Quit First. Ask Questions Later.

Bob Goldman on

Go ahead! Give yourself a pat on the back.

You should have quit your job on Day One, but instead you hung on. Through thick and thin, but mostly thin, you hung. Facing constant criticism, ridiculous ridicule, and a burning realization, deep in every single one of your 114 chakras, that of all the people in the world who could do your job, you were the worst, you hung.

And now that you have given yourself a pat on the back, feel free to punch yourself in the nose.

Of course, you should have quit your job on Day One!

Isn't that exactly how long it took you to realize that you and your job were not going to be a love connection? Alas, for some weird reason, like your foolish commitment to eating regularly, you didn't quit.

Well, I might not understand, but I know someone who does -- Sue Shellenbarger, the Work & Family columnist for The Wall Street Journal.

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"Even If Your New Job Is a Bad Fit, Don't Quit" is the title of Shellenbarger's recent panegyric, and, I have to admit, she makes a good case for staying at a bad job.

"Is it ever OK to quit on your first day?" Shellenbarger asks. Her answer is nugatory in the extreme.

"Starting a new job can be overwhelming," she points out. "People under stress in situations that are uncertain or ambiguous tend to make decisions that are risky or unwise."

Despite these wise words of temperance and tenacity, "more new hires are heading for the exits fast." A Career Builder survey of 3,697 U.S. employees showed that two-thirds have taken a job to realize later that it was a bad fit, and half of those employees quit within six months.


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