ve been looking for work that was a good fit.

One of the things I learned in an Employment-Seeking seminar echoed what numerous posters have stated: Don’t put a job which lasted for less than six months on a resume. Prospective employers will ask themselves “hmm…this applicant had seven jobs in the past year. There’s gotta be something wrong with them if they can’t stick with a job more than two months. They don’t play well with others, or they don’t have a very good work ethic.”

It is fine to omit short-term jobs from a resume. A resume is a marketing document. However, if the job requires you to complete an application for employment, there may be wording at the bottom that requires you to provide correct and complete information. Read the small print above the signature line. At that point it may be unethical to omit the job.

Thank you - that’s what I was wondering about when I asked about application forms.

Yet another reason to dislike employment applications - they are completely biased in favour of giving the employer reasons to screen you out. Which, from the employer’s point of view, is great; less great from the perspective of an employee who gets screened out with no chance to explain the extenuating circumstances and no knowledge of why they’re getting screened out.

Never put down anything that an employer could read as “lying” on an application. They can terminate you for it, and it’s considered “with cause” (at least in Ohio).

Resumes are different. They can just cover what you consider to be the highlights.

yes! Tell them that when it comes to making fake tunnels, rocket packs, and cannonballs, you’ll just be all over it.