Starting a new job brings with it a mix of emotions.
Excitement, optimism, anxiety. But what happens when the excitement fades, the novelty of a new employer wears off and you find you’re not quite as happy in your new job as you thought you’d be?
If you’re still wondering whether your new job is right for you, here are some things to consider:
How long has it been?
No matter what industry you work in, there is one universal ‘new job’ truth: The first day/s will be tough.
There’s a multitude of new rules and regulations to learn, new people to meet and new names to remember. And that’s before you even start learning the basics necessary for your new role.
Arguably much of the first few weeks will be taken at a whirlwind pace, leaving you very little time to take everything in. Something that’s always worth bearing in mind if you’ve started suffering from ‘second-thoughts-on-the-second-day’ syndrome.
With this in mind, always be careful not to base any rash decisions on gut instinct alone and leave an adequate amount of time to let your surroundings sink in, stop learning and actually start working.
Have you given it a chance?
If you’re already having negative thoughts about your new job, it can be hard to break the spell. Often this will lead to over-analysis and your worries only start to fuel your negative outlook.
Try and be as positive as possible in the first few weeks. It can be easier said than done, but approaching each day with a bright and optimistic outlook could work wonders when it comes to how you feel about your new position.
Are the people the problem?
Ok, so maybe it’s not you… it’s them.
If you’re uncomfortable with the culture of the company or feel you’ll clash with your colleagues, it can be a cause for concern. Being ‘the newbie’ is tough, but if you don’t click right away, it doesn’t have to be the worst thing in the world.
Try reaching out to your colleagues and getting more involved in the social aspect of your new role. If this doesn’t work, it’s always important to remember that it can take a while to build up rapport. It doesn’t come easily to everyone, so don’t be too hard on yourself (or your colleagues) if things are awkward at first.
Were you mis-sold?
Feel like the job drastically differs from the job description?
It may be that your new job doesn’t exactly meet your expectations. Whilst cultural concerns and how you get on with your colleagues can be controlled, if the problem is purely professional you should tackle this sooner rather than later.
If you feel as if the job’s not what you signed up for, speak to a member of the HR team or your line manager and express your concerns. It may be that you’re still being eased in or some elements may be added later. It may be that your responsibilities are not actually as advertised.
But without asking, it’s easy to reach the wrong conclusions.
Are you getting bored?
It may be that the job is exactly as described, but still differs from your expectations.
If boredom is a problem, this is also something you may wish to discuss with your line manager. It may be another case of being introduced to the role slowly.
If not, requesting a bigger workload will only serve as a positive reflection of your attitude and work ethic.
Are you ‘out of your comfort zone’?
If you’re used to feeling on top of the situation, finding yourself somewhere new can often make you feel uncomfortable. You may have taken the knowledge you’d acquired through your previous role for granted, but when you don’t have anything to fall back on, a new situation can seem scary.
Even something as simple as knowing where certain things are kept or what the correct protocol is in different scenarios, can go a long way to making you feel out of the loop and out of place.
Were you just running from the problem?
Finally, try and evaluate why you really wanted this job in the first place.
Was it for career progression or because you wanted a more challenging role? Or perhaps it was because you wanted to work for a well-respected company or in an area you were really interested in?
Whatever your reasons, think long and hard about whether your new job ticks all the boxes. However, if you’ve only found yourself doing something different because you couldn’t stand working for your previous employer any longer, it might be that your knee-jerk reaction has led you to take a role that isn’t right for you.
Think about where you want your career to go, not just about moving on from where you’ve been.
If you’ve answered all of the above and still feel like you’re in the wrong role, it’s important to be honest with yourself. Sometimes it just won’t be the right job for you.
If you feel as if you’ve made your mind up already, speak to your employer as soon as possible. It’s better to be open and honest with them early on than to string them along.
And if your heart’s not in it, people will soon notice. Not giving 100% in your job isn’t fair on you or your employer. So if you’ve really given the role all the chances you feel you could and you’re still unhappy, it may be time to be brave and move on.
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