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What to do if the first few weeks of a new job don’t go well?

A new job should be a time for celebration and exploring a new opportunity. However, it can sometimes be different from what you expected if those first few weeks of a new job don’t go well. We hope that that isn’t the case when you find your next position. If it is, we have a few things to consider to see if you can turn the situation around.

Take time to reflect (and what to ask yourself)

We know it can be hard when things aren’t going well but we definitely recommend taking time to reflect. Finding a new job isn’t always easy and job-hopping is still, unfortunately, not a great look on a CV. If you are feeling that your new opportunity isn’t right then some time to reflect and review is important. Have a think about:

  • What exactly isn’t right? Is it the culture? Working hours? The job itself? Or your manager?
  • Your job description. Be critical. Is the new role matching to the job description? If not what is missing?
  • Your skills. Do you have the necessary skills for your role? Can you see if there are any training opportunities about that might help?
  • Can you be patient? How bad is the situation making you feel? Can you be patient to see if things will naturally improve?

Take time to talk to your colleagues and your manager about your new job

If the answers to your reflection aren’t providing you with a way forward, then talking to colleagues and your manager can help. Don’t burn any bridges and stay professional in all conversations but talking to your colleagues could help. While we’re not advising you to get involved in a situation of ‘bashing the boss’ we do feel that seeing other people’s progress and thoughts on the company culture can help you see if it is a wider problem.

Hopefully, your reflection also pinpointed what was missing from the job description or what training might help you improve. Have these written down when you talk to your manager and go through them to see what can be actioned. If it doesn’t feel like anything will happen from this conversation, then this advice below might help your next step.

Set yourself goals while seeing what else is out there

Hopefully what comes out of reflection and talking are some goals you can set yourself. If not, then start to see whatever roles are out there. You don’t want to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire. It can also be a good idea to write a pros and cons list of what you do and don’t want from a role, to make sure you ask the right questions at future interviews. Finally, if you’re still feeling that the way forward is to leave your role then we’d recommend not burning any bridges. We hope that you do settle into your new role but if not have a look at our job search or talk to Nicola at or Annette at about your next step.

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