“I Hate My New Job! What Should I Do?” Answered

by | Career Growth, Finding A Job

“I hate my new job! What should I do?”

Uh oh. You’ve landed a new job and you already hate it. While you can conduct all the due diligence in the world, you sometimes won’t find out you don’t like a job until it’s too late and you’ve already joined the company.

I get it. I’ve been there. Many years ago, I left a role I absolutely loved in Seattle for a new job in Silicon Valley that looked amazing, at least on paper. However, it quickly turned out to be a disaster, and I knew from the very first day that it wasn’t the right fit for me.

In this article, you’ll learn how long you should stick it out if you find yourself in a similar situation. I also share steps you can take if you hate your new job.

How Long Should You Stay At A New Job You Hate?

To begin, how long should you stay at a new job you don’t like? Can you jump ship if you’ve only been there a week, a month, or 6 months? How soon is too soon to quit?

While there’s no universal answer, here are a few factors that may affect how long you stay at a new gig you hate before you start looking for something new:

  • How long and difficult was it to find your current job? Were you in hot demand and did you find a job fast, or was it a challenge?
  • The current economic climate, which can dramatically impact the job market and the average time it takes to find a new role.
  • Your years of experience and the type of role you’re targeting, keeping in mind that an executive job search will typically be far more complex and lengthy than a non-executive one.

In other words, it rarely hurts to start putting feelers out again sooner rather than later. And, if you’re worried about a potential short stint or employment gap on your resume, you can check out this article I wrote on how to address these issues.

What To Do When You Hate Your New Job

Now, what should you do if you end up hating your new job?

Give yourself time to adjust.

Unless you’re in a toxic or unsafe work environment where you need to exit immediately, give yourself some space to adjust and acclimate before immediately calling it quits.

Importantly, this adjustment period doesn’t have to take months on end, either. What matters here is that you’re providing yourself enough time to understand and assess your current situation before jumping to conclusions and making a decision you’ll later regret.

Weigh all your options.

Then, as you collect the facts of your current work situation, you want to take time to weigh all your options. I encourage my coaching clients to jot down every available option, even those that don’t seem viable or likely, as it helps get the brainstorming juices flowing. Typical options include:

  • Working with your manager or human resources department to see if you can switch to a different role, team, or functional area.
  • Going back to your previous company (this is why it’s important to avoid burning bridges whenever possible).
  • Looking for a new job at a different company.
  • Sticking it out at the job and seeing if the job is repairable (or at least tolerable).

Next, begin ranking your options based on the benefits and costs of each one, as well as how they align with your short-term and long-term goals.

It can be helpful to journal about each of your options and envision what your future life would be like based on each one. I encourage you to pick a date in the future, such as six months from now, and “manifest” each of the potential realities.

Here’s the beginning of what that future journal entry might sound like: “Six months ago, I hated my job at [Company Name] because my new boss was a micromanager; however, I decided to stick it out and try to make it work. I’m glad I did because they turned out to be a really great boss. I simply needed to get better at managing up and providing them with regular updates on my projects.”

Get a second opinion before taking action.

Before you take action, consider getting a second opinion from someone you trust, such as a mentor or career coach, since it can be difficult to look at your situation objectively when you’re living it every day.

Note: It’s not necessarily your fault if you’re unhappy at your new job. However, it is your responsibility to decide if and how you want to move forward.

Only once you have a good sense of your options and have run them by someone whose opinion you trust should you decide how you want to move forward.

At this stage in the process, my coaching clients often find it helpful to set a “decision date” as to when they’ll decide what to do regarding their current job, whether it be to confront their manager, involve HR, start looking for a new position, or give notice. Having a date on the calendar provides you with space to reflect, while also holding you accountable to yourself.

Final Thoughts On When You Hate Your New Job

If you do decide to begin looking for a new gig, know that it doesn’t mean you have to quit your current role immediately. In fact, sometimes simply putting feelers out there can provide you with the hope you need to stick it out.

Additionally, keep in mind that jobs are temporary, and you deserve a role you love (or at least tolerate), and you can’t put a price tag on your happiness. You’ve got this!

About Dr. Kyle Elliott

About Dr. Kyle Elliott

Dr. Kyle Elliott is the founder and career coach behind CaffeinatedKyle.com. His expertise is in Silicon Valley and high-tech. As a result of working with Dr. Elliott, senior managers and executives have landed jobs at Meta, Amazon, Google, and nearly every other tech giant you can imagine.

A trusted career expert, Dr. Elliott’s words have been featured on Business Insider, CNBC, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, and The New York Times, among dozens of other leading publications. He has been recognized as a Best Career & Interview Coach, Best Resume Writer for Silicon Valley/Tech Managers & Executives, and LinkedIn Top Voice (the platform’s highest honor).

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