Passionate about human resources, employment, and business management, and an expert at sharing that expertise.
Welcome to a crossroad many face but few discuss openly. If you’re reading this, you’ve likely realized that your new job isn’t the dream position you hoped for.
In fact, you don’t love your new job, or you positively hate it – even after the very first day.
It’s disheartening, yes, but not uncommon or unsolvable. You can navigate these choppy waters with practical steps and a bit of professional insight.
Understanding the situation
Feeling dissatisfied on day one? There’s such a thing as buyer’s remorse when taking on a new job – it’s a huge and exciting career step for many, but once you finally find yourself in that reality, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. And that can really pack a wallop.
More so – you’re not alone. Look what Drew Carey said: “Oh, you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called everybody, and they meet at the bar.”
People don’t always like their new job right away, and that’s similar to that hunch that things aren’t going to work out after the first couple of dates. But it’s harder because you’ve already signed that contract and you’ve already taken that step of faith.
Add to this the frustration stemming from factors like low pay, limited career progression, and excessive workload, affecting 63% of the workforce, and it’s clear: job dissatisfaction is a widespread challenge.
Luckily for you, there are steps you can take even in the very first week of your new job.
1. Seek feedback
Openly discuss your concerns with your manager. Remember that stat above about poor communications? Clear, honest conversations can be transformative. The earlier the better – so you can nip it right in the bud.
2. Clarify your role
If role ambiguity is an issue, seek clarity. Unclear job expectations have been linked to decreased employee satisfaction. This isn’t a bad thing to ask – your manager will appreciate you wanting to know exactly what’s expected of you.
3. Engage with colleagues
Building relationships with coworkers can improve your work experience and provide you with a support system. Some of them may even become friends outside of work!
4. Pause for perspective
Resist the urge to make hasty decisions. Sometimes, the stress of a new environment can cloud your judgment. Take a moment to breathe and look at the situation objectively.
5. List specific dislikes
Write down what specifically bothers you about the job. Is it the tasks, the company 5culture, or perhaps misalignment with your career goals? Or maybe it really is just buyer’s remorse and it’s getting to you. Getting it down on paper will help you sort out what’s bugging you about this new job.
6. Set a review timeline
Again, no hasty decisions here. Decide on a reasonable timeframe to reevaluate your feelings about the job. A month or two might give you a clearer picture – and even without doing anything, you may realize you don’t hate your new job nearly as much.
7. Step back and look at the whys
You came to this job for a reason. Take a look at your mindset before you got this job – did you really, really want this job? What made you excited to accept the job offer? Why were you looking in the first place? By looking at your original motivations in hindsight, you may get a clearer and more objective perspective on this job.
8. Seek a second opinion
Sometimes talking to a trusted friend or mentor can provide fresh (and impartial) insight and help you see things you might have missed.
9. Look at the positives
Surely you don’t hate everything about your new job. There may be some good things in it – maybe the salary is pretty good, or the project you’re about to work on is a fantastic opportunity towards your longer-term goals.
Considering the long-term fit (or misfit)
If you’ve given your new job a fair chance and still find yourself saying, “I hate my new job,” it might be time to consider your long-term career aspirations and how this role fits into them.
This isn’t about making a swift exit but about aligning your job with your broader career goals and personal well-being. Here’s what you can do:
1. Evaluate your career goals
Reflect on your career objectives. Does this job align with where you see yourself in the future? If the job diverges significantly from your career path, it might not be the right fit.
2. Look at the company values
Sometimes, the job itself is fine, but the company’s culture or values may not align with yours. Working in an environment that contradicts your values can be deeply unsatisfying.
3. Assess skill utilization
Are your skills and talents being utilized or developed in this role? If you feel that your abilities are being underutilized or not recognized, it could lead to long-term dissatisfaction.
4. Consider work-life balance
“I hate my new job” can often stem from poor work-life balance. If the job is encroaching too much on your personal life, it’s worth reassessing its impact on your overall happiness and health.
5. Seek professional advice
Sometimes, talking to a career counselor or a mentor can provide clarity. They can offer an objective view and help you weigh the pros and cons of staying versus leaving.
6. Plan an exit strategy
If you decide the job isn’t right for you, start planning your exit. Update your resume, network, and begin the job search process again, this time with more clarity about what you’re looking for. Don’t do the dramatic Jerry Maguire exit – it’s fun in a movie but it’s not a good look for you in the long term.
7. Learn from the experience
Regardless of whether you choose to stay or leave, learn from this experience. Understanding what you hate about your new job can provide valuable insights into what you want in your next role.
Hating your new job is an opportunity
Remember, it’s okay to realize that a job isn’t what you expected.
What’s important is how you use this realization to guide your future career decisions.
Whether you choose to stay and adapt or decide to move on, ensure that your decision aligns with your long-term career satisfaction and personal happiness.
Frequently asked questions
Is it normal to feel dissatisfied with a new job immediately?
Yes, feeling dissatisfied right from the start is common and often compared to buyer's remorse. It's a significant transition, and initial expectations might not always align with reality.
How prevalent is job dissatisfaction and what are its main causes?
According to Galliup, a significant 56% of employees report dissatisfaction, mainly due to poor communication with managers, micromanagement, low pay, limited career progression, and excessive workload.
What should I do if I'm unhappy in my new job?
Start by having honest conversations with your manager, seek clarity about your role, engage with colleagues, and pause to assess your situation objectively. Listing specific dislikes and setting a review timeline can also help.
How can I align my new job with my long-term career goals?
Reflect on your career objectives, assess the company's values, consider if your skills are being utilized, and evaluate the work-life balance. Seeking professional advice may also provide clarity.
What steps should I take if I decide to leave my new job?
Plan an exit strategy by updating your resume, networking, and starting the job search process again, with a clearer understanding of what you're looking for in your next role.