You’re Not Enjoying Your New Job — Should You Stay or Stick It Out?

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Choosing the right career path for you is a seriously tough decision. With the expansion of the digital world and the world in general constantly evolving, there are new types of careers cropping up every day.

It can feel like a lot of pressure to find the perfect job. So what do you do if you start a job you think you’re going to love, and then feel a bit underwhelmed by it? Basically, you simply don’t love it as much as you expected.

Well, firstly, it’s important to get a better understanding of how exactly you feel before you act, says career coach and recruiter Amie Duignan from A.D Connects tells POPSUGAR Australia.

“Sit down to write a pros and cons list about your new role,” Duignan suggests. “Be super specific about how you’re feeling. The more open and honest you are with yourself, the better. Ask yourself questions such as: 

  • How do you feel going into work?  
  • Do you feel tired / drained / unmotivated? 
  • What exactly am I not loving?  
  • How can I change this situation?  
  • What should I do that is best for me?  

“If you get to the end of your lists and the cons outweigh the pros, then it’s time to consider moving on,” Duignan says.

She says it’s quite common to experience feeling unsure when you start a new job or role. If you studied the industry, you can’t help but launch into your first job with an expectation of what it’s going to be like. But truth be told, it’s always a little different from what you expect.

A lot of starting a new job is learning about the workplace dynamics and what the role actually entails, and you can’t really be sure if that job suits you until you’ve settle in, Duignan says.

In saying that, if you get a gut instinct that the industry or specific role you’ve ventured into isn’t for you, then it’s important to listen to that.

“It is rare to love what you do every second of every day. With 99% of jobs, there are days and tasks that are less than joyful; however, on balance, your job should add more to your life than just a paycheck,” Duignan says.

“Your number one priority is you; that you feel happy at work and valued.  If you’re feeling unfulfilled/frustrated after three weeks then consider chatting to your direct manager.”

Chatting to your manager or boss openly about how you are feeling can be a super stressful thing to do. Especially if you’re new, you might be worried about them thinking badly of your work ethic or confidence in the role — but if you don’t feel as though you can talk to them, Duignan says it might not be the workplace for you.

“Sometimes an honest chat can pivot your current predicament into a much better role. Or, if your manager shuts you down: time to move on,” she says.

Regardless of whether you decide to move on or stick it out, it’s important to know how to resign without burning bridges, Duignan says. Moving on from a job that isn’t right for you is nothing to feel guilty about, nor should it be a moment that burns bridges for you.

All you need are the right tools to know how to communicate your resignation in the most professional and respectful way. Don’t wait until you’ve pissed someone important off to learn your lesson!

“If after all of your reflection you’ve decided this job truly isn’t for you, then you need to make an action plan. Take care not to burn bridges with your current manager, you never know when they might pop up again in your career journey,” says Duignan.

Her tips for resigning respectfully are:

  1. Be really transparent with your manager about how your feeling . 
  1. Don’t dwell on the negatives, just explain how you have felt and your situation, but don’t blame them or the company, keep it upbeat but honest. 
  1. Thank your manager for all that they have done and keep in contact. Send them a personalised note the next day to thank them. Make sure you keep them as a connection and continue to network for the future too, your network is very valuable.  

Resigning from a job that you thought you’d be in for a while can also be quite an unmotivating experience. Generally feeling lost in knowing what you want to do in your career is really tough, but sometimes finding the right path for you just takes time.

From my own personal experience, I’d say just to get out there and try things. It doesn’t need to be something you’re sure about, but if you just throw up your hands and try anything and everything that interests you, you might just find that nature takes its course.

“If you’re feeling overwhelmed with searching for a new role then know my go-to: lists!” says Duignan. “Create lists of what you love, what you want to do, what you don’t love doing. Writing brings so much clarity! And if you’re still stuck, then reach out to a career coach, we’re here to help you find the right career for you.”

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