Have you ever resigned during the probation period?

TL,DR: I don’t get along with my manager, to the point where I seriously consider resigning during the probation period. How would I justify leaving after three months when applying for a new position elsewhere?

Here’s some more background information:

I’ve been in my new job since March. I enjoy the work and can confidently say that I’m really good at it. Most people in the company are really nice and financial benefits are excellent. However, it’s been an incredible roller coaster with my manager: He’s been praising me to the stars and attacking me mercilessly, often within a few days and all for no discernible reason. We already had a few unsuccessful attempts at sorting out our differences. He’s got a terrible reputation and he’s also told me about some mental health issues he’s been having lately. Others on the team also struggle with him. So I know it’s not me.

Yesterday we met to discuss the conclusion of my probation period. Among the consistently excellent praise there was one major customer who also had some criticism. You never please everybody to their fullest satisfaction, that’s normal, so let’s go and see what we can do. My manager however refused to say what was even written. He then delayed his decision on the outcome of the probation period until next Wednesday, asking for some further discussion.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I want to leave that place. Right now, my preferred option is giving notice before the end of the month to get out as quickly as I can. Then live off my (sufficiently available) savings before being entitled to job seeker allowances.

But how will I justify leaving after only three months? How do companies react to that? Has anybody ever been through a similar situation?


I haven’t had the situation (from the employee perspective).
But that’s what the probation period is for - to assess (and make the pull if needed) from both sides.
No issue IMO in explaining prospective employers that it didn’t fit (although I would leave too many details - like the “mental health of the manager” out of it).


I did it for my first job, though I had another job aligned that I took on right after. My boss was kind of crazy, my desk was located next to the printer and it came to the point where I was dreading hearing documents being printed because it could be him coming around. We did disagree about how to handle things and had a few vocal fights about it, it wasn’t going to work.

Civil engineering is a small world, all I had to do is state the truth, that the boss was emotionally unreliable and unable to manage his teams and that, although I enjoyed the job in and of itself, that being told “don’t work on that project, it is not a priority” then being screamed upon “why is that very project not done yet! I need it in 2 hours!” because he had received a call from the client in the meantime was not part of my job prospects. He was known in the industry and I had no trouble finding another place to work for.

I am kind of facing a similar situation currently, in that I got fired by my employer for not being able to perform a job that takes 36h per day in 10h per day. When they fired me, their discourse was that it wasn’t working, that our clients were dissatisfied and they had chosen to let me go. The first thing I did is a reality check and called a few clients important for my career prospects. They know how my bosses are, understand fully that I was pit against the impossible and are appreciative of what I got done despite the odds that didn’t favor it. Once again, my employer has earned their own reputation and I have no fear for my career prospects going forward, though I am making sure that any hole in my resume could be easily explainable (an easy way to to that right now is to use the time to self train with your favorite “IA” tool to try and use it to increase your productivity. Adding that line on a resume should have value).

I think leaving the jobs that destroy ourselves is part of financial independence and if you have the financial means to do it (that is bridging any penalty from unemployment insurance coming from voluntarily leaving your current job), I would not hesitate to do it, provided I have confidence in my own value and trust I can find gainful activity before unemployment insurance and my own money run out.


If it happened once, should not be a problem.


OMG that’s precisely one of the things that happened to me in this job!

Yes. I wonder why I’m being so hard on myself when one of the reasons I’ve been saving and investing is exactly this freedom…


We have a natural tendency toward preserving what we have that makes it harder to move. We can aclimate ourselves to even the worst and awful of situations, breaking out requires strength of will.

If you are working in Martigny, I know where you are. :wink: (Though I have no doubt this behavior is unfortunately common enough that you may encounter it wherever you are.)


Sorry for derailing, but when I was in this situation (and having no easy way out), I started to demand sending me my tasks per E-Mail. Having it in written gave me discussion arguments.


Sounds like you might want to stay and that the real issue is the manager. Can’t you talk to the manager above him/her and see if you can get assigned to someone else?

Otherwise, leaving won’t be an issue in your CV, if you have a good explanation and you won’t be doing it at every single position you take.


