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Since you landed here, I’m guessing that you are looking for a list of good reasons for leaving a job after 4 months. I’m also going to guess that you’ve heard the old school advice, “you need to stay at a job for at least a year before leaving.” I myself, have heard this way too often from well-meaning people in my life. As a Career Coach, I’ve discovered that many of my clients have been told the same advice. The truth is the advice is dated and no longer relevant to the job market today. There are so many reasons for leaving a job in less than a year. A lot of these reasons are understandable. In this article, I’m going to share the Top 5 good reasons for leaving a job after 4 months.
Before getting started, I want to encourage you not to feel bad if you find yourself needing to leave a job in less than a year. Life happens, circumstances change, and you are entitled to change your mind when you see that something is not a good fit. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for the decisions you make for yourself. At the end of the day, you need to be able to walk away satisfied and at peace with whatever direction you choose to go in.
Leaving a job after 4 months is not always ideal, but many times necessary. I’ve actually had to do this several times during my career and I’ve coached professionals who have also done the same. The key is to not make it a constant habit. In the coming weeks, I’ll share an article on how to address job hopping and short tenures with employers. If you want to be the first to read the article, make sure to sign up for the blog mailing list. Alright, I promise, now it’s time to dive into 5 good reasons for leaving a job after 4 months.
Reason #1- You got a better job offer.
Sometimes job offers don’t always align at the time you need them to. Whenever you are conducting a job search you may attend multiple interviews. Different companies have different hiring timelines. Some offers can take 2 weeks, while others take 1 or two months. If an offer comes after you’ve started a new role, you may consider leaving. Or if after 4 months you’re not sold on the current job you’re in, you may find it beneficial leaving a job after 4 months.
If you choose a different offer, make sure to weigh the pros and cons of the role. Ask questions about the onboarding process, professional development opportunities, salary, perks, and benefits. Leaving after 4 months is a big decision and you want to make the most informed choice possible. If a better offer comes and you start to feel a sense of guilt for leaving your job, don’t! Remember that you have to make career decisions that are best for you. If you feel a sense of guilt, check out my article, how to quit your job and not feel guilty.
Reason #2- You realize it’s not a good fit.
Within the first 3 months in a new role, you should be able to know whether or not you want to stay long-term. If you’re not enjoying the job or the environment, it may be time to go. I remember starting a job and quickly realizing it wasn’t a good fit. After 2 weeks I quickly discovered that I wasn’t a huge fan of the Director’s personality, the daily tasks were boring, and the office had way too much drama. I knew that I wouldn’t thrive there long-term, so I decided to leave sooner than later.
There’s no harm in realizing that a job is not a good fit after 4 months. It is better to leave sooner than later. This will help the company find someone who is a better fit. It also helps the company avoid spending additional funds and time when it comes to training you. Is there a point in staying in a job you hate for more than a year if you don’t have to?
Reason #3- You have to be a caregiver.
Life happens. As I’ve gotten older (and after 2020), I have quickly realized that life is short and fragile. We can never get time back, but we can choose how we spend it. If someone in your family gets sick, you may have to step into the role of being a caregiver. Depending on the health and medical requirements of the person you will be caring for, you may not be able to work full-time.
Before making a drastic decision, take time to speak with your employer and benefits department. Explore flexible working arrangements. Ask if you can work remotely or drop down to a part-time schedule. You can also ask about their policy on taking a leave of absence. If you like the job, make sure to explore all of your options.
Reason #4- The company is going through major changes.
I’ve met and coached many professionals who have started a job and experienced downsizing shortly after. If you’re hearing talks of budget cuts, financial crisis, or downsizing, it may be time to start looking for a new role. When it comes to your career, it is important that you are looking out for your financial well-being. Do not feel bad for leaving for more stability.
Reason #5-The environment is toxic.
If you start a new job and discover that the environment is toxic, leave as soon as possible. You will not regret leaving a job after 4 months if the environment is verbally and emotionally abusive. Even in a short time period, toxic environments can take a heavy toll on you and cause stress. Staying and trying to “tough it out” or “fix it” is not worth your energy.
As a Career Coach, I hear this question A LOT! Here’s my philosophy on quitting jobs before 1 year. You do not have to stay in a job for one year before you consider leaving. If you know it’s a bad fit and you don’t enjoy the role, there is no point in staying and suffering due to a made up rule. As long as you don’t make a habit of starting and quitting jobs, you will be fine.
Everyone makes career mistakes. It’s important to recognize them early on before wasting your time or the employer’s time. Think about it this way, if you leave a job in 4 months, you have 8 more months that you can spend in a job you love within that same year! There are no rules set in stone when it comes to careers. You have to do what is best for you.
A part of making decisions that are best for you, is not needing to justify your thoughts and decisions to others. A good reason for leaving a job after 4 months is whatever you want the reason to be. There is no magical answer or reason so please don’t spend time worrying about the reason you’re going to give.
Be honest, sincere, and relatable. Life happens, mistakes occur, and it’s never too late to start over. When attending an interview, avoid bashing your previous employer. Also avoid going into too many details. Remain positive, focus on the future, and talk about why you want to work for the company. Future employers want to know that you’re in it for the long-haul with them, so ease their mind by showing that you’ve done research and have been intentional with your next move.
I hope this article answered your questions about what are good reasons for leaving a job after 4 months.
If you have left a job after 3, 4, or 6 months, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comment section. I’m sure you’ll inspire someone with your story!
Cheers to your success!