What If You Hate Your New Job?

Go on. It’s time to admit it.

You hate your new job. Hate. It.

Your loathing for the new job you tried so hard to get and sweat bullets for in an interview is now the thing that makes you want to never get out of bed. You dread going to work every day, and feel a slight sense of panic when you step through the office door.

Still, you accepted the job. No one twisted your arm, so now you just have to suck it up and be miserable.

Or do you?

Could you just quit the job? So soon? What will another employer say when learning you’ve had the job for less time than Kim Kardashian’s last marriage?

It’s not unheard of for someone to quit a job even days or weeks after accepting it. Sometimes employees realize they’ve made a huge mistake and jump on the phone to their previous employer to beg for their old job back. They’re welcomed back with open arms and the nightmare known as the new job is over.

But that’s what happens when all the stars align just right in your universe. There’s always another possibility: Your old employer doesn’t want you back.

If that happens, then you need to think about what you’re going to do about your new dilemma before sprinting for the door, screaming “I quit!” and throwing your identification badge at the receptionist. Here are some considerations:

  • Give it time. We’re used to things moving pretty quickly these days, but adjusting to a new job, new people and a new culture takes time. Try to give yourself at least 30 to 60 days to experience what the job and the company has to offer. Keep a journal so that you can see if things are starting to improve as time goes on. While you may have lots of negative things to say, also try to find at least one good thing to write about every day, such as meeting a nice colleague or learning a new skill.
  • Keep your network active. A network is good for helping you find a new job, of course, but they also can be a good way to help you adjust to a new position. With their support and input, you may find you’re better able to cope with the job or put it into perspective until something else comes along.
  • Engage. When you’re miserable in a job, the tendency is to huddle in your cubicle, plotting for the day you can leave. But that kind of attitude is only likely to make the situation worse. Try reaching out to new colleagues to have coffee, and accept their offers to hit happy hour or join the softball team. Making friends at work has been shown to be a key ingredient for workplace happiness.
  • Strategize. Are there things about the job you like? If so, maybe the boss would be willing to give you more of those duties. Remember that companies often spend thousands of dollars in recruiting a new worker, so they’ve already make an investment in you. Many bosses will do what they can to keep a new hire, especially if they don’t want to spend more time and dollars recruiting someone to take your place.
  • Learn from it. Part of you may be embarrassed that you accepted a position that has turned out to be a bad fit, and another part may be a bit ticked because you feel things were misrepresented to you during your interview. As a result, you’ve accepted a job that makes you unhappy. That doesn’t change the fact that it was your choice to accept the job, and you need to figure out where you went wrong. Should you have asked more specific questions during the process? Should you have done more online research regarding the company culture? Did you fail to listen to that inner voice that something was wrong? Whatever the reason, take the experience and learn from it so you don’t make a similar mistake in the future.

We all want to love our work and what we do. But the reality is that sometimes our dreams for happiness don’t come true. The key is realizing whether it’s a situation that can be rectified with a little patience and savvy negotiating, or whether it’s a dead end and it’s time to cut your losses and move on sooner rather than later.

Have you ever had a new job you hated? What did you do?














Anita Bruzzese

Anita Bruzzese is a syndicated columnist for Gannett/USA Today on workplace issues and the author of “45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy.” She has been on the Today show, and quoted in publications such as O, The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, Self.com and BusinessWeek.com. Her website, 45things.com, is listed on the Forbes top 100 websites for women.

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  • http://www.cmoe.com/ CMOE

    There was a time when I hated a job I had, but I comforted myself with the fact that it was at least better than the one I left. I made the most of my time there, learned whatever new skill there was to learn and even made friends so work would become more bearable.

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  • SickofSales

    How do you know when you’ve reached the breaking point? Everyone at my job deals with the stresses by abusing alcohol or prescription meds. I feel myself starting to go down that path. Is it time to say goodbye or is that just something I need to do to get through the day?

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  • jabe

    last year i was grateful and very happy to accept a position which turned out to be a nightmare…disorganization was evident from the day I started…couldn’t access the computer which was the key to the job…limited training…sat for hours without any work…a month later, i was finally able to access the computer…still unable to access most of the needed forms and resources…pressured to perform that first day of receiving the computer as if you’ve been there for months…supervisor yelled at me in front of co-workers and had no idea of what was going on about my training…had to turn in my resignation after a month…

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    Brigitte le Roux Reply:

    I want to do that after just one day :(

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  • Brigitte le Roux

    I left a job I loved for six years to get new experience and challenges. I started at my new company today-and I hated every second. its a startup so nothing works and the experience levels and knowledge of the other two employees was shocking and my boss walked in at 11am, said hi and ignored me for the rest of the day. I was completely bored and flabbergasted at the bad decisions being made. I want to go back in time and undo everyhting. I feel physically ill and I intend want to go back tomorrow!!! help

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    Greg Reply:

    I know how you feel… I’m in the same predicament. Hind sight is always twenty twenty and sometimes we need to experience this type of discourse so we know what “good” really is. I trust my gut, and if it’s saying this isn’t a fit (even after a day), then it’s not. My next call is to my old boss… I’m looking forward to having a refreshing conversation with him.

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    InTheSameBoat Reply:

    It’s been 8 months… what did you end up doing?

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