● By Mel Sim
Yikes… what to do when your “dream” job turns out to be a nightmare?
You finally landed your dream job; you’re on the way to learning new skills and working with people you’ve always admired. Everything you’ve always wanted in a career is now happening!
Except that two, six months later you realise hmmm…. the job you’ve always wanted isn’t turning out to be what it is. It’s quite possible that at some point, you even hate it and wished you were doing something else.
If you find yourself in this situation, don’t despair. Know that you’re not alone. The first job I had as a writer was everything I wanted – working with the top magazine in town, getting the newest scoop on everything… except that after three months or so, it felt like any other job. Didn’t help that my boss wasn’t quite Miss Congeniality so that made coming to work even more sucky. Which is why I called it quits within the year.
Naturally, that’s your instinct too if you hate your new job but quitting shouldn’t be your only option (unless it is!). There are many things you can do to lessen the hate and steer your career back in the right direction before you hand in your resignation letter.
#1 Is the job the problem… or is it you?
Being in a new position will take some getting used to and maybe you’re the kind of person who needs a little more time to feel comfortable in a new environment. Being surrounded by people who seem to know what they are doing while you struggle can make the work situation challenging. Or maybe the corporate culture doesn’t quite suit you. So it’s not the job, you see, but more you taking longer than expected to fit in. If this is the case, give it a little bit more time before you declare that you hate your job. Because once you’re in the flow, the sucky job might turn out to be the best one ever.
#2 What’s really the problem?
Ask yourself this question: What do you hate about your job? If it is because you feel out of place, read #1. On the other hand, it could be that the work wasn’t what was promised or there’s a toxic work culture. Or your boss is a pain in the you know where. Those are things that may not get better over time so you need to ask yourself if the pros of working there outweigh these cons. Consider the long-term gain – can you deal with your nasty boss while gaining a lot of experience working for a great company? The answer will help you decide your next step.
#3 Talk to your boss
You hate your new job because it isn’t exactly what you thought it would be? Or maybe you’re feeling a little lost in the grand scheme of things? If these are the reasons why you’re thinking of quitting, do this first: Tell your boss your concerns and see if maybe there is a solution to them instead of quitting. Maybe you feel like you’re drowning in tasks that you have no clue about. After telling your boss this, he might arrange for someone to mentor you and show you the ropes. Or if the job isn’t what you though it would be. Telling your boss this could help you align your expectations with the company’s so everyone is on the same page. Essentially, by sharing your concerns and asking for help if you need it, you may be able to change your feelings about your job to something more positive.
#4 Is the end game worth it?
What would happen if you decide to suck it up and stay in the job you hate? Would you have the opportunity to network and meet the people who could make a difference in your career? Would you gain in terms of experience and skill despite having to deal with difficult clients? If there’s a bright light at the end of the tunnel, it’s probably better to hang in there for a while until you get what you signed up for.
#5 OK, just three more months
Or whatever time frame you want to give yourself to see if maybe things might turn around for the better in the job you hate so much. A lot of times we hate our new job is because we haven’t had the time to grow comfortable in the position or warm up to our colleagues. So give yourself a timeline where you will commit to try your best to like the job and see where it can get you. During this time, develop relationships with your colleagues and maintain a good rapport with your boss. Soak in as much experience and knowledge so you can build on your confidence. At the end of the time frame, ask yourself again: Should you stay or should you go?
Photo by Elisa Venture on Unsplash
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