If you find yourself in this situation (and many have), you’re likely feeling anxious and confused. After all, you’ve just completed an exhaustive job search, celebrated your victory, and shared the positive news with all of your contacts. Eek – what now??!
First, don’t let your frustration get the best of you. Rest assured, you aren’t stuck, even though it may feel like it right now. Put emotions aside and evaluate the situation objectively. Here are things to consider:
- Can you pinpoint the root of the specific problem?
- Is the work different than you expected? Did your boss turn out to be toxic or leave soon after you began? Do you have significant differences with the team? Are you feeling lost because you aren’t getting any support as a new hire? Is the travel a lot more than anticipated?
- Is the problem temporary?
- What you’re doing on Day 1 may look very different from what you’ll be doing in Month 6. Realistically assess if the core problem is a side effect of being new or a permanent fixture. Observe, ask objective questions, and keep an open mind until you determine if the situation is an anomaly or a pattern.
- Is there a workable solution?
- While it is frustrating when expectations aren’t met, take a step back to see if there is a creative compromise. If your new Boss has left to take a different role, is the new Manager someone you can partner with or learn from? If you’re travel schedule is much more demanding than discussed, is there an opportunity to renegotiate compensation or perks with your Manager? Sometimes what initially seems like a negative can be turned into a positive.
- Are they willing to work with you to figure it out?
- All companies have challenges and agility will serve you well when making any transition. Objectively state your concerns and collaborate to develop a plan. If the company seems open to discussion, chances are you can find a compromise. Put a timeline in place to re-evaluate progress and stick to it.
If after assessing the questions above all roads lead to “no” (or the problem is ethical or dangerous), chances are the company misrepresented themselves and resigning may be the best option. It’s not an easy decision, but there’s no sense “sticking it out” and feeling stressed everyday. Life is too short.
RESIGN: Burning a bridge may be unavoidable because it’s likely the organization doesn’t find themselves at fault (or else they would’ve tried to compromise). Professionally resign in writing and offer at least two weeks notice.
RESUME: If you’re concerned about how this brief stint will impact your resume, remember it’s a marketing document. Omitting a job you’ve been at for only a few months is acceptable, and if you use years only (as opposed to months/years), it will likely go unnoticed.
RECONNECT: While it may initially feel embarrassing to reconnect with your network, shake it off and find your confidence. Many professionals have found themselves in this situation. Briefly explain your situation without emotion or blame, then reiterate your career goals. In some cases it’ll be possible to pick up where you left off. Other ships may have sailed. Focus on what you can control.
Positivity and perseverance are likely to prevail, so no apologies. Not every job, deal, purchase, decision, or relationship works out. It’s just life. Take the lessons and move forward with the wisdom you’ve gained. In the words of Robin Sharma “there are no mistakes in life, only lessons.“