What to Do When You Hate Your New Job

It’s happened to all of us: you take a job you think will be amazing. All the time you’ve spent getting your resume and portfolio ready, those hours in interviews, the seemingly endless waiting game-- it’s all finally paid off, right?

Then you get down to business. It’s not what you expected. In fact, you’re a little shocked at how bad it is. Sure, you’ve given time to acclimate, endured some growing pains, but something else is wrong. Taking this job was a mistake. So, what do you do?

Look below at the ways you can make your situation better.

If the job duties are different than expected

There’s a chance that you may end up taking a new position that feels completely different than what you thought it was. Perhaps your interviews with the organization made you feel like the job was going to have one set of responsibilities, while the reality is you have day-to-day tasks that don’t seem to relate. In this case, assess the ways in which your job is different than expected and then assess your reaction. Is it that you don’t feel qualified to do the job? Do you lack resources around you to complete your tasks successfully? Or do you simply dislike the duties?

After you gain clarity about why these differences make you dislike your job, it’s time to talk to your boss. Express your concerns clearly. There may be viable explanations as to why things are different than you hoped. After this discussion, monitor your situation. If it doesn’t get better, it’s time to put feelers out for a new opportunity. Throughout this process, always do the best you can. If you put in a good effort, it will reflect well on you, which is good for receiving recommendations down the line. At the very least, it will prevent you from being fired before you can find another job.

If the work culture is not a match

Every work environment is different, and some are harder to adapt to than others. Have months passed, and you still feel like you don’t fit in? Do certain personalities in the workplace make you feel stressed and anxious? Are the “unwritten rules” of the company in conflict with your values? Then it is time to seriously consider a definitive next step, rather than attempting to push through it.

If there’s toxic behavior in the workplace, consult the company policy. Also, check the state and federal laws that govern human resources. If that behavior is in violation of one or both mandates, file a complaint with your HR department.

If your situation is not that severe, you have the option to give it more time. This won’t be feasible for every situation, but there are cases where there could be short term stressors that will work themselves out. Projects can end, funding can be secured, new products launched making everyone relax a little more. There won’t always be room for changes like these but considering the effort, you put forth to land the job investing a little time to see if things smooth out may make sense.

If the boss is just horrible

A terrible boss is one of the toughest problems to deal with, due to the status of the working relationship. There’s no avoiding your boss, and they have the upper hand in the power dynamic. Still, there’s a way to not let this highly stressful situation control your life.

Much like the other situations discussed above, name the specific ways in which you and your boss don’t work well together. Schedule time to sit down with your boss to talk about your differences. You may be able to come to an understanding that makes the working relationship viable. Ask him/her how they think the working relationship is going? Make room to hear constructive criticism and listen to feedback on your behavior. Perhaps your uneasiness is reflected in your tone, behavior, and actions on the job? Be sure the meeting is one which allows for give and take of both side’s opinions. After your boss has had some time to share, speak up about your feelings. Present concrete ways in which you can offer advice to your boss which will change your reactions and strengthen your communication. Practice writing these down and presenting to a loved one, trusted friend or the mirror. Waiting until you are in the moment will allow emotion to rule and your presentation may come off as defensive rather than well thought out.

Lastly, If it is a situation you believe you must bring to HR, do so, and with as much evidence as you can find. The more solid a case you can build in your favor, the higher the likelihood is that HR will be able to act on it.

If neither of these things works, begin thinking about how you will leave the position. Aim to do so as gracefully as possible.

No matter which route you take, remember that nothing is permanent, and you have the power to change your situation. A job that doesn’t fit won’t last forever, and you have the talent to find a better one.

Using a specialized Recruiter can help you to find your dream job. If you find yourself in a new job that isn't a match, call me today to help you get the job you deserve.


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