I had the same behaviour in my company.
My previous manager was micro managing every one.
Arguing all the time on tasks and projects not done.
Every team members had to send email to back them up.
We were constantly in meeting explaining why what we were not doing.
It took a couple 1-2 years with 80% of the team turn over and few people telling the truth when leaving for HR and upper management to take action and sack him.


I think people can understand that somebody leaves a position where it did not work, in particular if it was during the probation period. I think recruiters would be more worried if somebody does this a lot than somebody who does it just once.

But there is an important rule: do not ever speak negatively about a former employer in interviews for a new one. They could fear that you might do the same about them the next time you switch jobs.

I’d simply make a neutral statement that things did not work out and that you decided it was best to seek a new opportunity. Also I think you can demand a work confirmation from the employer you are leaving, and ask that they put in there all the praise you got. Work confirmations are never negative, if there is something to blame, it is only done by omission of statements.


I think you nailed it. I would like to stay with the company but under no circumstances under that same manager.

The current plan is this: Talk to the manager one level up on Tuesday and, if that conversation doesn’t yield any positive outcome, walk up to HR on Wednesday and resign.

I have about 15 years of work experience in my field. Always had excellent relationships with managers, customers, team members. Always had a stellar reputation, flawless testimonials, always been a respected and sought out expert. Yet here in this company I find myself treated like I’m the last idiot. It is so confusing and frustrating. :grimacing:


From an employer perspective, I don’t see any issue with hiring someone who comes from another company’s probation, we had a few cases. Try to get a probation closure statement (or reference if they are willing) clearly stating termination was your decision, so there are no doubts as to your performance.

In fact better to quit now than in six months’ time, the shorter the time spent there the easier to explain why it didn’t work out. Especially if they can see you’re not job hopping.

+1 to the suggestion to read up on AI tools and add to resume, which the tools themselves can do, incidentally :slight_smile:


Can relate. Everyone deserves to be treated respectfully, even if not performing well. Else, it’s a clear case of mobbing and emotional abuse. Some things you describe are actually well-known forms of mobbing, you can easily read up on it. A guy I know had to hire a labour law lawyer because things became so bad. Quite generally, I’d recommend everyone to get legal insurance, cause you never know.

Don’t expect much from HR, they’re in cahoots with management (my experience from a management position). In some cases it’s best to just get out asap to protect yourself from mental harm. Part of the reason why it’s important to always keep enough “f*ck you”-money, but I believe we Mustachians know that already :wink:

Stay strong, respect yourself, and all the best!


I went through a similar situation. As a result, I became sick and am now in a therapy to refocus on myself, my values and my position towards work.

Moral: never accept a job if your feeling is not good. Every employer in the world will understand the argument of “it wasn’t the challenge I expected”, or “I wasn’t able to use my knowledge and skills to the maximum in the job”.

No further questions will be asked.


This is so true. In my current job I have two people reporting to me. One of them made a rather stupid mistake last week. She was really depressed after that. I told her that she’s got this, that she’s ok, and that we all have her back. She was a different person after that!

Mistakes can be classified into lapses, errors, and rule breakers. Must things are lapses, followed by errors. My manager here seems to treat everything like rule breakers.

I had the same thought. Inviting somebody on a Friday to discuss the end of their probation period. Showing them the 90% positive feedback, retaining the 10% criticism and refusing to commit. That’s borderline mobbing.

This is one of the things that scare me. If I complete the probation period I’ll have six months notice. That means that if I resign in June I’ll have to stay there until January 2024!

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No way ! 6 months is huge ! The max I heard of was 3 full months.

It’s because I am over 45 years old.

Listen to yourself and your intuition, the rest doesn’t matter. I guarantee that if I had to do it all over again today, I would never repeat the “mistake” of not listening to myself and not accepting the obvious negative signals.

I’ve learned a lot from my misfortune, but I wouldn’t wish on anyone what I’m going through/have gone through.


I did, just last year. Probation period is two-sided. There were too many red flags, and I was already stressed with it after two months - to the point of losing sleep. Don’t neglect your gut feeling!


HR - Usually useless. Besides the fact that there are many ways to do mobbing that are almost impossible to demonstrate. There are real psychos out there capable of manipulating, mobbing and gaslighting in ways you would never believe it is possible.

Insurance - Absolutely, or affiliating to a Union like UNIA that provide free legal help (included in the monthly quota of course) for stuff related to work.

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