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What to Do if Your New Job is Wrong for You

Updated on October 24, 2013
Oops! Wrong job...
Oops! Wrong job... | Source

Your New Job Could be Wrong for You

When you start a new job, you can be happy and excited. At the same time, you might be somewhat nervous about fitting into the corporate culture and getting long with coworkers, bosses, and supervisors. In the dreaded worst case scenario, you may find that you really don't fit the job or it is not up to your expectations or standards. If you feel this way after the first 30 days, make a plan to address these issues.

There could be any one or several of many possible problems on this new job that you did not expect. For example, without expecting it, you might be asked to work overtime several nights a week, to work weekends, or to be on 24-hour call. If you are a salaried employee, this may mean no additional pay for overtime. You may not be receiving any training for your job and are floundering, not knowing what to do. In another dismal picture, your job may not be anything like the job you were hired to do.

I had a friend that was a systems engineer and when he was hired for a new position with another company, it was to be a promotion for him to the Senior Systems Engineer post. When he reported for work the first day, he found that he had been assigned to the help desk. He has to wear a pager 24/7 and if he did not answer it within 15 minutes any time of the day or night, company rules stated that he was to be fired. He kept looking for work and found a position of responsibility with another company.

Let's say that your job and you do not mesh well. What should you do?

When your job is not working for you, you might feel that your life is slipping down the drain.
When your job is not working for you, you might feel that your life is slipping down the drain. | Source

1. Remain calm and make a plan of action.

If things aren't going at as expected in the first 30 days, step back and re-evaluate your abilities and the position. Write down the problems that are making you feel bad. You may feel tricked - like the company pulled a "bait and switch" scam on you.

Compose a document for reference and comparison that lists exactly what you were told about the job in one column and what is really happening in the second column. Label these columns Expectations and Reality. See how different they may be. If they are widely different, prepare to speak to your supervisor or boss.

2. Meet with your direct supervisor

Employee retention is the biggest hot-button issue of workforce development at this time. How can employers keep good employees? Your supervisor probably does not want to lose you. Approach him or her and calmly state that the job is not what you were expecting.

Ask if you can discuss how to make Column One and Column Two of your document more closely match. If you are met with refusal, then see Human Resources. Unless you have a written contract, you will have to negotiate for the changes you want.

We need connections at work that are effective: Supervisor, Co-workers, HR, Vendors, and others.
We need connections at work that are effective: Supervisor, Co-workers, HR, Vendors, and others. | Source

3. See your Human Resources Rep or your Union person

It is truly difficult it is to find good employees and it costs a lot of money to train new ones. HR should put some effort into keeping you on board by listening to and acting on your concerns.

If a job isn't what you expected there may be good reasons. If you talk about it, this will become clear and HR can help you make changes gradually. On the other hand, they may be able to find you another position or recommend you for one outside the company if your concerns cannot be remedied..

We need tools and skills of some sort to do a job. Sometimes, they are not available.
We need tools and skills of some sort to do a job. Sometimes, they are not available. | Source

4. Quit before it is too late

Sometimes you find that a job really isn't what you want, once you have delved into the daily and longer-term tasks it requires.

If you decide to terminate your employment voluntarily, then do your best to leave with grace and keep this employer as a good business contact. Find another job first, if at all possible. Treat both companies with respect and refrain from criticizing your current employer and company.

To avoid a this situation in the future, use some preventative tactics -- Ask for a comprehensive job description before accepting an offer for any job. For example, beware of the phrase "Other duties as assigned" at the end of a job description, because this means that they can ask you to do anything (legal) and expect you to do it.

Ask employers to describe a typical workday for you. If they cannot do so, then you probably need to work somewhere else. This happened to me once, and three other workers in the position were fired from the management team with this company within 2 years. The employees in the position could never get hold of the actual job tasks and expectations - either orally or in writing, because there were none delineated anywhere.

You cannot meet goals if you do not know what they are and have no input into them.

Sail away to a new job that fits well.
Sail away to a new job that fits well. | Source


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      11 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Yes, Small Business, I think you are exactly correct. That can be very discouraging indeed.

    • profile image

      Small Business 

      11 years ago

      The same advice holds if you decide to work for yourself. Most smalll business start ups or entrepreneurs find themselvrs in this situation.

    • Daniel Greenfield profile image

      Daniel Greenfield 

      11 years ago

      4 is really important, too many people get trapped into staying on in jobs that are a poor fit for them and get demoralized and lead to toxic workplaces


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