What If You Hate Your New Job?

Jun 27, 2012
7 Min Read

Go on. It’s time to admit it.

You hate your new job. Hate. It.

Your loathing for the new job you tried so hard to get and sweat bullets for in an interview is now the thing that makes you want to never get out of bed. You dread going to work every day, and feel a slight sense of panic when you step through the office door.

Still, you accepted the job. No one twisted your arm, so now you just have to suck it up and be miserable.

Or do you?

Could you just quit the job? So soon? What will another employer say when learning you’ve had the job for less time than Kim Kardashian’s last marriage?

It’s not unheard of for someone to quit a job even days or weeks after accepting it. Sometimes employees realize they’ve made a huge mistake and jump on the phone to their previous employer to beg for their old job back. They’re welcomed back with open arms and the nightmare known as the new job is over.

But that’s what happens when all the stars align just right in your universe. There’s always another possibility: Your old employer doesn’t want you back.

If that happens, then you need to think about what you’re going to do about your new dilemma before sprinting for the door, screaming “I quit!” and throwing your identification badge at the receptionist. Here are some considerations:

  • Give it time. We’re used to things moving pretty quickly these days, but adjusting to a new job, new people and a new culture takes time. Try to give yourself at least 30 to 60 days to experience what the job and the company has to offer. Keep a journal so that you can see if things are starting to improve as time goes on. While you may have lots of negative things to say, also try to find at least one good thing to write about every day, such as meeting a nice colleague or learning a new skill.
  • Keep your network active. A network is good for helping you find a new job, of course, but they also can be a good way to help you adjust to a new position. With their support and input, you may find you’re better able to cope with the job or put it into perspective until something else comes along.
  • Engage. When you’re miserable in a job, the tendency is to huddle in your cubicle, plotting for the day you can leave. But that kind of attitude is only likely to make the situation worse. Try reaching out to new colleagues to have coffee, and accept their offers to hit happy hour or join the softball team. Making friends at work has been shown to be a key ingredient for workplace happiness.
  • Strategize. Are there things about the job you like? If so, maybe the boss would be willing to give you more of those duties. Remember that companies often spend thousands of dollars in recruiting a new worker, so they’ve already make an investment in you. Many bosses will do what they can to keep a new hire, especially if they don’t want to spend more time and dollars recruiting someone to take your place.
  • Learn from it. Part of you may be embarrassed that you accepted a position that has turned out to be a bad fit, and another part may be a bit ticked because you feel things were misrepresented to you during your interview. As a result, you’ve accepted a job that makes you unhappy. That doesn’t change the fact that it was your choice to accept the job, and you need to figure out where you went wrong. Should you have asked more specific questions during the process? Should you have done more online research regarding the company culture? Did you fail to listen to that inner voice that something was wrong? Whatever the reason, take the experience and learn from it so you don’t make a similar mistake in the future.

We all want to love our work and what we do. But the reality is that sometimes our dreams for happiness don’t come true. The key is realizing whether it’s a situation that can be rectified with a little patience and savvy negotiating, or whether it’s a dead end and it’s time to cut your losses and move on sooner rather than later.

Have you ever had a new job you hated? What did you do?

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