What if Your Dream Job Isn’t Living Up to Your Expectations?

John Krautzel
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When you start a great job, it's normal to expect a positive experience. But what happens if your new position isn't making you happy? By taking the right actions, you can handle the situation professionally and increase your career satisfaction.

Give It Time

A transition period is normal any time you make a career change. Often, a new situation can make you feel fearful and or unhappy — but often, those feelings go away as you find your way. If you just started a great job and it isn't working out as you expected, try giving yourself a cooling-off period. For four weeks, try your best to settle in and make friends. That way, you can take further action knowing you gave the job your best shot.

Talk to Your Employer

Sometimes, a great job is exactly what you want — on paper. The reality can be quite different. If you accepted the job based on interviews and a job description, but your actual duties are different, it's time to talk to your boss. Ask about the discrepancy, and see if the company can shift your position to better match the description. Simply not happy? It's still a good idea to meet with your boss. Explain what's not working, and if possible, come prepared with suggestions to improve your experience. Your employer might have suggestions that can help, or you might be able to negotiate better terms.

Explore Other Avenues

When a great job isn't providing career satisfaction, it might be because you're on the wrong career path. If this is the case, you might try exploring other options on the side. Take an interesting evening class at a community college, for example, or try volunteering with a non-profit. During this period, grab any opportunity that strikes your fancy. This method gives you the chance to many different career skills and opportunities. You might find that your passion is managing people, or you could discover a new love for accounting. Once you find an exciting direction, you can look for relevant opportunities within your current company or start looking for a new job.

Make the Most of the Experience

Quitting a great job too soon doesn't look good on your resume, especially if you have a spotty career history. If you're concerned about looking flaky to future employers, try sticking it out. While you're there, focus on growing the aspects of the job you like. Love speaking with clients? Ask your boss to load you up with more customer-facing duties. This makes your time more pleasant and builds valuable skills — over time, it may even turn the job into something you love.

When a great job doesn't work out as you planned, there's no need to quit immediately. By giving it time and doing your best to honor your commitment, you can maintain great working relationships and stay happy in your career.

Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks @Angelica D. Couldn't have said it better myself.

  • Angelica D.
    Angelica D.

    learn what you can and move on. set a time limit. many places have issues long before you started working there. it is not always about you, the new employee.

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