I Just Started a New Job and I Hate it!

You found a job, started the work, and very quickly discovered that you hate it!  What do you do?  The following steps can help you make good decisions and prevent you from burning bridges:

Give yourself time:  Before you do anything, give it a little time (at least three weeks would be ideal).  This provides you with the opportunity to get to know some of your co-workers, and it allows you to become more comfortable with the job.  Also, after you’ve been there for a few weeks, you are in a better position to see potential opportunities. 

Assess:  Try to get a clear picture of exactly what you don’t like about the job.  Is it the people, the working conditions, the schedule, the organizational culture, or the job itself?  Keep in mind that the training period may not be a good indication of how the job will actually be.   

Communicate:  Before you make a decision to quit your job, talk to your manager about your concerns.  Let them know what is difficult for you, and see if there is any way to make it work.  For example, if the problem is that the working hours are too late, see if you can work an earlier shift.  If the problem is that you are hurting your back when you lift boxes, see if you can be reassigned to another task.  The manager may be more than willing to make these accommodations in order to keep you on the job; sometimes all you have to do is ask.       

Use it as an opportunity to learn about yourself:  Try to determine what you like about the position.  There must be something that you like about it, otherwise you wouldn’t have applied for the job.  Is it possible that you will have more opportunities to do the tasks that you enjoy as you become experienced in the job?  Even if you do decide to quit, identifying the type of work that you like will help you find a position that is a better fit.

Be professional:  Remember that they chose to hire you over the other applicants.  Don’t make them regret that decision.  If you decide to quit the job, tell the manager in person; don’t just fail to show up.  Give them proper notice, and leave on good terms.  When you act unprofessionally, it reflects poorly on your references and on anyone else who helped you get the job.  Remember that the world can be painfully small, and that your past behaviour can come back to haunt you.

It is difficult to start anything new, and a new job is no exception.  You don’t know anybody, you are unfamiliar with your surroundings, and the work itself can be overwhelming.  It can be tempting to just give up.  While in some cases the job may be a poor fit, often you just need to give yourself a little more time.  Never leave a job unless you’re sure that you can’t make it work.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)


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