What to Do When Your New Job Isn’t What You Expected

You did a little happy dance when you found out you were hired. You called friends and family to let them know about your new position, and imagined a bright future full of fun challenges, great coworkers, and plenty of advancement opportunities—just like you were promised!

new job not expected

And then reality hit. Your first weeks are filled with signs that everything isn’t what you’d been led to expect, and your situation has become progressively worse over time. What should you do? Do you hang in there and hope things get better? Or do you cut your losses before you waste any more time? Before you make a decision, ask yourself these questions.

Are My Expectations Too High?

There’s nothing wrong with wanting your job to be amazing. After all, as we’ve all been told (rightly or wrongly) countless times, if you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life. We all want to enjoy what we do, but if you thought your new position was going to be everything you’ve ever dreamed of, your expectations may be unrealistic. No place is perfect, and a quest for perfection is likely to leave you deeply disillusioned. Don’t quit your job because of a few minor flaws.

Am I Rushing To Judgment?

It always takes time to fit in and feel at home in a new position. You may be disappointed your new coworkers haven’t welcomed you with open arms or you’re not catching on to the new software system quickly enough. And you could be tempted to view these disappointments as signs the role you thought was custom-made for you is actually a bad fit. Slow down. Take a deep breath. And reassess. Dream jobs are made, not born. They require patience, perseverance, and a few tweaks before they feel just right. Don’t make a hasty decision without giving your new job a fair chance.

Was I Lied To?

A new company and role will always take a little getting used to. But you may discover you were completely misled about what your new responsibilities entail. Were you promised huge commissions only to learn no one on staff has ever made close to that amount? Were you told you’d be given challenging tasks and be an integral part of the decision-making process only to be left out of important meetings and discussions?

If you were deliberately deceived during the interview process you have every right to take matters into your own hands. First, speak to your manager about your concerns. If she seems willing to address them and make changes, give her an opportunity to follow through. But if she dismisses your concerns, it’s time to start looking for new opportunities. 

Did I Misrepresent Myself?

In some cases, the problem might not be that you were the one lied to. Did you do a little too much fudging on your resume? Have you found yourself in a position you aren’t really qualified for, and you’re tempted to cut and run? The situation might not actually be as dire as you think. If you commit to working diligently to learn what you need to know to do your job properly, you may have what you need to carry yourself through a rough beginning. With a do-or-die attitude, your new role could turn into everything you hoped it would be and more.

Starting a new venture is always a little stressful, no matter how excited you are. And there’s nothing wrong with having high expectations as long as they’re realistic. If you find your situation isn’t what you expected, you have some choices to make. Just be sure you ask yourself the right questions, take the time to answer them honestly, and resist making rash decisions.

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