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Leaving a job after six months might seem nerve-wracking. You’re no longer brand new, and you likely have real responsibilities at work. Your manager has come to depend on you. You may even feel like you’re part of a team.
Here’s how to make your resignation as smooth as possible and maintain professional relationships with your colleagues and supervisors.
When you want to leave your job after six months
If you’re considering quitting your job, write down everything about it that makes you want to leave. Then run through the list and see if any problems can be solved, whether by talking to your supervisor or human resources.
A conversation with your manager could potentially improve things, like an unsustainable workload, too little work-life balance or issues you’re experiencing with a coworker. If you opt to talk to your manager and try to resolve any issues before quitting, offer some solutions to the problems you highlight.
Point being: If there are parts of your job causing stress or anxiety, see if you can solve those problems first.
Also, consider that you’re more attractive as a job candidate if you’re currently employed, says Tamiera S. Harris, a life and career coach and founder of Black Career Coach in Philadelphia. Think about whether it would be possible for you to keep your current position while looking for another job.
Applying to other jobs before quitting will also give you an idea of what your industry’s job market looks like. If you apply to several jobs, and you don’t hear from any of the hiring managers, that could indicate a competitive job market, and it may be best to hold onto your existing job until you find a new one.
However, if you’re dealing with problems that go beyond everyday work woes — such as inappropriate conduct, discrimination, harassment, or unethical or illegal job duties — going straight to human resources may be the best course of action, Harris says.
Steps to quitting after a short time
Your main goal should be to stay fully engaged in your role until your last day. This can help you avoid hard feelings and leave on the best possible terms.
Write your formal two weeks notice. When it’s time to quit, have your two weeks’ notice in writing. And be prepared to pass along project statuses and suggest plans for managing them. You’ll show your manager that you want to help the team through the transition.
Meet with your manager. If you work in-person, meet with your manager face-to-face. If you’re a remote worker, you can simply schedule a video conference meeting. In either case, start the conversation by thanking your manager for your time at the company. Then, you can tell them you’re formally submitting your notice.
Brace for negotiations. Your manager or supervisor may offer solutions or incentives to get you to stay. They could also re-open salary negotiations or ask to restart the conversation again in a few days. Decide ahead of time whether you want to negotiate. You can kindly decline their offer if your decision is final.
Keep it simple. Your manager or supervisor will likely ask for specific reasons why you’re quitting. Ultimately, you don’t have to provide any reasons, and only need to share as much information as you’d like to share. Keep in mind that they may appreciate feedback about your experience.
For example, uou can be straightforward if you’re quitting because you need a job that better aligns with your goals. Or if you want to develop a specific skill that’s not required in your current role, it’s OK to say so.
You may want to avoid sharing that you’re quitting because you clash with a coworker if you haven’t already raised this concern with your manager.
End on a high note. Wrap things up by thanking your manager for the time and energy they’ve invested in you during your time at the company. Maybe offer an example of a project or responsibility that helped you grow. And offer to help transition your projects and tasks to other team members.
Should you list the job on your resume?
Whether you list a shorter-term job on your resume depends on how relevant it is to your broader career goals, Harris says. If it is, feel free to include it on your resume.
You could also create a job category on your resume for temporary opportunities, Harris says, and list the role there.
If the job isn’t tied to your broader goals, though, or you have plenty of relevant work experience, feel free to leave the job off your resume.