When your New Job is Not What You Expect

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when your new job is not what you expect

Your interview went so well, the panel liked you and chose you over all the candidates they met. You are still reeling and giddy with excitement since you got that good-news call. You might have seen some red flags in the company during your interview sessions but downplayed them. On your first day at work, you begin noticing a few things here and there that raise your eyebrows. By the end of the week you are doubting your choice of an employer and by end month you are sure this was not a good career move for you.

If only there was a way for you to know if a company you are going to is everything you have ever wanted in a job before you sign the offer letter. Sadly, there isn’t any yet, and it is always a risk. If you have just started a new job and it’s beginning to feel like a nightmare, here are a few tips that will help you survive or thrive, depending on your decision.

Ask Yourself, “Why Do I Hate My Job?”

why do i hate my job?

You need to objectively find out whether the problem lies with you or the job. Change is as good as a rest, but it is not always easy. If you are the type that needs time to familiarise yourself with a new environment, maybe you need to take time and acclimate. Maybe there are a few things that are different from what you are used to. Does that mean you should just pick your unpacked bags and leave? Beware of the pull of your previous comfort zone trying to drag you back. Growth is not always smooth. If you realize that you might have issues settling down, address these issues by giving yourself time and trying as much as possible to be comfortable in your new work station.

If you discover that the issues are external and have nothing at all to do with you, you might then consider these next steps;

Clearly Identify the Core Issues

After confirming that you have no issue at all and your new-kid phase is over, but you still can’t shake off the uneasy feeling, it is now time to look outward. What in this environment is making you uneasy? Is it your current boss? The culture? The people who don’t seem as welcoming as you thought they were? Is the orientation process not helping you settle down at all? The clearer you are about what exactly is upsetting you, the easier it becomes to fix it or simply move on to a better-suiting job.

Is there a Silver Lining in Your New Job?

pros and cons of your new job

Everything in your new job can’t be all bad and depressing. There must be some highlights that make you look forward to going to work every morning. It might be your colleagues or the fact that your pay is substantially higher than your previous job. The work life balance there might be something to write a whole email home about, or the office offers breakfast and lunch as perks. Whatever it is, no matter how small, take note. It will help when you start drawing that pros and cons list of your new workplace.

The silver linings in your new job will make your stay worthwhile and bearable and you continue searching for a new job opportunity elsewhere.

Re-evaluate Your CV

It is always a good idea to keep editing your CV with every new development in your career. However, you might want to keep your short stint at your new company out of your resume. Depending on how long it takes to get a new job, consider making this job disappear; especially if your stay is really short and you learn nothing new. It will be very difficult to explain to a prospective employer why you left a new employer after just two months.

Consult Your Mentor

not enjoying new job-speak to mentor

This is one of those times in your career when the presence of a mentor makes a whole lot of difference. Sometimes when we are going through what we consider our most difficult times, we might think our whole world is crushing. Someone with more experience always helps put things into perspective. A mentor will help you identify where the problem is and ways of fixing it. They will be able to objectively separate emotions and logic and give you the push you need to sit through the painful growth or advice to leave for a better place. It helps to have someone who has probably gone through the same situation at some point in their career.

There’s Nothing Wrong with Going Back to Your Old Job

If you left your previous job in good faith, you might consider going back. Sometimes the grass is not greener on the other side and you may just realize this after settling into your new workstation. If you are still on good terms with your previous supervisor, you might call them up and ask for your old position back. You can then go back to your old position and both of you can pretend the little hiatus never happened.

In Conclusion

Your job takes eight of your waking hours every day. It is what defines your ‘what you do for a living’. Therefore, you need to be somewhere that adds value to your whole self and gives your life meaning. So if you find yourself in a place that makes you uneasy, rattled or unhappy you need to objectively find out what the cause is. Sometimes you just need to toughen up a little and face this new stage of growth in your life, so you can sit it out as you gain skills and life lessons in the place. Other times you will realise that you are losing more than you are gaining. It is just a job, don’t let it ruin your perspective of life or make you lose yourself. Get away as soon as you can. Regardless of your ultimate decision, ensure it is something you can live with.

Doreen Mueke
Doreen is the Senior Content Marketer at Ringier One Africa Media.