Was Your New Job a Mistake? Know When to Call It Quits

By Robert Half August 12, 2015 at 6:00pm

You’re six months into your new finance job, and doubts are creeping in. Maybe you haven't progressed the way you'd hoped, or the atmosphere doesn’t feel the same as it did during the interview process. What once seemed like an innovative place to work may now seem haphazard, monotonous or listless.

Is this the right organization for you? Should you have been more selective? Is it so bad that you want to start looking for a new job again? These can be challenging questions to answer. Before you decide to cut your losses and start a new job search, here are three factors to consider about your employer, workplace or position:

1. They haven’t held up their end of the deal.

If your goal is to attain a leadership position, you already know that continued education is an important factor in building your career. A hiring promise of educational opportunities can make or break a job offer for you, because that provides a clear path to becoming management-qualified. If these opportunities aren’t at least on the horizon at the six-month mark, talk with your employer. The problem could be as simple as a miscommunication or a scheduling issue. However, if the response you receive is negative or less than forthcoming, it might be time to reassess your situation. .

2. Things aren’t what they seemed.

Are two weeks long enough to get a feel for a new job in finance and accounting? Definitely not. However, by the midyear mark, you’ve come to know many of your coworkers and have a better understanding of how the office operates. This new familiarity can be eye-opening if office talk and attitudes about coworkers or management take a discouraging dive. By the time you realize how low office morale is, staying positive yourself can be a challenge. Even if your coworkers’ negative opinions are well-supported, a toxic work environment is damaging to you and your career.

3. The terms have changed.

Maybe the job you were hired to do a few months ago isn’t, as it turns out, the job you’re expected to do now. It’s possible that the department’s needs changed suddenly for legitimate reasons. Or it’s possible that your new employer wasn’t completely open with you. If your responsibilities at work have quickly increased or changed and your pay hasn’t, insist upon an accurately revised job description so you can renegotiate your salary based on your new duties. If that doesn’t work, it may be time to seek greener pastures.

Remember, job hopping doesn’t necessarily carry the stigma it once did. The average U.S. employee now works only 4.6 years at a job before leaving. Whether it’s because of low morale, increased stress or other reasons, quitting a job that makes you unhappy is better than staying purely for resume-building purposes. While it can be challenging to determine if accepting your new job was a mistake, accurately assessing your situation can help give you clarity. If you do decide to leave, feel good about your decision and kick-start your job search with confidence.

Have you ever made a mistake taking a new job? Share your experience below.

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