Did you take the wrong job recently? Not sure how to know if you took the wrong job? I recently had a prospect start a new position a few months ago and feels now that he took the wrong job. It is such a bummer, since he said he was so excited to start. Yet over the past few months it is revealing itself that is it just not the right job for him and it is a bad fit between him and the company. In this market, I know some people would say, “Be grateful and stick it out.” But I do not necessarily believe that is the only course of action. How do you know you may have taken the wrong job and what could you do about it?
(1) Admit it…You were blinded by the increase in pay…Let’s face it. The new employer offered you more than you were expecting and you were flying high on the increase in compensation. I have a rule that I have said to candidates for years when I recruited and now that I am a job search consultant: The novelty of increased pay will wear off after about three months. Period. End of story. It always does. Once you get used to the increased paycheck, the problems at the new job will start to become more apparent and the gratitude for the increased compensation dissipates.
(2) The hiring process went super-fast…I mean, ridiculously fast. So you thought, “Wow, they must really want me!” – and that feeling of being wanted may have clouded your judgment and prevented you from seeing red flags that you would have seen if it was a normally paced process. Frankly, the super fast hiring process can also be a problem for the employer. When an employer hires abnormally fast, they can fall in love with a candidate and dismiss small factors that, under normal circumstances, would demonstrate this hire may not be the best match. Now does that mean if a hiring process moves very fast, you should not take the job? Absolutely not! Just make sure your eyes are EXTRA WIDE open in proceeding through the interviews and ask a lot of questions during your discussions to be sure you and the employer are making the right choices.
(3) You were focused more on leaving where you were and not paying attention to where you were going. I remind so many people to keep their eyes open to where they are going, no matter how much the hate their job. If you are only focused on leaving your current job, you will miss all the cues that this next move you are considering is just as bad, for different reasons probably, than the place you are leaving. A bad time to evaluate your next job is when you are already there! Alas, you may have realized that this has happened to you.
(4) You are already bored at your new job. Everything that was promised to you in the interview courting phase is now showing signs of just not happening—yet you know they are happy with your performance. You have asked your manager to be clear on the responsibilities and taken initiative to contribute or lead new initiatives to no avail. However, this ache in your stomach that you are already underutilized is pretty persistent a few months into the role could be a sign that is was the wrong job.
(5) You are finding you disagree with a majority of the fundamental directions and/or decisions made by the professional team. You simply see that your beliefs about how business should be conducted are not in alignment with theirs. This is a heartbreaking reason to leave, especially when on the outside it can seem like a really great job. You have to evaluate how to best approach this exit.
Bonus: Learn how to overcome the biggest hurdle in your job search — yourself. Check out my new Guide on the Job Landing Mindset.
(6) The team with whom you are working with are causing you major strife and are beyond difficult to work with, no matter how hard you try. Chalk it up to bad chemistry or poor communication synergies, but it is just not working for you and your productivity and sanity are suffering.
So what do you do now? Here are 4 actions you can take to start evaluating if you will make an immediate move or a move further on down the road–and be sane and happy in the process:
(1) Set time aside and prioritize what you want in a new role. Look at where you may have veered wrong in this process and view it as a learning experience not to repeat again.
(2) Put confidential feelers out to your network that you are selectively seeking a new role. Keep those contacts alive!
(3) Hopefully, if you are not in your job long, you can continue interview processes elsewhere that were in progress. However, if it has been a few months, then go back to prospective employers where you had interviews and there was interest and approach them on an exploratory basis as to what roles may be suitable and available at the prospective company.
(4) Take the high road where you are currently working—no matter what. No matter how bad a fit it is, know that you had a part in that decision. So own your part and continue to do the best job you can. First, you will need a reference from this current employer. Secondly, you cannot interview for your next position from a place of anger and ill-will. If you are doing wrong, you will be putting yourself in the position of possibly lying on an interview about your efforts at your current role. Keep your side of the street clean and honest to ensure you interview from your best place within yourself.
If this has happened to you, I would love if you can share below how you bounced back and ultimately found the job that was better suited to you. What other wisdom can you share?