What to Do If You Immediately Hate Your New Job

When you accepted a position at a new company, you thought you were making a great decision. The salary was right, the benefits were appealing and the opportunities to grow your career were plentiful. But then reality set in. No sooner did you learn your way around the office when you came to realize that you were, in fact, totally miserable.

If you’re kicking yourself for leaving a decent job only to find yourself immediately unhappy at your new one, stop. It’s happened to the best of us. Now you just have to figure out what to do about it.

Wrong Choice or Bad Information?

Was your bad decision really your fault? On the one hand, there’s almost no sense in assigning blame because it won’t change the fact that you’re unhappy in your current work situation. On the other hand, if the people who interviewed and ultimately hired you gave you inaccurate information or misrepresented the role and working environment, you have a few talking points for the discussion you’ll soon need to have with your boss.

Talk to Your Manager

There’s a solid chance your situation will improve if you have an open, honest talk with your manager about the reasons why you’re unhappy. Set up a meeting and be prepared to calmly review the aspects of your situation that you find unsatisfactory. If applicable, in a non-accusatory way, explain how certain elements of the job turned out to be different than what was presented to you during the interview process.

If, for example, you were told that you’d occasionally need to help out with administrative tasks but instead find most of your days consumed by message-taking and runs to the photocopier, try something like the following: “I was under the impression that administrative tasks would be a small component of this role. I was really looking forward to showcasing my marketing talents and focusing on campaign-building as we discussed during the interview process. I believe I can add the most value as an employee by concentrating on that.”

See what you’re doing here? You’re being straightforward without complaining, and you’re arguing your case without accusing your manager of misleading you outright. With any luck, your boss will understand where you’re coming from and take steps to address your concerns.

If Things Don’t Improve

If that conversation goes well and your manager promises to address the situation, you’ll need to sit tight, be patient and see if things get better. But if your circumstances don’t improve and your misery continues, you’ll need to start looking elsewhere.

Worried that it won’t look good on your resume? It’s a valid concern, but when interviewing, you can always explain that it just wasn’t a good fit, and that you thought it better to immediately look for something else rather than spend a year working in an environment that wasn’t going to advance your career or put your skill set to good use. Many hiring managers will understand where you’re coming from, and as long as you don’t have a history of jumping from job to job, one short stint shouldn’t be too much of a stain on your resume and reputation.

Of course, another option is toughing it out for a year, and if you’re able to do so, more power to you. But over time, an unhappy work situation can take a toll. So if you do choose to leave, don’t look at it as quitting so much as taking necessary steps to maintain your well-being and sanity.

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