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After many weeks, months, or years of searching for employment, accepting an offer of employment is often a relief. In the past I have celebrated this occasion as an end to a period of financial stress and uncertainty. However, this wave of relief can be short-lived if your new job ends up being a “bad fit” for a variety of reasons. You may not have seen the dangerous working conditions, toxic supervisors, cynical coworkers, hectic unpredictability, or outright hostility during your interview process. Maybe you were misled about the primary functions of your job, who you report to, or the culture of the work environment. Perhaps after the first few days, you begin to notice some of these warning signs. If this is the case, you face renewed uncertainty as you weigh your options.

If you have dealt with this scenario, you are not alone-- 66% of workers have accepted a job that they realized was a bad fit after starting work (https://www.wsj.com/articles/even-if-your-brand-new-job-is-a-bad-fi...). Considering whether to stay or leave a job that doesn’t feel right for you may be based on a variety of factors, including your financial situation, your safety, and your willingness to return to your job search. This is a challenging personal decision that you may want to take the time to write down your thoughts and feelings about, or discuss with a trusted friend, mentor, or family member.

If safe, you may choose to give the job a chance for a few more weeks to make sure you are not just stepping in at a bad moment. If you are trying to stay in your position, you can try bringing up your concerns with your supervisor or human resources, and see if they are responsive to your concerns.

If you decide to leave, it is best to resign your position as politely as possible and begin the process of moving on. As you resume your job search, you should consider how to frame your experience brief employment future employers. You may not need to include your brief employment on your resume if you decide to leave relatively quickly.

Sometimes a disappointing experience, that feels like a waste of time, is important to your personal growth. In college, I started a new part-time job, and after a few days, I knew it was not a good fit for me, so I stayed for about two weeks before having a conversation with my supervisor about my decision to leave. I gave specific reasons why the position wasn’t working out. The supervisor and I agreed that it would be okay for me to move on without completing the traditional “2 weeks” notice, because I had been at the position for such a short time. I did not have another job lined up when I left, but I found work a few weeks later in a job that I loved for many years. Through this process, I learned skills that helped me evaluate future positions.

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Comment by Katie Burger on October 23, 2018 at 3:48pm
Thanks for sharing this! I agree with the other comments, I think it's something we don't talk about enough. I know that, for me, I was very self conscious about this when I was new to the workforce. I changed jobs a few times before finding the right fit and didn't stay one place for as long as I thought I was "supposed" to. I learned quite a lot from those changes I made early on! Thanks again for sharing :-)
Comment by Adrienne Kleinman on October 16, 2018 at 5:39am

Thank you for sharing, Amy! I echo what everyone else has said--this really is a topic that is hardly discussed and should be brought into the light more. 

Comment by Nikki Abramson on October 11, 2018 at 12:31pm

Thanks for sharing. Great topic in something that is not often shared. 

Comment by Erika J. Kluge on October 9, 2018 at 9:55pm

Great article- this is topic not often addressed and is something most will experience to some extent.

Comment by Sammy Abeje on October 9, 2018 at 4:36pm

I can relate to this article because when I was in high school I struggled until I found homeschooling, and I look back at it now and I regret not switching sooner.  But never the less I really relate to being in a situation that is not a good fit.

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