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What to Do if You Don’t Like Your New Job

It’s your third week, and you’re dreading your one-on-one with your boss. You don’t feel settled in at your new company, you don’t feel like you’ve made a great impression, and you definitely don’t know what to talk about with your manager.

Unfortunately, these feelings are all too common. Many people have recently made the leap to a new job, hoping for greener pastures. But that’s not always the case, and knowing whether to stay or go in those situations can be frustrating and unsettling.

The good news is that changing your mindset, gaining control of your situation, and taking action will help you cope and even thrive. In this piece, I’ll explain when it’s a good idea to leave a job, when it’s a good idea to stay, and what frameworks you can use to make the most out of your situation.

When should you leave a new job?

First, let’s talk about when your work environment isn’t working for you. One sign that it’s in your best interest to leave is coming home from work utterly exhausted. Being so drained of energy that you can’t spend quality time with friends, pets, or family isn’t healthy.

Being worried about work over the weekend or while on vacation is also harmful. As a general rule, it’s important to monitor your physical and mental well-being. If you are feeling drained, exhausted, and are in a bad mood for more than half of your workday, it might be time to make a change.

What are some signs you should stay in a new job?

Sometimes it takes a while to get accustomed to a new role. And while it can feel uncomfortable at first, sticking it out may very well be worth it. Pay and benefits are an obvious place to start. Are you well-compensated for your work? If yes, then ask yourself whether this role is getting you closer to your end career goals.

Also, pay attention to how other people feel at the company. Are they happy and doing their best work? If you have positive observations about your fellow employees, are meeting inspiring colleagues, and feel like a productive environment, maybe you should give the job some more time. 

7 Steps to follow if you don’t like your new job

As soon as you get that nagging feeling that you made the wrong job decision, I recommend walking through these steps to set you up for success—no matter what you choose to do next.

  1. Reframe your mindset – Let’s face it, it’s easy to get in our heads and start believing we made the wrong choice prematurely. Instead, remind yourself how hard you worked to get this role and what convinced you to come on board. 
  1. Readjust your expectations – Expecting yourself to get up to speed and make an immediate impact is unreasonable, just like expecting your manager and the company culture to be a perfect fit is unreasonable. So make an effort to understand and potentially recalibrate your expectations, leaving room for being grateful for the opportunity you have.
  1. Determine if it’s something you can fix – Perhaps the company you chose to work for is right up your alley, but you’re on the wrong team. Or maybe you and your coworker aren’t getting along. Or you don’t have the tools to do your job. Try to pinpoint what you need that’s missing at work and find out if there’s a way to get it.
  1. Give yourself a timeframe – There are always a lot of unknowns in a new job, so you should give yourself some time to test the waters, start developing relationships, and showcase your talents. If, after a while, nothing is helping, set a timeframe for making a go/no-go decision.
  1. Speak with management – Your manager cares about your success. So if you’re really having a hard time living up to your potential and aren’t getting the support you need on your own, it’s worth asking your manager for help. They may know about other positions in the company that are a better fit or get you the resources or training you need to perform your best.
  1. Get ready for a transition – If nothing is working, it’s time to start looking for a different job. Research new companies, update and polish your resume, and schedule coffee chats with your network.
  1. Speak with a recruiter – Recruiters are experts in finding the right job for you. They know who is hiring for what types of roles. Recruiters are also skilled at finding the right culture fit. So, to avoid getting cold feet again, schedule time with a recruiter to share what you’re looking for in your next position and let them work their magic. 

Be confident in your job change

Adapting to a new role is tough, and in most cases, altering your mindset and expectations can work wonders. But no matter how much pre-work and research you do, it’s still possible to end up in a role that’s not suited to you一especially when you’re looking on your own.

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