Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

What to Do When Your New Job is a Bad Fit

Congratulations! You got a job! And…turns out it’s not what you thought it was going to be. Not only that, the job is truly a bad fit. This is a crummy situation, but don’t worry, we have some solutions. From making the best of things to quitting gracefully, here are some choices you have when your new job is a bad fit.

I’m going to skip the “decide if you really want to quit” spiel, and assume that it is at least six weeks in and you are still miserable. Before you actually walk out the door though, there are a few things you can try in order to make your situation better.

First, talk to a few different people about your concerns. Start with coworkers and see if they went through a similarly tough time when they started. Like the advice from Lifehacker suggests, you should ask yourself: Is this just the busy season and things will slow down later? Is there a really awesome promotion around the corner if you just put up with the grunt work for a year? Definitely be tactful in these conversations. It’s poor form to complain obnoxiously to anyone at work about work. Although, being a whiney jerk might also solve your problem (meaning they’ll let you go before you decide to dip out).

If your coworkers are unhelpful, talk to your hiring manager. Explain your concerns— especially if your duties have changed significantly from when you were hired— and see if he or she can do anything about them. Clarify if you want to quit because of a poor work environment, or because of the job duties. The hiring manager might be able to offer insight on the former, and can perhaps negotiate some things with you on the latter. Ask about other opportunities in the company and whether you might be a better fit for those positions. If you have been a good employee for the past six weeks, your hiring manager might be glad to keep you on in another capacity.

If these things don’t work— and they might not, given the currently harsh job market— quitting a new job is very similar to quitting a job you’ve had for a while. Don’t over think it. It is important to give two weeks’ notice. Offering to give two weeks is courteous and will avoid any hard feelings between you and your (former) employer. Be honest and apologetic, and offer to help make the transition to a new employee as easy as possible.

Also, be honest if you really want to leave immediately. If your job is making you uncomfortable, or you feel that you aren’t capable of doing it well, it might be in everyone’s best interest for you to leave sooner. Best of luck in dealing with this tricky situation; and cue some appropriate 70s music with a “better luck next time” theme. I think there’s a lot of it.

Have you ever wanted to quit a job right away? Or do you have an appropriate song to suggest? Leave a comment below, or send me a tweet: @ithinkther4iamb #betterjobnexttime

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by racheocity

Kristin Anderson

Kristin has a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa, with an emphasis in creative writing. In her free time she enjoys long walks, kitchen adventures, and making puns.