Seven Things To Do When a New Job Doesn’t Work Out

So you put in countless hours of your free time to find the job of your dreams. You gave the interview your all and secured yourself a job offer. On your first day, you made a fantastic first impression and got on well with your teammates. Since then, you’ve endured the arduous daily commute and all with a smile on your face. But the realisation is slowly kicking in that your latest career move just isn’t working out for you. So what are you supposed to do when a new job doesn’t work out?

7 Actions to Take When a New Job Doesn’t Work Out

1 — Stay Professional

Sometimes new jobs can seem a little chaotic at the start. There may be seemingly pointless training to get through, and your manager may seem unsure of your responsibilities. Or the organisation, in general, may seem all over the place. No matter how disorganised everyone around you may seem, as a new employee, you must remain professional.

Lady smiling through gritted teeth
No matter how much you hate your new job, it’s important to stay professional. After all, you may need a reference from this employer to find another one.

2 — Give The New Job A Chance

When you start a new position, it’s only natural to compare your current situation and your previous one. Maybe you were in your earlier employment a while and performed your daily tasks on autopilot. Now you may find yourself overthinking every detail; you worry you’re making mistakes, or possibly feel out of your depth? Give yourself a break and time to settle in. Sure, this job might be different but isn’t that what you wanted?

3 — Do the Right Thing

If the job really isn’t for you, there is no specific length of time you should stay with your new employer. Once you’ve made your decision, it’s essential to remain professional and follow the correct protocol.

If you’re considering calling it quits, you must think things through thoroughly. Of course, there is no minimum length of time an employee must remain in a job. However, leaving after only a short period does not look good on your CV. You will, therefore, need to convince any future employer that your reason for leaving is genuine. If the reason you give is not compelling enough, prospective employers may label you as a job hopper.

If You Applied Through an Agency

If you got this job through a recruitment consultant, speaking to them should be your first port of call. Particularly, if you feel the job description on the advert was misleading, it’s likely been mis-sold to the agency too.

For example, let’s say you applied for a job as a Software Developer, and within the first few weeks, all you do is Software Testing. Of course, you will want to leave because that’s not what you’re qualified to do. In this case, a good agency will be happy to find you another opportunity and will likely be able to do so with an immediate start.

However, they will need to negotiate the situation with their client first carefully. Such discussions might involve releasing you on full pay for the remainder of your notice period. Therefore, it’s most definitely a conversation worth having.

If Your Application Was Direct

If you applied for the job directly, have a conversation with HR or your manager about why you’re unhappy at work. If you still have a copy of the position you applied for, that’s great. Show them the advert and explain where you think the disparities are. If your new manager is willing to invest in your future, they will work with you to align your position with the one you signed up for.

If the company is not interested in retaining you as an employee, they may be willing to negotiate the length of your notice period. Either way, you should still follow the correct procedure and resign with dignity.

4 — Find Out if Your Old Job is Still Available

An employer’s parting words are almost always along the lines of, ‘if things don’t work out, don’t hesitate to get in touch’. But do they mean it? Whether they do or not, it’s usually cheaper to rehire an ex-employee than to train someone new. However, you should bear in mind that you may not walk straight back into the same position you left.

5 — Revisit Your Original Job Search

If you’ve only been in your new job a few weeks, you may still have options available to you with other employers. For example, are there any jobs you interviewed for that are still on the job boards? Or maybe you turned down another opportunity to accept this one? Would they be willing to reconsider you as a potential candidate?

6 — Go Back to The Drawing Board

If you’ve exhausted all other options, then you will have no choice but to restart your job search. However, starting afresh can sometimes be the best thing when a new job doesn’t work out. For starters, it gives you a chance to reassess your career goals with fresh insight into what you don’t want. Are you so focused on a specific job title that you may be ruling out other opportunities to which you may be more suited?

Recovering from a bad situation also presents the opportunity to evaluate the process you went through and fine-tune your interview techniques. Doing so will make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice.

Not researching the company you’re interviewing with thoroughly enough and not asking enough questions during an interview are common mistakes candidates make. Either can lead to accepting an offer that might not be quite right for you.

When a new job doesn't work out, it can be upsetting - this lady knows all too well
The thought of having to restart your job search after putting in so much effort can be depressing. However, presents the opportunity to find out where you went wrong and may result in you getting a much better job as a result.

7 — Stay Positive

Ordinarily, we embark on a job hunt while we’re still in a current position. However, if you find yourself quitting a job because it’s not suitable for you, it’s unlikely you have a new one to step straight into. Being in such a precarious situation can lead to feelings of insecurity. In turn, these feelings can lead to accepting another role that’s not right for you out of desperation.

Therefore, it’s necessary to stay positive and keep your spirits up. Go for walks outside to give yourself a break from trawling job boards. Talking to family and friends can also be hugely beneficial at times like this.

If the need to find a job quickly makes you feel anxious, find a reputable recruitment company. They often have positions available with immediate starts. Or, at the very least, should be able to give you honest insights into the state of the current jobs market in your niche.

A Few Final Thoughts

When a new job doesn’t work out, it can cause a lot of stress and upset. As difficult as it may be, it’s important to try and keep a level head. The last thing you want to do is make rash decisions out of desperation that might further damage your career.



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