What to Do When You Find Yourself Hating Your Job

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You’ve just started a new job, but it’s not quite the position you thought you accepted. In fact, at times, you find yourself hating your job and think it could be a big mistake.

During your job interview, for instance, the hiring manager said you’d be supervising staff who create monthly financial reports and perform the monthly, quarterly and year-end close. But now that you’re on the job, you’re knee-deep in compliance efforts.

You may feel like you’ve been duped — but try to avoid jumping to conclusions. Sometimes, between your hiring and start dates, workplace needs shift, a project takes a new turn, or your employer realizes that resources could be used more effectively if distributed differently.

Here are four tips for tactfully handling the situation if "hating your job" is stuck on your radar — or if the new job isn’t what you expected it to be:

1. Analyze the situation, and speak up, if necessary

Before you do anything, take stock. You may not mind handling the new duties, even if they're not what you expected. If that’s the case, try to simply adapt to the situation. However, if the new responsibilities are so far from the position the hiring manager described in the job interview that you’re starting to feel disgruntled, let your manager know as soon as possible. It might be fairly easy, for example, for her to shift those compliance responsibilities to other employees.

2. Don’t try to fake it

Sometimes your new firm will ask you to do something you’re completely unprepared to do — and that’s when you’re most likely to make mistakes. For instance, the company might ask you to handle compliance reviews for regulations you’re not familiar with. If that’s the case, you should immediately ask your manager to swap the duties for others that are more in line with your skills and experience. If that’s not possible, request training in the new subject as soon as possible.

What work worries are most people haunted by? That’s a question Robert Half asked professionals across the U.S. and Canada.

3. Ask for an updated job description

Once you’ve settled on your new duties, you’ll need a new job description. A clear statement of your responsibilities will help you determine whether you’re meeting expectations and will be particularly useful during performance evaluation time. Make sure you get a written copy of your revised job description, and review it to make sure it clearly and accurately outlines your role.

4. Inquire about other opportunities

If none of these approaches work and you’re still struggling with your new responsibilities, ask your manager whether there are other openings at the firm that might be a better fit for you. Alternately, it may be time to leave the firm. If you do decide to resign, make sure you do so on pleasant and professional terms. After all, you never know when a more suitable position might open up at the organization in the future.

If you do think it's best to leave, read our post on How to Leave a Job With Grace and Class.

More resources, in case you keep hating your job

Also, search our database of accounting and finance jobs to find promising opportunities in your area.


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Editor's note: This post was updated in 2016 to reflect more current information.