Wednesday, March 19, 2008

When You Hate the New Job

When you accepted the job, you were excited about the new opportunities chance to enhance your skills. But three months later, all you can think of, is “What was I thinking?”

You now believe you’ve made a mistake when you accepted a new job. Something doesn’t feel right. Maybe you don’t like the people you work with, maybe you don’t like the duties you have been given, maybe you cannot stand your boss. Whatever the reason, it’s difficult to admit that things are going seriously wrong after only 90 days on the job.

What are you going to do? Can you quit this early in the game? Can the situation be fixed or is it only going to get worse? Should you tell anyone?

Before panic sets in, the first thing you should do is step back and start to look at the facts. Is the job affecting you outside of work? Are you anxious, grumpy or can't sleep at night? If so, then you know the problems are serious enough to address. Ignoring it will only make it worse.

Some actions you can take include:

* Get feedback. Talk to your friends or family and ask them what they hear you say about the job. This will help you pinpoint the areas that may be causing you the most stress.
* Go to the boss. Tell him or her that something isn’t working and you'd like to talk about it. Just don't expect the boss to "fix" the problem for you. Ask the boss to serve as a sounding board to try and figure out what is happening. Remember, the boss has put time and money into hiring you, and hasn't begun to see her investment returned in the short time you've been there. It's in her best interest -- and that of the company -- to find a way to make the job work better for you.
* Know when to cut your losses. If the problems are serious -- you ethically disagree with company policy or you're asked to do duties you find reprehensible or just have no interest in -- then it's probably time to just move on and learn from the experience. Begin looking around and contact people you had interviewed with before you accepted your current position.
* Take responsibility. When you begin interviewing for a new position, you may want to avoid putting such a short-term job on your resume. But if you do decide to mention it to hiring managers, explain that you thought the job was a good fit, but it became clear after a short time on the job that you had not asked the right questions and take full responsibility for it not working out the way you had planned. "So now," you tell the hiring manager, "I've learned that I have several more questions I'd like to ask."



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3 comments:

Rick said...

Nice stuff Anita! I read the post then suffered a brief flashback because of a personal experience. ;-) I especially like your last point: Take responsibility. But here's another twist on it. If you believed you asked the right questions when you were interviewed for that short-term job, didn't see any potential land mines and took the job, you could still be blindsided if you don't do a good job researching the employer. Companies appreciate that more since it projects thoroughness on the job seeker's part and helps both sides determine the potential for a good, mutual fit. And it can't hurt to say in an interview (hopefully after you have demonstrated that you did your research): "I learned that I had to do more research before the interview, and, as you may be able to tell (smile), I did in this case."

Rick said...

Nice stuff Anita! I read the post then suffered a brief flashback because of a personal experience. ;-) I especially like your last point: Take responsibility. But here's another twist on it. If you believed you asked the right questions when you were interviewed for that short-term job, didn't see any potential land mines and took the job, you could still be blindsided if you don't do a good job researching the employer. Companies appreciate that more since it projects thoroughness on the job seeker's part and helps both sides determine the potential for a good, mutual fit. And it can't hurt to say in an interview (hopefully after you have demonstrated that you did your research): "I learned that I had to do more research before the interview, and, as you may be able to tell (smile), I did in this case."

Anita said...

Great point! I think those of us who have lived through such a bad experience (I knew I had made a mistake my FIRST day on a new job but didn't quit until 1 1/2 years later), know that we never want to go through such a thing again if we can avoid it. Thanks for making such a good suggestion.