What if your new job is NOT what you expected?
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Submitted by Aníbal Valentín-Acevedo on Wed, 2017-02-22 01:00

If you are looking for a job, most likely you have many expectations about it.

How much money you wish to get paid, how many vacation days you will get and what type of benefits will be included just to mention a few. You might also think about how related the job is to your expertise or experience. What about the culture of the company or the environment among employees, do you have expectations on those too?

Most people do have expectations about jobs and more often than not those expectations play a big role on whether they apply or not to a particular opportunity. In fact, if you are anything like me, you will keep thinking about those expectations and asking yourself whether they are being met or not  after you start on the new job. If you are lucky enough, all the expectation you had on that job will be met, however, what if they don’t? What should you do if your new job is nothing like what you expected?

I believe it is safe to say that all of us at one point or another during our professional careers will have a job that we feel unfitted for or maybe we do not feel connected to. Depending on the job or how we handle the situation, being in a job like that can be very complicated, mentally exhausting and even counterproductive. While no one wants to be in a situation like that, it is important that we do not act without first thinking about it. Assuming that your safety is not compromised and that you are being treated with respect it might be worth considering several things before you make a decision:

1. It is important that you identify exactly the cause of your feelings towards your job. What is it that you don't like? Is it what your are doing, the people you are working with or maybe your supervisor? Sometimes some of those things can be worked out. Once you get experience you might be promoted or transferred to another department within the company. Depending on the company they might even have professional help (usually through HR) to help you cope with the situation.

2. Re-visit your professional goals. The experience and the skills that you will get in this job, can they bring you closer to your goals? 

3. Weight the positive and the negative aspects of the job, however, even if there are more negatives, make sure you stay focused on the positives. In every job you can get valuable experience that will increase your professional marketability.

4. Think about an exit strategy. Although you might just want to quit and get out of there as soon as possible (and sometimes that IS the best strategy) try to plan for it. Think about what you need for your next job and if you don't have it, work on it.

5. Although it is not written in stone, staying at a job for less than one year (sometimes even two years) might not look great on your resume. While you can always explain  your reasons for leaving the job (remember not to say anything negative about it) staying at a job for too little can be seen as a lack of commitment on your part.

6. Before switching to another job, think about what you really want for your professional life. Identify the things that are important to you both personally and professionally and look for opportunities that will help you achieve those things. For some people it is important what they will get out of the job, for others, what they will learn from it or do. For me, I need to feel that I am constantly learning and improving myself. If there is nothing more for me to learn most likely it will be time to move on.

Remember, it is essential to stay positive and pro-active throughout this process. Like I have mentioned before there is always something we can learn at any given job, so always keep learning. Maybe that one skill you master will get you your next big opportunity.

Good Luck!

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