Hypothetically, let's say that someone quit their first real job out of college after one year? Would potential (second) employers look down on this? Does the reason matter? If I did something like this, it would be strictly for location reasons. The city I'm currently living in, I'm not a huge fan of. It's in the Midwest, and ideally I'd get back to the West Coast within a few years. The longer you stay in a place, the easier it is to get stuck there, so if I want to move back it's probably easier to do it sooner as opposed to later. But, I don't want to hurt myself career wise.
Is Quitting Your Job After a Year Bad?
When beginning to build your professional resume - the question of how long to stay in your first job after college can be an important one to consider as opportunities arise.
There are mixed opinions among posters about the original poster's question about leaving your job after one year. You can read them below.
User @YourWorstEnemy, a hedge fund partner, explained that leaving after a year is not a problem.
Just explain you had to seize opportunities in your best interest. Explain how you genuinely weren't satisfied at you previous position and whatever cirumstances led you to your choice.
User @IlliniProgrammer, a hedge fund quant, however, shared a different detailed perspective. They believe that leaving before 18 months can disadvantage you in the job search.
You do owe your first employer 18 months if things are going well. That's how long it typically takes for them just to make their money back after training you. Maybe not all generation Y doesn't take karma into account in their hiring decisions, but the baby boomers sure do.
Finally, of course, if I'm helping with a hiring decision, twelve months means I can't really take that work experience into account. It doesn't really tell me that you're not a screwup. 18 months gives me more info; 24 months is really what it takes. So if I'm looking at one candidate with 12 months of experience at Goldman prop trading and another with 24 months as a broker at Scottrade, the kid from Scottrade is actually going to be the winner at least on experience, all other things being equal. Not because he has more prestige, but because I at least know that a manager at Scottrade is OK with this guy's work. I also know he's not going to leave after 12 months.
Getting an amazing job offer may be a good excuse for a third employer. It might not. What I can say is that your second employer won't really be able to take your first job into consideration for your second job and that puts you at a serious disadvantage. It also looks bad to some hiring managers on the team player and loyalty fronts.
User @CompBanker, a private equity vice president, shared a similar advice:
I agree with IlliniProgrammer, one year does look bad, especially if its your first year out of school. Even if you come up with a good excuse, people will still question if you're telling the truth. If you don't have an immediate need to leave (family issues, health issues, etc.), then I highly recommend sticking it out an extra six months.
I know someone that left his Back Office tech job for another Back Office tech job after one year out of school. His boss was quite upset and said that he should never bother looking for a reference. The world is extremely small and you should never burn any bridges if you can avoid it.
User @PIE shared that if the position is an obvious step up from your previous job - there is no disadvantage to leaving but otherwise it could look like you were fired:
If its purely location I would try to stick it out (obviously easier said than done), if it was for a better position (MM-->BB) there's no reason you shouldn't take it. It will be obvious on your resume that you didn't get fired from the MM.
Leave for Private Equity / Hedge Fund after a Year
It's definitely not rare for analysts to leave after 6 months - not to sure another opp, but just to get the hell out. The next wave is usually after year 1 bonuses to pursue an opportunity with a small shop elsewhere. This is usually a decent size group, but the biggest group departs after year 2 bonuses - usually the analyst begins to really mentally check out after the 1.5-year mark (doesn't mean they work less, just know what is on the horizon), once the next opportunity is locked up - generally a P/E or other buyside/corp gig, and then leaves after 2nd year bonuses. Regarding specific figures, that definitely varies from bank to bank, and, honestly, group to group. Suffice it to say that the number leave after year 1 is definitely less than the number of analysts leaving after year 2, but is definitely not a rare occurrence either.