You have landed what you thought was the job of your dreams. Each stage of the interview went smoothly – you sold them on your skills and expertise, and your prospective boss sold you on the position and benefits of joining the company.
The team seemed excited about extending an offer and it was thrilling to give your notice and tell your friends and family that you have landed a new role.
All seemed right with the world or so you thought.
You have now been on board now for about a month and suddenly you are not so sure you have made the right decision. The job that seemed like a dream is starting to feel like a nightmare.
Whether it feels too narrow, too broad, not challenging enough, or more of a stretch than you imagined, the company isn’t measuring up.
Even worse, your new boss isn’t the caring, supportive mentor you thought he/she would be.
In a state of confusion, you wonder what you should do. Stick it out? For how long? Leave? Then what?
The decision to stay or leave a new job is a personal one, with no right or wrong answer, as everyones situation is unique.
You are not alone. Most people, at one time or another, have been faced with this dilemma.
To help you think through your next move and determine what’s right for you, here are some questions you may want to ask yourself:
Is it just the newness of the job?
Changing jobs can be an unsettling experience.
In your previous job, you knew your way around, you knew what was expected of you, you knew your job, you knew the players and you felt like you belonged in that environment.
In a new job, however, it takes time to learn the ropes and to feel like you are truly adding value.
Sometimes its best to give yourself time to get over the newness and then decide if the job is right for you.
Can you live with your new management?
Hiring managers sometimes put their best foot forward in an interview, then do an about-face when a new employee arrives. Even though your boss isn’t the supportive manager you thought he/she would be, can you live with the change?
If so, it may be worth staying. If, however, you experience anxiety every Monday mornings or get overwhelmed every time he/she walks into your office, it may be wise to consider leaving.
Can you navigate the politics?
Office politics can be the bane of many employees existence. If you have been hired into a political crossfire, it will be important to assess your political skills to determine if you can make it work.
If politics are not your strength, you may want to leave before you find yourself failing without even knowing why.
If you are good at developing relationships and working with differing styles, as well as managing up, you may want to consider staying and seeing if you can make a tough situation work.
What will you learn if you stay in this job?
Sometimes a seemingly wrong job can turn out to be a terrific opportunity to learn new skills, become exposed to new technologies, and gain valuable experience.
- Is it possible this job could be a stepping stone to a better, more satisfying job down the road?
- Could it ultimately propel your career forward?
If so, and you can tolerate everything else, it may be worth staying.
If the scope of the job has changed, can it be renegotiated?
If the actual work turns out to be far different from what you thought it would be, you may want to speak with your manager to see if aspects of the job can be changed.
If the scope is too narrow, can more responsibilities be added? If the workload is too great, can you get some assistance?
If the job ultimately represents a step backwards and/or you are doing work you did not feel like you signed up for, it may be worth looking elsewhere.
Can you afford to leave without another job to go to?
If your boss, or the job, or the politics are so bad its beginning to affect your health and personal life, then leaving sooner rather than later may be the best move. But can you afford it?
Carefully evaluating your financial situation prior to jumping ship will help alleviate regrets later on.
Consider also the momentum you had in your job search prior to starting your job. Can it be easily resurrected so your time of unemployment is minimized?
The decision to stay or leave an intolerable new job is a tough one. How long to stay is also a dilemma and many people have left after two weeks, never to look back. again.
Others have stayed, only to regret staying too long. And still others have stayed and managed to make everything work out. Only you can decide whats best for you and your situation.
If you answer the above questions honestly, you will surely make the right decision for you.
Pay attention to how you are feeling and what the job is doing to your health and self-esteem.
Recognize that the longer you stay, the greater the requirement to add the job to your resume. Know that its always an option to stay and look for employment on the side.
If you do that, it may be valuable to evaluate your job, boss, team, and culture requirements so you can develop some insightful interview questions to ask the next time around.
Talking with a trusted friend or colleague can be helpful during this challenging time. Whether you choose to stick it out and hope for the best, or leave right away and cut your losses, trust that you have made the right decision.
Know that regardless of the outcome, the experience has presented an excellent opportunity for learning and personal growth that will be invaluable in helping you manage the rest of your career.