I Don’t Like My New Job…What Should I Do?

Stressed man at work with his head in his hands.

Have you ever started a new job you were really excited about and quickly realized you don’t like it? 

There could be a variety of reasons you don’t like it. Perhaps you’ve started at a busy time of year, maybe the team isn’t welcoming or maybe your job expectations don’t align with what’s actually required. 

Either way, you may be panicking. You likely just quit a job to start this one and now what are you supposed to do? Go crawling back or start the search again? Job hunting is never easy, and neither is going back to a company you previously worked for.

What’s your next step? Do you quit or do you stick it out? 

At Anderson Trucking Service (ATS), retention is very important to us — as it is to most companies. We regularly conduct one-to-ones to monitor new staff members and have onboarding plans to set them up for success. We also do exit interviews for those who decide to leave; this feedback helps us make continuous improvements.

In this article, we’ll go through some questions and tips you can run through to help you figure out what to do if you don’t like your new job. When you’re finished reading, you’ll know if it’s time to implement a new plan at work or start hunting for new jobs. 

The Cons of Job Hopping

Let’s start by talking about why you might want to stay at your job. For starters, jumping from job to job doesn’t look great on a resume. If a recruiter reviewing resumes sees an applicant who already had 10 jobs this year, they may question why. Were they terminated? Do they struggle to commit to a job? Will they quit our company right away? 

It’s in a company’s best interest to retain employees, and they certainly don’t want to waste anyone’s time by not hiring the best candidate.

Even if you don’t have multiple jobs on your resume, you may still get asked about your job history and why you left a position after not being there for very long. 

It can impact your ability to get hired for some jobs. 

By all means, leave a job if it doesn’t satisfy you, but do consider the following questions first so you don’t potentially hurt your hireability. 

Question #1: Could the Job Get Better? 

The first few weeks at a new company can be tough. At many companies, the first few days or weeks consist of training. You might be sitting in a classroom for orientation or sitting in front of a computer watching training videos. Either way, it’s not exactly the most exciting thing. That’s probably not what you signed up for. 

However, the training is temporary. Soon, you’ll get to the meat of your job. Can you hang on until your training is through? It’s best to give yourself at least 90 days at a new company to get a snapshot of what it’ll be like.

Sometimes it can simply take some time to get into the swing of things. Some people lack confidence when they start new jobs and it takes some time to build that confidence in a new role. It may also take time to connect with your new coworkers. 

However, some aspects of the job may never change. For example, you’ll always have to make calls in a sales position. You have to ask yourself if it’s the right job for you.

No manager expects you to hit the ground running immediately. If you feel like you aren’t keeping up with the cadence of your coworkers right away, that’s okay. Give yourself time to work up to it. There should be a growth plan to help train you and get you up to speed.

Give yourself a deadline. If work doesn’t get better by then, you can allow yourself to start looking elsewhere. By focusing on what you can control — like your attitude — you may learn to love the role.

Stressed young woman working on her laptop. A group of coworkers looks on.

Question #2: Did You Start During a Busy Time? 

While 90 days will give you a snapshot of what your job will be like, it’s best to give yourself a year at a new company. It’ll help you go through all the cycles a company goes through. 

For instance, you could’ve started during a busy season or a slow season and the rest of the year normally isn’t like that. Can you put up with a busy or slow season for a short time during the year if you enjoy the rest of the year? It could make your job look very different if the rest of the year flows at a different pace and allows you to focus on different tasks.

Question #3: Can You Find a Way to Connect with Your Coworkers?

It can be tough to join a well-established team. Maybe you don’t feel welcome, and it’s causing you to consider quitting. 

Before you turn in that resignation letter, try out a few strategies to connect first. Perhaps you could ask a coworker to go to lunch with you or for a brisk walk during a break. 

Try to find different commonalities by asking them about their interests. 

Studies show a high correlation between engagement in the workplace and having a best friend at work. Employees are more likely to stay and feel job satisfaction when they have a best friend at work.

If all else fails, you can always talk to your manager or the HR team about finding a mentor, which is a great way to build a relationship. You may also be a better fit for a different team and could consider transferring. 

Question #4: Can You Find Meaning in Your Role?

Finding purpose in your role can go a long way in job satisfaction. If you don’t understand how your role contributes to the bigger picture, you can feel unsatisfied. It’s important to know where the company is going in the future and how you fit into that plan. How does your role specifically make a difference?

Talk to your manager about how you fit into the bigger picture. They can help you find your purpose at work if you’re unsure what it is. After all, if you can’t find meaning and you feel unsatisfied, chances are you won’t be giving it your all in your role and you may not be very dedicated to it. 

One of the ways you may be able to find meaning is through volunteering for a committee at work. It’ll give you something else to do in addition to your role and it can help give you a deeper purpose.

Two women and a man in yellow shirts wearing lanyards for a volunteer project.

Question #5: Can You Talk To Your Manager? 

If you’ve tried all the above and it hasn’t helped, talk to your manager. They can’t help you and be empathetic to the situation if they don’t know what’s going on. 

Maybe something as simple as a schedule adjustment or the switch from one team to another can help. Life changes and your company can help you through.

It can feel intimidating to talk to your manager, but if your next step is quitting anyway, you don’t have anything to lose. It’s their duty and it’s in their best interest to help you excel in your role. After all, they hired you for a reason. 

You can also talk to HR. The department is there to support you. Explain what you’re going through. They can provide resources to help you navigate your troubles, such as additional training, a mentor and more.

Weigh the Pros and Cons Before Making a Job Change

Before you make a move, weigh the pros and cons of staying and quitting. Think about why you applied for and accepted the job in the first place. What drew you to it? 

An obvious pro is that you’ll no longer be working a job you don’t like, but a con is that you won’t have a job. You’ll have to search for a new role and there’s the risk you won’t like it either. 

There could be other pros to your current job, such as the employee perks. That could be reason enough for you to decide to stay — especially if you’ve employed some of the tactics above and you’re learning to like your job more.

Finding Job Satisfaction

Finding yourself in a new job that you don't like can be disheartening and challenging. However, before making any hasty decisions, it's essential to carefully assess the situation and consider various factors. Give yourself time to adapt and integrate into the company culture, as sometimes the initial discomfort is temporary and can improve with time and effort. Evaluate whether the job has the potential to get better and if there are opportunities to connect with coworkers and find meaning in your role.

Job hopping should be weighed against the potential negative impact on your resume and future employability. Leaving a job too soon may raise questions about your commitment and suitability as a long-term employee. If you have concerns, reporting them to HR is crucial.

Remember to communicate openly with your manager or HR about your feelings and explore potential solutions together. Ultimately, when considering a job change, carefully weigh the pros and cons of staying versus quitting, considering what drew you to the job initially and the potential benefits of your current position.

ATS emphasizes the importance of retention and offers support to new staff members through onboarding and regular check-ins. By thoughtfully considering your options and seeking support, you can make an informed decision about whether to stick it out or pursue a new opportunity elsewhere. Whatever you decide, it's crucial to prioritize your well-being and job satisfaction.

If you do decide to leave, here’s how you can find the right company to work for.

Courtney Smith

Written by Courtney Smith

Courtney is a senior employee relations consultant at ATS. She supports the logistics and vans divisions on all things HR-related. No two days are ever the same for her since the needs of the business and employees are constantly evolving. She enjoys the people at ATS and being part of a growing company whose values strongly align with her own. Acquiring a wide array of experiences throughout her career continues has been invaluable, since most experiences present an opportunity to learn and grow. Prior to ATS, she worked in employee relations at a Fortune 125 organization and held a variety of HR leadership roles.

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