Starting a new job is always exciting, but when that initial exhilaration gives way to a persistent feeling of daily dread, what can you do? If you think you’ve made a misstep on your career path, first carefully and objectively evaluate the situation to determine your next best move, whether it be sticking it out or moving on. Here is some food for thought before making a rash decision you may later regret.
Identify the Problem
You accepted the job offer for a reason, so it’s critical to understand where it’s falling short of your expectations. Several factors influence your feelings toward a job: the boss, the corporate culture, coworkers, customers, the commute, or the work itself. If unexpectedly long hours are dragging you down, determine whether this is the company norm or a temporary situation, such as a big project or simply the learning curve you are undertaking in your new role.
Think Big Picture
Weigh the benefits and downsides of your new job carefully. No job is 100% wonderful at all times, but consider how this position fits into your overall goals. Perhaps it’s giving you much-needed flexibility for more time with your family, or a pay raise which will help you quickly pay off your school loan or a mortgage. It may also be giving you experience in a new field or market, and the skills you learn may be invaluable for your next move up the corporate ladder. Decide if the long-term benefits are worth the short-term angst.
Consider the Consequences
Consistently bouncing between short-lived jobs may influence a future employer. But then again, there may be times when it’s worth the risk. For example, if you begin what appears to be a dream job and quickly realize you have stepped into an untenable situation which will soon have your name on it, it may be best to cut your losses sooner than later. According to one study, job hopping does not necessarily carry the same stigma that it did in the past.
Come Up With a Possible Fix
Once you zero in on the main problems, consider whether there are ways to mitigate the pain. Talk to your supervisor and share your feelings. If your new position isn’t right, they may be willing to adjust your duties or look for a better fit elsewhere within the company. If they aren’t open to finding solutions, that will also help you decide what to do next.
Stay positive and cooperative on your way out the door. Remaining diplomatic will only help you in your future endeavors. Recognize that changing your mind has created hassles for your employer; they now have to recruit someone new and explain the change to their clients. Also, you never know when your paths will cross with the contacts you’ve made in your short time there.
Apply Your Learnings to Your Next Job Search
Think carefully about what you can do differently this time around. Reflect on those things you wished you’d known before taking your last job. Ask the right questions and determine what it will take to make you comfortable. You may not get to pick and choose exactly what you want, but knowing what makes you feel valued is a good start to looking for the right fit.
For more of Diane’s etiquette tips, you may enjoy reading 6 Ways to Overcome a Career Defeat and Bounce Back Stronger. You can also visit Diane’s blog, connect with her here on HuffPost, “like” The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook, and follow her on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. Buy her new book, Modern Etiquette for a Better Life.