You painstakingly navigated the job search process and accepted a great offer. Congratulations! But, almost immediately after starting your new job, you spot red flags. Perhaps the job description doesn’t match what you’re being asked to do or you feel you’re being thrown to the wolves without proper training. Maybe your new manager isn’t as pleasant as you had hoped. Whatever the reason, you’re not alone. Studies show approximately one out of three workers has quit a job within the first six months.
So what do you do if you feel you’ve made a mistake?
We asked The HT Group recruiters for their advice, which centers around four very important moves.
1. Identify the problem.
“Each situation is different,” says one recruiter. “The key would be to determine if this particular situation can be changed or if it is insurmountable.” If you’re not getting along with your reporting manager, for instance, it’s important to determine whether a change in communication could help or if your chain of command could be tweaked. Perhaps the commute has turned out to be surprisingly difficult for you. Would a shift in your work schedule or working from home for a small portion of your day make a big difference?
2. Be realistic.
Has it been two months and you’re getting anxious about not receiving a raise or promotion yet? Take a deep breath and recognize that, most often, employers value tenure.
“It is unrealistic to expect your employer to reward you with a promotion if you have not been there at least a year,” says a technical recruiter. “An employer will often wait to make sure you are committed before they tap you for a promotion.”
If your patience is lacking, she adds, “Appreciate what is good about your current opportunity and determine whether any new position you might get is BETTER than the one you are in.”
3. Speak up.
You may feel that, as a new hire, you have limited power when it comes to voicing your concerns. But keep in mind it’s likely your new employer would rather address your concerns than go through the hiring process again. Your employer or recruiter may also be able to find a solution for you where you thought there was none.
“I represented someone who relocated for a contract position and halfway through the contract, wanted to go back home,” explains a recruiter. “I asked the contract worker three important questions: Do you enjoy the work? Do you like who you are working for? Do you want to continue working if we can find a solution? She said yes to all three questions, so we spoke with her manager who was more than willing to make the position remote to continue the contract.”
4. Give it 90 days.
“Our recruiters conduct follow-up calls at 5, 30, 60 and 90 days,” explains an executive recruiter. “Any concerns during this time can be addressed with the recruiter so they can act as a go-between with the client partner.”
This three-month period allows you to take the first steps of identifying the problem and addressing concerns without making any hasty moves you might regret. Plus, you never know what might work itself out during that time.
“I have had only one candidate come back and say they hate their job,” another executive recruiter told us. “I asked him to wait it out past 90 days (as any recruiter should do). He did, and during that time his difficult boss was fired. Suddenly, he loved his job again.”
Not thriving at a new job can be a common occurrence. But to help prevent it from happening again, consider working with a staffing or recruiting firm. Reputable recruiters expertly vet opportunities for job candidates and spend valuable time pre-interviewing and preparing candidates for the positions that match their skills.
“We have at least three conversations with our job candidates prior to the first interview,” a recruiter with The HT Group explains. “We teach them about the culture. We field their most pressing questions. We provide them with videos, interview prep packets, and any documentation we’ve been provided by clients. We do some mock interview questions about key areas the company will focus on: culture, teamwork, accountability.”
This type of preparation can help job candidates decide whether they will be a good fit for the organization.
“We really try to protect both the client and the candidate from wasting time,” the recruiter concludes. “We act as a safety barrier to avoid falloff.”
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