I am in the middle of a postdoc that I want to quit to move to another postdoc. I don’t have experience with changing jobs in academia so I am looking for an advice how to accomplish this in the least painful way.
There are many threads on SE about quitting a job, mostly on the workplace. In industry it’s simple: upon finding a new job, one gives notice without prior announcement and completes the notice period. And in most cases it’s understandable and it doesn’t burn bridges.
Academia might be different: relations are more sensitive, and circles are smaller as one needs recommendation letters, get papers and grants reviewed, and so on.
So the question is how to leave a postdoc prematurely without burning bridges?
Is it better to just quit without much explanation or to gradually announce to my professor that I would like to start looking for a new postdoc because I am not happy with the current one?
The main reason for quitting is that I don’t find the department to be a nice environment and I am doing menial work from which I don’t benefit. Explaining these reasons won’t be received well by the professor and the department because they think that the project is great. People are nice to me but discussing this won’t help nor much can change my mind. On the other hand, I’m not sure if suddenly quitting will be received well too and might jeopardize my future career.