Is 'Quick Quitting' A Job Really So Bad? The Pros & Cons For Your Career

Let's set the scene: You've been working at your new job for a month. You beat out several other candidates to get the position, have told all your friends and family that you're in a new role, and have just become used to the new routine. The company that hired you spent a lot of time and resources training you, and you may have even been dreaming about this job for years. But now that you're in it, you absolutely hate it. What do you do?


While some people would opt to stick it out at a new job that they can't stand rather than resign before the year is up, others aren't afraid to "quick quit." Human Resources Director explains that this describes the process of leaving your job before you've been there for 12 months.

The reason why some employees are too afraid to quick quit, and instead remain in roles they despise, could come down to traditional advice warning us that it's bad form to leave a job you haven't been in for at least a year. But quitting after only a short period of time now has less stigma attached to it, per Forbes. And inherently, this isn't a bad thing. Quick quitting doesn't have to negatively impact your career, and can actually lead to benefits like improved confidence at work and job satisfaction. That said, there are still a few things to think about before you hand in your resignation letter too early.


Quick quitting can keep you healthy and productive

The biggest advantage of quick quitting your job? You won't waste valuable time working in a place that's not right for you. While you could argue that sticking it out in a job you don't like will build resilience (if those things that don't kill us really do make us stronger), forcing yourself to stay in an unpleasant environment can also have negative effects on your well-being, which in turn can affect your career.


According to the Harvard Business Review, high-stress jobs that demand a lot from workers can lead to physical sickness. In response to the stress we feel at work, our bodies produce chemicals that would work to protect us from real danger (even though the issues we're facing at work might not equate to an actual physical threat). When this occurs over the long term, a number of health issues can manifest, from strokes to heart attacks. Your physical and mental health is the most important factor to consider, but these conditions can also impact your career over the long-term by keeping you from working to your full potential.

To be clear, your job doesn't have to be a high-pressure job for it to negatively impact your health. A casual retail job, for example, can make you stressed — and consequently sick — if the environment is overly toxic. So if the job is bad enough, regardless of what it is, quick quitting is often the best move for your health and, by extension, your career.


It can look questionable on your CV

Unfortunately, one of the downsides of quick quitting is that it doesn't always look great on your CV, per The Balance. Lasting at a job for less than a year might give prospective employers the feeling that you have a problem committing to long-term plans, you aren't easy to get along with, or you get bored easily. Quitting early is also more likely to leave a bad taste in your old employer's mouth than if you stay in the job for at least 12 months. If you quick quit after they've invested time, money, and energy into training you, you probably won't be able to rely on them for a reference. 


That said, quick quitting once or twice should be easy enough to explain to a future potential employer. If it comes up in a job interview, you can mention that there was a specific reason you decided to leave the job so early on. There's a lot to be said for someone who can recognize what they want and isn't afraid to go after it! It's only when you have a habit of quick quitting that it starts to become a real red flag for employers.

You'll practice being proactive

Indeed, a person who takes control of the situation and pursues what they want or need is an asset to any workplace. Another good thing about quick quitting is that it will give you practice in making big, and likely intimidating, decisions.


While some people naturally find it easier to adapt to change and make significant choices in their lives, others need to build the confidence to become proactive. Especially if you're at an early stage in your career, you may not have the self-assurance to take your life by the horns, get rid of the things you don't want, and chase the goals you do want to reach. That comes with time and practice, and quick quitting a job that you thought you wanted will be a huge leap in the right direction.

Sooner or later in your career, you'll have to take initiative. If you've done something like quick quitting before, it will seem much more manageable when that time comes.

You don't develop problem-solving skills

One of the most common reasons for quick quitting is encountering problems in your workplace that you can't or don't want to deal with. These deal-breakers might include a toxic personality in the office, unreasonable work hours, or boring work detail. While you always have the right to walk away from anything that isn't good for you, sometimes staying to tackle problems like these helps you to develop problem-solving skills.


For example, staying at a job where one of your coworkers is toxic and drains your energy can teach you how to respond to toxic people (because, sadly, they're everywhere in the working world). That's not to say that you should ever have to put up with bullying or harassment. Part of dealing with this kind of behavior is calling it out and letting it be known that it's not acceptable, and persevering with your job will give you a chance to build these important skills that you'll be able to apply elsewhere in your career, per TheMuse. If your job isn't so bad that it's making you sick or compromising your mental health, it may be worth sticking it out for the personal development you may go through. 


You'll find the right job faster

There are a lot of people out there who want to quit their jobs but decide to wait until they have something else lined up before handing in their resignation. You could argue that this is a smart strategy, since they won't find themselves without an income in a world where the cost of living continues to rise. However, a common occurrence with people like this is that they end up staying in the job they hate for a long time because searching for another position becomes a secondary priority. With their current role taking up most of their time, they only work on finding a better job when they can, so the process moves along a lot more slowly.


On the other hand, when you quit as soon as you know that you want to, you can put all your attention into finding a better position, and you may get one faster. There are also other things that are worth doing for your career that you'll be able to do once you're no longer stuck in a job you hate. Quick quitting might give you the opportunity to study or gain some practical experience. Maybe it will allow you the freedom to set up your own business. If nothing else, quick quitting without anything to fall back on will allow you to really think about where you'd like to end up with your career, and what you can do to make that happen.

You might be leaving before you get a chance to really understand the role

The first few months at any job can be stressful. Especially if you're thrown in the deep end, you might end up constantly making mistakes and being criticized for them. You might struggle to make friends if your workplace is cliquey. Or you might feel like you can never relax because you have to constantly check the policies and guidelines to make sure you're doing the right thing. One thing to keep in mind is that this early struggle is not always indicative of how the role is going to feel over the long term.


For many people, work becomes more enjoyable once they get the hang of their responsibilities, make a few friends at the office, and stop needing to ask the boss for guidance every two minutes. When you quick quit, you're not sticking around to see if the job could actually be something you enjoy.

Sometimes, you know in your bones that a job isn't right for you, even if you've only been there a few days. But if you have any doubts, it may be worth sticking it out through that initial rough patch. You might have found a gem that's hiding behind a rough orientation period.