Is Your New Job… Just Not What You Thought It Would Be

By Joe Stein

It is one of the worst nightmares of any person who has just started a new job. The excitement of starting a new job has worn off quickly and reality has set in. Your new position is not what you thought it would be. It, unfortunately, is a situation that occurs  much too often and can sometimes be avoided.
 
If you find yourself in this predicament, once the magnitude of what you just concluded has settled in, you then have to decide what to do about this situation. There are several options for you to explore and below we will examine each one with the understanding that this is absolutely not an ideal situation for a person to be in.
 
·         Option #1: Do Nothing – It Will Pass: Sometimes the unbearable feeling you have with a new position is simply because it is new. For most people, change can be pretty nerve wrecking and giving it time will make it better as you adjust to your new surroundings. You may just need to give yourself some time to get to know any new processes you learned or how to interact with your co-workers. If you feel that this is the situation, then any quick decisions may prove to be an overreaction.
 
·         Option #2: Try to Make It Better – This may especially be an option for the person who is naturally optimistic. The first step is to determine what is it about the new position that is not working for you? If it is something that is potentially fixable, you can determine how to go about trying to make it better. For example, if you feel that you were inadequately trained, you can approach your supervisor for additional guidance. Following this option, however, may require some finesse on your part, as you don’t want to come across as being someone who does not take accountability, a complainer, or just an overall problem employee.
 
·         Option #3Do Nothing – Bide Your Time: Short tenures can be really detrimental to your work history, due to how it negatively reflects on your resume. A person can probably explain one short employment experience, but each additional one will make things more difficult. If this is not your first short tenure, then you may want to make the difficult decision of biding your time until you feel that it will not negatively impact your resume. There is no magic time period where you will not be penalized for your short tenure, but generally anything less than a year will be heavily scrutinized.
 
·         Option #4: Seek Other Employment: You may determine that you have no option but to seek new employment. If you find yourself at this decision point, then a little preparation work by you is in order prior to diving into your job search. 
-     Review your most recent job search experience while at your current employer. During the recruiting time period, was there any warning signs of concern that were ignored? Is there something that you should have done, such as some company research that you forgot or chose not to do. Now would be the time to learn from any mistakes or omissions that may have been made. 
-     Confirm what you really want in a new job/employer. Make sure that this matches what you are looking for in your job search. It is amazing how often I will find that a person is not being honest with themselves when searching, only to be disappointed in the new job. This exercise will help you address how much of your current displeasure resides with your current company, and how much is really you and your needs.
   Be ready with an answer regarding why you are on the job market so quickly. If you have this current job on your Resume, you will be asked about the short tenure. You will need to prepare an answer that will satisfy the Interviewer, but at the same time will avoid airing your “dirty laundry” regarding your current employer.
   Prepare yourself for the consequences if your search for new employment surfaces to your current employer. If this occurs, you may be confronted with the situation. In this scenario, the reaction to a new employee (such as yourself) may be entirely different than if you were a 10 year veteran with a stellar work history. 
 
If your new job is just not what you thought it would be, it is really a terrible “no win” type of situation. The best you can do is come up with the most reasonable solution to address your current problem. The key is to make sure that your next job is absolutely the right one for you.
 
As always, best of luck in your job search!