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New Job Regrets Require Exit Strategy

January 18th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Q.  I started a new job two days ago, and already have grave concerns about my decision to move here from my former position.  I’m sure I made a mistake.  Do I have to stay for a minimum time?  Recommendations?

A.  When I moved to a new job several years ago, I also felt I made a mistake within hours of arriving at the new company.  However, I had moved across the country and realized that I needed to make the best of a job I didn’t really like.  While the job never clicked, I found aspects of it allowed me to feel that I was doing something interesting enough to stay for a few more days.  Days turned into months, and I remained two years before moving to another job.  Today, the 2-year rule for jobs no longer applies.

Don’t do anything drastic–like quit–before having a back up plan in place.  Unless you are independently wealthy or able to boomerang to your old job, you’re likely stuck in the new job until you can find another.   Your situation underscores the importance of not burning bridges with past employers.  Quietly loop back. In this short a time, your old job likely hasn’t been filled. 

If ethical concerns exist, then you might have to bite the bullet and quit without having a back up plan.  Don’t remain in a situation where you are miserable.  You can fill your time until the next job with volunteer projects or freelance/temp assignments. 

Tags: Careers · Q&As

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Luke // Jan 19, 2010 at 11:35 am

    This happened to me, and I would say to the person not to worry too much. I bet more of us have done this than you thought. After the first 3 months in the job I disliked, it got better–from “awful” to “tolerable.” I agree with the advice here–try to loop back to your old job first. Secondly, if that isn’t an option, do the best you can to learn new skills and abilities in this job. Third, hit the job search again. There are ways to address this short tenure in an interview that anyone would understand.

  • 2 Eric I // Jan 19, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    “Not burning bridges with past employers” is always advice that my workforce veteran Dad would always tell me. It’s good advice for many reasons, one in particular: you don’t want to be left without any credible references for the new job.

  • 3 Culpwrit // Jan 24, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Alexandra Levit’s WSJ column about “Career-Life Crisis” is worth reading by anyone doubting their career choice. http://tinyurl.com/ycn565d

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