You landed a new job that you thought was your dream job. After all, the interviews went smoothly. You effectively sold them on your skills and leadership expertise.
Your prospective boss sold you on the position and benefits of joining the company and more importantly, demonstrated how much they needed you for the role.
All seemed right with the world.
You are now been on board a few weeks even a month and something is amiss. Suddenly, you are not so confident that you made the right career decision.
The job that seemed like a dream when you accepted it, has now become a nightmare.
Perhaps the position is not what it seemed…and that could be for a number of reasons. Now that you are in place, you find your new leadership role to be
- either too narrow, too broad, not challenging enough or more of a stretch than you planned for.
- maybe the company is not measuring up to your expectations
- perhaps your boss is not supportive mentor you thought he/she would be
So what now? What should you do? Stick it out and if you do, how long? You can start looking for a new job or just leave, but then what?
Making the difficult decision to stay or leave a new job after a short period of time is a very personal decision with no right or wrong answer.
If you find yourself in this predicament, here are some questions to consider before making a sound career decision.
A) Can you give yourself more time to adjust?
Changing jobs can be an unsettling experience. In your previous role and company, you knew your way around, you were around familiar face, you were clear on what was expected of you. You knew your job, the key players and you felt like you belonged there.
In a new job, it takes time to learn the ropes and feel like you are truly adding value. Sometimes simply giving yourself enough time to get over the “newness” is sufficient for you to decide if the job is right for you.
B) Can you live with your new boss?
Everyone puts their best foot forward in an interview, then do an about-face when a new employee comes on board.
Even if the boss is not the supportive manager or directive leader you need right now, can you live with the change? If so, it’s worth staying.
On the other hand, if Monday mornings are now making your stomach churn or you get anxious or uncomfortable, leaving may be the best choice for now.
C) Can you navigate the politics?
Office politics can be a real pain for anyone! If you joined a company in the middle of a political crossfire, it will be important to assess your political savvyness (is that a word?) to determine if you can stick it out.
You will have to develop strong relationships, alliances and advocates as well as work well with differing leadership styles.
If politics are not your strength, even though you will face office politics where ever you work, you may want to leave before you find in a web of career suicide that can seriously impact your growth and professional reputation.
D) Can you learn at lot if you stay in the job?
Sometimes a new job that starts out feeling like the wrong fit can turn out to be a terrific opportunity to learn new skills, expand industry expertise, widen technical knowledge and gain valuable “career-leveraging” experience.
- Does it help you to reframe this new job as a stepping-stone or bridge job to a better role in another year or two?
- Could this new job ultimately propel your career forward?
If so, and you can tolerate everything else, it may be worth staying.
E) Can you renegotiate the scope of your job?
If the actual work turns out to be far different from what was discussed during your interviews, start first by speaking with your manager to see if and how aspects of the job can be changed to better match your skills.
- Can more responsibilities be added if the scope is too narrow?
- Can you get some assistance if the workload is too great?
At the end of the day, if the new job is a complete step backwards in your career, you will quickly become very bored and disillusioned…it may be worth looking elsewhere.
F) Can you afford to leave without another offer in hand?
So, let’s imagine that all aspects of the new job…management, role and responsibilities, office politics and more…are so bad that your health and personal wellness is taking a hit.
Sure leaving right away may be the best move, but can you honestly afford to?
- Carefully evaluate your financial situation prior to jumping ship
- Reflect on whether you have energy/focus to revive another job search quickly
Deciding whether stay or leave an intolerable new job is a tough one. Often how long to stay and give it a try can be the dilemma.
Some professionals have left after two weeks and never looked back; others have stayed and later regretted staying too long at a job that wasn’t a good fit; and still others have stuck around and managed to make everything work out.
The bottom line is that only you can decide what’s best for you and your career situation.
Pay close attention to how you’re feeling and what the job may be doing to your health and self-esteem.
Be willing to recognize that the longer you stay on a job that’s not right for you, you have to include it on your professional resume.
Remember that there’s nothing wrong with staying at the new job while looking for another one, but take great steps to not make the same mistakes again.
Whether you choose to stick it out and hope for the best or leave right away and cut your losses, trust that you made the right career decision for you.
Regardless of the outcome, this personal growth experience will be invaluable in helping you manage your career in the long run.