Not in love with your new job?


So you took a new job.  Congrats!  Except the new job isn’t exactly what you thought it was and now you desperately want out.  Or perhaps want your old job again.  What should you do?

This happens more frequently than you might think.  In fact, one of our employees just went through this, and returned back to her old job!  Here are some tips for navigating this tricky situation:

1.  First off, don’t panic.  When you take a new job there is always transition and a sense of “I don’t know what I am doing.”  This is normal.  It usually takes 2-3 months to get a good sense of what you do on a day to day basis, and get into a routine that feels comfortable.

2.  If you are really dreading going to work each day, or waking up in the middle of the night worried about all things work, it’s time to go.  This is why many companies have a 90 day period, where they are testing you, and you are doing the same to find out if it is a good fit.  I’ve heard in the past that when you take a new job you should commit to that job for at least 18 months or two years.  I don’t agree.  If it’s not a good fit for you, move on.  You’ll be better off, and the company will be better off as well.  Life is too short to be miserable for 18 months or longer!

3.  If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll probably be beating yourself for being so stupid as to why you would have made such a bad decision.  Stop.  Forgive yourself, and look at this as a learning experience.  The quicker you can forgive yourself, the quicker you’ll get back on track.

4.  So you know you need to leave, but you need a paycheck.  I’d suggest not quitting with no plan, but making a plan to get out as soon as possible.  Usually with your back against the wall is when you perform the best.  Maybe that plan includes reaching out to a former employer or boss.  Perhaps you get on the phone and talk to your friends about opportunities where they work.  If the situation is bad enough, you may consider making a short term plan to get by such as stocking groceries, delivering food, or driving uber while finding your next gig.

5.  Learn.  Find clarity.  Don’t take another job if you are just going to be miserable again.  Figure out what it is you value most and enjoy in your job.  The people, atmosphere, daily duties, sense of accomplishment.  These are the things that matter.

A Real Story

Remember the co-worker I mentioned earlier that just went through this tough experience and returned to her old job?  Here’s what she had to say about starting a job that was not a good fit:

I would say I knew pretty darn quickly. To be quite honest, I think I was questioning things in the interview that I thought I could ‘work through’. The office was super depressing – grey colors and no décor or anything to lighten the atmosphere. Everyone was stuck in separate cubicles with walls so you felt isolated from the world and there didn’t really seem to be any collaboration. Some employees were allowed to make others feel small daily and that just didn’t sit right with me.

So I would say trusting your gut is crucial, I kept ignoring mine and it was clearly telling me something. I think all of it is very personal to the individual person, but for me the signs were – having a lot of anxiety going into the office, dreading work instead of looking forward to the work or challenge, taking the stress of work home with me and being depressed even after leaving work…truly just thinking about making it through the week felt like the biggest task. When I thought about my career path or where I saw myself in a year or 5 – it wasn’t with that company. I was honestly thinking every day – how much longer can I hold on?

I didn’t feel like I made a difference at the end of the day. Even though I had accomplished tasks – I didn’t feel accomplished with the work I was doing.

Oh and my family noticing and asking me why I was so sad or stressed. That one was probably the biggest. Once it affected my family that was it.

We hope you are in a good fit at work. If you’re not, why not check out some of our career resources or open jobs today.