What to Do When Your New Job Isn’t What You Thought It Would Be

Getting a new job is exciting! You look forward to a new paycheck, new responsibilities, and new coworkers.  

But what if the new job isn’t what you thought it would be? How can you tell if you’re just overwhelmed by a new job? How long should you stay if it really isn’t what you thought?  

Your approach depends on what “isn’t what you thought it would be” means. Did you specifically discuss responsibilities or duties in the hiring process that never materialized? Does the company have you doing something entirely other than what you thought? Or are the responsibilities and duties generally similar to what you discussed, perhaps with some new factors to get used to?   

In either case, here’s how best to handle it. 

Be calm and don’t make rash moves. 

New jobs always take some getting used to. Your first task is to stay calm. Don’t rush for the exits (or a manager) right away. You may seem like a difficult employee if you have an immediate emotional reaction to a new position 

Take several days to get your bearings in the new place. Then assess the question we asked above. Does this really seem like a different job than you interviewed for? Or is it similar to what you interviewed for, but different and overwhelming for other reasons (timing, tools, personalities, the layout of the physical plant, and more are all possible reasons).  


Talk to your supervisor. 

If it’s the first issue (this is really like a different job than you thought!), talk to your supervisor. Sometimes that can occur because of new needs within the company, changes in the economic environment, or a simple lack of coordination between departments. 

If it appears that the job really is different, assess whether you can ask for a transfer to the type of job you thought you had. If not, assess whether you can or want to stay. 


See if it’s working out over a period of weeks.

If the job is basically the same but overwhelming you for some reason, give it a fair try. Often situations that seem overwhelming at first look a lot better once you’ve been at them for a while.  


Look for a new position.

If you want to find the type of job you thought this was, or you find the new job undoable for some reason, you may have to look for a new position. If you have a good relationship with your old company and boss, see if you can be rehired.  

If you leave a new job after a short time, be sure to remain professional in your relationships and your work performance.   

Looking for a new job? 

Staying content in your work depends on finding a position that matches your unique skills, demands, and ambitions. At Expert Staffing, we specialize in matching people with jobs that will allow them to thrive while they expand their skills. To learn more about new jobscontact us today. 

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