You Just Got a New Job and You Hate It
Growing Pains or Hate?
By Joe Issid
Monster Contributing Writer
Much like a first date, you are on your best behaviour on your first day at a new job; you enter with an overwhelmingly optimistic attitude, full of hope, energy and a belly full of questions. I really want this to work out. But you still retain a dash of cynicism and are peering around every corner for signs of trouble. I really hope this is as advertised. Very often, a new job can feel like an opponent; much like a boxer, you tiptoe around the ring suspiciously eyeing your surroundings and letting the action come to you.
Don’t worry. This is normal.
But what happens when your fears are realised? Like the obnoxious date that won’t stop talking about her ex, your new job is not what you were looking for.
What do you do?
Truth be told, there are two corollaries in effect here:
1. You are experiencing growing pains that will vanish as soon as you are more settled in your new job
2. You truly hate your new job
Let’s address them both.
Starting a new job is a major life event so you need to approach it as such. You will be exposed to many new people, new environments, schedules, tasks, procedures, technologies and the such. If you are coming from a previous job with a different company, you will compare everything in your new position to your old one. And this may cause you to start feeling overwhelmed right away so be prepared for this. Again, this is normal.
Most people don’t like uncertainty or the feeling like they are not in control. As with many major life changes, this can often be the case when changing jobs. I recently purchased a new home with my fiancé and convinced myself that I hated it for the first few months because it was in a new neighbourhood that I didn’t know all that well. With time, I grew to love the home and the new neighbourhood. I just needed to assimilate to a new reality and trust that I had made a good decision. I try and use this rationale when I start a new job or embark on a new life journey.
Any good career counsellor will tell you to give a new job some time; allow your new surroundings to become familiar and give yourself the opportunity to begin contributing before jumping to a conclusion.
However, what happens if....
You Truly Hate Your New Job
It happens. It’s not for me to say why but, using the dating analogy again, some matches are just not meant to be. So what do you do now?
Firstly, do not make any rash decisions. Think of it this way: you spent a considerable amount of time and thought planning this job change and weighed all the possibilities before deciding to pull the trigger. If it turns out that you are not happy with the result, then reuse the process that you just learned to try and find another position. Use the same approach that you did before and trust that it will not steer you wrong again.
Secondly, try and clearly identify the issues that you are making you unhappy. In work as in life, there are always things that you can do to improve a situation. Try and pinpoint the issues that are causing you strife and ask yourself if they are elements that you can work on improving. For example, what if you do not get along with your boss? What if the work environment is hostile? Limited career opportunities? Frequent overtime? Many of these scenarios can be addressed internally as a proactive means of improving your happiness within the workplace.
Thirdly, discuss this with your new employer. No employer wants unhappy employees, especially someone that is new to the team. Remember that your employer has spent an equally considerable amount of time and effort into recruiting you and they would hate to lose a new asset without being given the chance to try and resolve some of the issues you may be having. Be honest with them and see if there is anything they can do to help.
In the end, starting a new job can be a trying and stressful time. As someone who has had his fair share of jobs over the course of his career, I can assure you that you will end up at the right place. It may be that your new job may take a little bit of getting used to. Or it may be that your new job is not the right place for you and is merely a stepping stone on the way to a more suitable place. Just remain professional at all times and don’t act hastily. Remember, good things come to those who wait. But "wake up" if you feel you have to change for something better.