Is It Bad Etiquette To Quit a Job While Still in Training?

Is It Bad Etiquette To Quit a Job While Still in Training?

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Let’s face it; professional life doesn’t always work out as expected. In some cases, you might even want to leave a job before your training is complete.

HR might hold a grudge against you if you leave while still in training, but there are ways to minimize these adverse effects. It’s also important to note that there are legitimate reasons for quitting during the training phase and that future employers can understand them.

Let’s discuss the good and bad reasons for quitting while still in training and the possible consequences. Let’s get started!

Why It’s Considered Bad Etiquette To Quit During Training

The time, effort, and money spent on your recruitment and training significantly affect whether your resignation will come across as irresponsible and ungrateful.

In most companies, quitting early while still in training will come out as rude. If the company has invested a lot of resources, HR might hold a grudge against you and give you a bad reference for future employment opportunities.

No matter which way you cut it, your employer will probably not be happy about you quitting the company. This is to be expected. But it doesn’t mean you should stay when you have a legitimate reason to leave. Instead, it means that you should be very sure of your decision.

Legitimate Reasons for Leaving Your Job During the Training Phase

According to studies done by BambooHR, 33% of workers had quit their jobs within the first six months, and over 16% of those had done so within the first week. Quitting early is not as rare as it seems, and it can be explained to future employers if there is a legitimate reason behind it.

Going through such questions can help you sort through your feelings and thoughts. However, there are some clear situations when little consideration is needed for quitting. Here is a list of some of those cases:

  • You have witnessed unethical behavior or practices in the workplace.
  • Being there negatively impacts your mental or physical well-being (this might be due to a toxic environment, but it could also just be because you find the work too complex and stressful).
  • Another opportunity, more in line with your career goals and long-term growth, has presented itself.
  • Unavoidable events in your personal life mean that you can no longer work for the company.

Another reason that could be quite understandable is that the job really isn’t what you thought it was during the initial interviews. 

In fact, this reason is so common that, according to a survey from The Muse, 72% percent of millennial and Gen Z job-seekers stated that they had been surprised or regretful that a job wasn’t what they had anticipated. In addition, 20% said that they’d quit a job within a month if it wasn’t what had been advertised.

How to Mitigate the Negative Effects of Leaving a Job During the Training Phase

Here are some tips for quitting a job while still in training in a way that is professional, classy, and doesn’t necessarily burn any bridges:

  • Don’t allow yourself to get emotional about it. One of the biggest mistakes that some people make is to storm out or say things in anger as they leave. If you’re feeling angry about the job, your answer is to quit, not create a scene in the workplace that could haunt your career for years.
  • Be appreciative of the opportunity that you’ve been given. The job might not have suited you very well, or you might have found something better, but showing gratitude for the opportunity can make all the difference in how you’re perceived on your way out.
  • Be clear and direct about leaving. If the decision has been made, don’t be vague about it. Make it very clear to your manager that you are leaving.
  • Tell your manager first. Don’t let any co-workers know beforehand, as the news can reach your manager from third parties, which can cause a lot of strife as you leave.
  • Take time to write a proper letter of resignation. If you quit in a hurry, you might end up paying financial penalties.
  • Offer your two weeks’ notice. If your manager wants you to stay on a few days longer to complete the month, do so if you can. You will likely be allowed to leave far sooner or even immediately, but offer the two weeks’ notice anyway.
  • Don’t leave during an important project. Avoid quitting at a sensitive time as it can cause trouble and leave you looking unprofessional. This shouldn’t be an issue if you are still in training, though.

Do I Still Get Paid if I Quit During Training?

You will get paid if you quit during training as long as you are on a paid training program. If you were on a paid training contract, you’d get paid for the hours you worked. However, you will not be paid for the remaining pay period after quitting. 

Your contract should act as a guide on how much you’ll be paid upon quitting. As such, it is advisable to go through your contract before you start training and also before you hand in your resignation letter. 


Some may see it as bad etiquette to quit a job while in training, but it’s best to do it when you feel strongly about it. After all, if you’re sure that this job or environment is not for you, it’s better to leave earlier rather than later. 

And as much as a brief blip on your resume might not be desirable, a bad performance in a job you hate would be worse.

References and Sources

About The Author

Nathan Brunner
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Nathan Brunner is a labor market expert. He is a mathematician who graduated from EPFL.

He is the owner of Salarship, a job board where less-skilled candidates can find accessible employment opportunities.