It’s okay to quit on your first day

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There are so many reasons to quit your job: bad environment, bad colleagues, skills mismatch, lack of passion. What happens when you step into the office on your first day and instantly feel like you don’t belong? For those who are having second thoughts about your current situation, read the title again: it’s okay to quit on your first day, or any day, for that matter. Our conservative society can put the pressure on us to tolerate torture just so that the short job stint won’t be interpreted as incompetence. Some might also stay at their position because of the competitive job market where it can be hard to find a job, especially for fresh graduates.  But when we tread the safe route to protect ourselves, we also lose greater opportunities that await us. In this attempt to “save face”, we lose our job contentment and satisfaction. If you walk into your brand new office on the first day and immediately feel like you’ve been lied to or harbour grave feelings of insecurity – put aside your pride and move on. You owe it to yourself not merely to have a job, but to enjoy doing what you do for a living. Here are some key steps in avoiding these negative feelings and ensure a more fruitful job search.

Do your research

The first step to avoid packing your things on the first day is to thoroughly do your research. Besides Internet research, talk to family and friends in the industry holding similar job positions to get a sense of what you will be getting into and decide if it’s a good fit for your personality and passion. If you can, try to get in touch with people who are working in the company and ask them about the work environment and culture. When you’re convinced that these are good prospects, tailor-make your résumé and cover letter for the application.

Make full use of the interview

When you get the call, gear yourself up for the next phase – the interview. This stage is not only for employers to screen their employees, it is also the most important part for you to be certain that you are applying for the right position and right company. It has been noted that Singaporeans do not ask enough questions and that prevents jobseekers from understanding their challenges and options. This applies to our professional lives as well. Ask questions about the work culture, job scope, and people. Nothing is too trivial when it comes to getting to know your potential workplace better because keeping quiet might just end in regret.

Take advantage of the probation period

The probation period allows your boss to ascertain if you’re the right person for the job. Concurrently, it is also the best time for you to test the waters and really make sure the job is the right fit for you too. Many Singaporeans often forget the latter, and devote all their time focused on passing their appraisal. In fact, the probation period is the best time to find out about different job scopes and roles so that you not only get a clearer grasp of your current role, but also on the different roles there are in the company. It’s also the best time to network in-house because you might find yourself a mentor who who can impart invaluable experiences to you. Your workplace should be somewhere you can see yourself doing good work and have a fulfilling career. So remember to do the research, make full use of the interview process and take the time to understand the new company during your probation period. This will prevent you from having to quit on your first day.


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Amos Tay

Amos Tay

I have over 10 years’ experience in the Logistics and Transportation industry working both as an in-house HR professional as well as an external recruiter. I have a Gallup CliftonStrength certified coach. Connect with me for your next Logistics & Supply Chain hiring role.

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