You Took the Wrong Job – Now What?

By Harold Webb

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You are only one month into your new job, and you have definitely fallen out of love. In fact, you have even fallen out of “like.” You were too desperate or too eager to take that first offer, and now you’re paying the price. Every morning is a struggle; you hate Sunday nights; and there is no way you would ever spend one more minute there than you have to. You have definitely taken the wrong job, and you will need to figure out what to do. Here are your next steps.
 

  1. Identify what it is about the job you hate. Is the work too difficult or not challenging enough? Is it the people with whom you must interact every day? Is it the “culture” of the organization? Is the leadership style of your boss intolerable? You really cannot make a decision about what to do until you have the reasons for your unhappiness clear in your own head.
     
  2. Is there some way that you could change your circumstances within the organization? Explore other departments or teams where you might “fit” better. Look at other projects and tasks that might be available to you. If you find a department or a project that you really might like, then have a conversation with your boss and/or HR. See if an in-house transfer is a possibility. But do it in a positive way. Don’t tell anyone you really hate your current job. Put a positive spin on it – you have noticed that such and such a department is working on some projects in which you have special expertise or interest – is a change a possibility?
     
  3. There are some job circumstances that just can’t be fixed. The culture is never going to work for you; there are no departments or projects that interest you; you will never be able to develop relationships with the people with and for whom you work. If this is the case, then you have to plan your exit strategy.


The Exit Strategy

Don’t just quit and walk out – bad decision. You might be able to get away with not putting this job on your resume at all, but there is always the chance that it will be discovered as you launch a new job search – then you are really out of the game until you fix that “lie.”

Start networking very quietly. Don’t do it openly on LinkedIn, but see what’s going on in your niche by checking in with any groups you have joined. If there are strong possibilities, privately message the people “in the know.”

Contact recruiters and honestly explain your situation. You are not the first person in this situation, and they will totally understand.

Don’t quit your job while you look. Try your best to finish that project; do the very best job that you can do while you are still there. You never want to leave a place on bad terms.

Be honest when you interview. You don’t have to say anything negative about your current job, organization or boss. It is just not a fit for you, and be willing to explain why it is not. After all, you don’t want to go into another job just like the last one, and no one wants to hire someone who is not a fit for them.

When you find your new job, give plenty of notice and leave on a good note. This new opportunity was just that you could not pass up is all the explanation you need to give.
 

One Final Note

You are not a failure and you are not stupid for having make a mistake. Many, many before you have done the same thing, and many will after you. Chalk it up to a valuable lesson and have a good laugh!

 

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