Have you moved jobs and regretted the last year? If so, you’re not alone. The “Great Resignation” has seen a record number of workers in the United States resign from their jobs since the Covid-19 pandemic and is still going strong.
In fact, in June, a staggering 4.2 million workers quit their roles, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
With so much movement in the labor market, thousands of employees across the country are feeling a little bit, well, unsettled. After all, change is hard, especially regarding your career.
If you’re feeling a little bit off-balance, jittery, or you downright regret your decision to make a move, fear not. We’re here to help you navigate this strange time.
Here’s a brief overview of what you should do if you move jobs and regret it.
Starting a new job is a bit like moving home or starting a new relationship. In the beginning, the role can seem like the perfect fit. You picture yourself climbing up the corporate ladder at this company. You see your perfect 401(k). Everything feels “right,”, especially at the job offer stage.
However, when the honeymoon period is over, and you’re actually expected to start doing some work, things can take a turn for the worst pretty quickly. Our advice is to give it some time and not immediately panic.
It takes a good six months to feel comfortable in a job. On top of that, it usually takes about a year until you feel entirely comfortable with your tasks and duties. Make sure you give your job a fair trial before throwing in the towel.
If months have passed and you’re still uncomfortable in your role, now is the time to start being introspective. You need to figure out what exactly about this job is making you regret your move. Is it your colleagues, the work environment, or maybe the sector itself?
It’s important that you spend a bit of time exploring these feelings. Get out a big white sheet of paper and put everything on the page. It may help to see where your gut feeling is coming from to pinpoint what action you need to take. Once you’ve finished writing everything out, look at it with a critical eye. Is this job really a bad fit for you, or are you still just finding your feet?
Now comes the hard bit. If you’ve come to the conclusion that your issues are not going to resolve themselves, then it’s time to have a sit-down conversation with your manager about your doubts and how you have been feeling.
It’s important that you frame this conversation in a positive (or at least neutral light). Talk about how grateful you are for the opportunity and all that you have learned so far. Then, segway into a discussion on the areas that you are finding difficult or need more support in.
A good manager should be able to help you get the proper support or suggest other internal roles that might suit your preferences better. Remember, at the end of the day, they want you to succeed too. If they handle the conversation poorly, maybe this isn’t the right company for you.
Go With Grace
At the end of the day, life is too short to spend time in a role that you really dislike. If you’ve tried all the steps above and still dread going into your new role every single morning, then it could be time to call it quits and go your separate ways.
Your health (both mental and physical) are far more important than any job. Your family and friends value who you are as a person, not your job title. Of course, leaving a role comes with financial worries, so you might need to figure this out before pulling the plug.
When it comes to telling your manager, be open and honest. Because you’ve already talked to them about your concerns, it won’t come as a massive surprise. Work a solid notice period, and don’t switch off. Remember, you never know when you’ll work with these people again.
Learn From It
You made a mistake, so what? It happens to everyone. If you moved jobs and regretted it, it’s not a big deal, but it should be a big learning experience.
Take this as a lesson on understanding exactly what you want (and don’t want) from your next role. You’ll also have a better idea of what kind of environment you want to work in.
Finally, be proud of yourself. It takes a lot of courage to speak up and say, “I’m not happy here”. The fact that you are willing to advocate for yourself is a great indicator of a long and successful career to come. This was just a tiny bump in the road.
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By Pippa Hardy