Regretting Your New Job? Here Are 5 Things to Do If Your New Job Isn't What You Signed Up For

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
April 17, 2024 at 12:5AM UTC

Have you found yourself in a job that was misrepresented to you? Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common phenomenon.

A Fairygodboss member was in this predicament recently. “I resigned from a job I had been at for less than 90 days because the work was misrepresented and my manager was overwhelming,” they wrote. “The company was reorganized and my manager is no longer with the company. They asked me to stay, and give them more time to realign the strategy. I don’t have another job to go to. I agreed to stay but am still uncertain. Any advice?”

As usual, the FGB community had some ideas.

1. Give it a chance.

Many members of our community encouraged the original poster to employ a “wait and see” approach.

“Give it some time,” Rosa Goes wrote. “Now that your manager is gone, the environment could be different. Also, it's a great opportunity to let them know the work you signed up for given they are reorganizing. You may like it, but you won't know unless you stay. At the same time, I recommend having a conversation with a recruiter to get a feel for the job market overall as added support to your decision-making.”

2. Establish boundaries.

In any context — particularly one where things are volatile — it’s critical to establish boundaries.

“If you don’t want to stay or try to get the manager’s job, I would start setting some boundaries, specifically a timeline, about what that assistance looks like,” Maggie Stone said. “My concern would be that you end up being used if you aren’t careful.”

3. Set a deadline.

You don’t want to stick around forever waiting for things to get better — because that may not happen. 

“Determine a deadline for when the realignment needs to be completed,” Kelley suggested. “If they don’t do as they say by the time the deadline rolls around, I’d say walk. In that time, also look into other positions so you have a backup.”

“Ask for timelines and what your role will look like under the realignment,” Catherine agreed. “I would even ask to meet the person they want you to report to in this new strategy if they have that person named.”

4. Look externally.

Of course, in some cases, this simply may not be the right place for you.

“I feel you have the advantage in this situation,” one member wrote. “Since you are no longer working for the previous manager, it may be a great opportunity to start anew and see where your current role goes. At the same time, I highly recommend looking externally. That way, you are working both ends of the situation.”

“I would suggest staying (even temporarily) but continue to search for a new position because it seems to be easier to find a job when you have a job,” another agreed. “If your current company realigns to your liking, you stay and stop looking,  If they do not and you get an offer that you like, you can leave. But ultimately you need to do what is best for you — so if this is negatively affecting your mental health, get out ‘quick, fast, and in a hurry!’”

5. Always be polite and professional.

No matter what you do, always keep things professional. If you decide to stay, be polite and courteous, and let go of any resentment you have about the misalignment with your expectations. This is critical if you want to make your tenure a success.

And if you decide to leave, follow typical protocol, offering at least two weeks’ notice and avoiding burning any bridges. This may have not been the right company for you, but it’s important to keep your reputation intact.

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance editor and writer based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab-mix Hercules. She primarily focuses on education, technology, and career development. She has worked with Penguin Random House, Fairygodboss, CollegeVine, BairesDev, and many other publications and organizations. Her humor writing has appeared in the Weekly Humorist, Slackjaw, Little Old Lady Comedy, Flexx Magazine, Points in Case, Jane Austen's Wastebasket, and Greener Pastures. She also writes fiction and essays, which have appeared in publications including The Memoirist and The Avalon Literary Review. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.

What’s your no. 1 piece of advice for someone who regrets pursuing their new job? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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