You’ve got a new job!!! At the outset, you’re full of excitement and enthusiasm. But what happens if, in a few weeks, even months, it’s not working out as planned and things don’t look quite so peachy? Should you resign, or stick it out?What do you do if you experience a drastic personality clash in the first few weeks, or the role is not what you expected? How do you handle a misalignment of your own values with the company ethos? Our latest blog will help you determine when and how to throw in the towel and when it’s better to stick it out by re-evaluating what’s important to you as an individual and learning how to give yourself the best chance of success in a new role.
Remember why you joined
Chances are, you have not landed in this job by accident; it was a conscious choice and one that you believe(d) in. It’s important to keep in mind what first drew you to applying for and then accepting the role. This motivating factor had to be strong enough to make you take a leap of faith and join the organisation in the first place, therefore it is clearly based on something that is important to you personally, whether it is the job role, the title, money, company or the industry. Hold on to this thought – it is important as a driver in terms of your own motivation, but also could be the key to preventing you from making the same mistake twice. It will also separate your own motivation from the many opinions and persuasions of those around you.
Pinpoint the problem
Secondly, try to make an objective assessment of what exactly is not working out. Is it related to people? If so, can you do anything to build better relationships with that person/people to make the working situation more bearable? Has there been a communication issue or misunderstanding that could be resolved through a simple discussion? If you feel the relationship is unsalvageable, can you distance yourself from the person or people and still deliver your work? Is there a chance that a particularly problematic person may leave or be reassigned and will therefore cease to be an issue for you? If so, holding your nerve and sticking it out may be preferable to giving it all up and leaving.
Perhaps the issue is job related, in terms of the job content or level or work required, in which case there are plenty of options available before you should consider handing in your notice. If there are elements of the job that are beyond your technical abilities, the company may well consider providing additional training, particularly if it means avoiding a further lengthy and/or costly recruitment process. Equally if the role is more junior than you had hoped, or not playing to your areas of strength, is there an opportunity to broaden or extend your job remit? Rarely do companies despair at employees who offer above expectation and bring additional value.
Practicalities and logistics come to the fore after a short time in a new role. At interview stage, when you really want that job and are desperate to secure it, there is a tendency to commit to things that may not be realistic or practical long term. A one and a half hour commute each way? ‘No problem,’ you think, ‘I’ll blitz all my emails on the train and arrive at work one step ahead of everyone else’. The reality is often quite different: juggling a smart phone and a coffee in less space than is legally required to transport livestock with a hundred or so others able to see and hear everything you are doing is not in any way living the dream and can be untenable on a daily basis. Childcare can also be a real deal-breaker, with the reality of putting a small child into the care of someone else for 12 hours or more a day for an eye-watering sum of money being quite different to the theoretical ideal. Be careful what you commit to at interview stage but if you are already beyond that and the commute is killing you or the hours are incompatible with your family life, ask if there is flexibility in your working arrangements. Most employers will at least consider a degree of flexibility rather than flatly refusing and then having to start the whole recruitment process over, particularly if you are able to demonstrate your commitment to the role and how you are making a positive contribution to the team in other areas.
Alignment of values and purpose
Values and ethics are where we enter make or break territory. If done well, the recruitment process should provide a pretty good insight into the company’s culture and values. But sometimes all is not what it seems, or your perception of something you thought you could tolerate becomes overwhelmingly unpleasant or unpalatable in practice, or simply out of line with your personal values and beliefs. It is quite evident when you may be walking into a particularly fast paced industry, or a highly competitive environment, so you can prepare for that; indeed, you may also be used to working in that environment and thrive in it. But working for a line manager who is a bully, or within an organisation where harassment or discrimination is commonplace can be hard to see coming, and impossible to ignore. Make an assessment of how serious the issue is and whether there is anything you can do to change the situation as a starting point. Whistle-blowing legislation is there to help employees lift the lid on illegal or unsavoury practices but if it’s a misalignment of your personal values with the ethos of the company, rather than anything criminal or untoward, ask yourself if you can (or even want to) live with it. If you can’t and the situation is unlikely to improve, it may be time to call it a day, but only after you have made your feelings clear to someone in authority within the organisation, be that a manager or your HR department. If no-one internal will listen, there are external bodies and industry ombudsmen to contact.
FindMyWhy – the free personal purpose project
Knowing when to call it quits and how long to stay somewhere if you are not happy is a real test of your own judgement and character. The easy route is often not the right one, for you or others, yet doing the right thing requires conviction and determination. Added to which is the element of doubt as to what the future may hold and how things will pan out in either scenario, because no-one can accurately predict the future with any real degree of certainty. Getting to know yourself and your motivating factors will support you in such decisions by identifying what is important to you as an individual and offering clarity of purpose to guide your judgement.
FindMyWhy is a completely free personal purpose project which is designed to help you overcome the hurdles in your life – professionally and personally – by helping you to understand yourself better and articulate your own strengths and values to others. FindMyWhy will help you to prioritise what’s important to you, guiding you on the path to fulfilment by enabling you to pinpoint your individual motivators and your unique value set. Starting as a simple online assessment which you can complete on any smartphone, laptop or tablet, FindMyWhy produces in-depth reports on your individual strengths and characteristics, how you behave in certain scenarios and how you are viewed by others, providing vital guidance to steer you during those early days in a new job. Beyond that, you’ll have access to a huge range of complementary resources designed to guide and advise you as you make and implement key decisions for the next stage in your life and career.
Created by our team of expert psychologists, FindMyWhy delves into the real you, but in a way that is both accessible and relatable – providing you with invaluable knowledge of you as the individual. It’s exactly the kind of insight and self-awareness that you’ll need in order to steer yourself confidently towards the best career decisions, whatever your current circumstances. The reports are yours to keep forever so you’ll always have them to hand when you need them whether it’s at the start of a new job or looking for your next one. So if you want to take control of your career and have the courage of conviction to make strong career choices, use FindMyWhy to offer long term personal and professional guidance and help with those make or break decisions.