You Scored Your Dream Job, but It's Not Working Out. Now What?

Issue 11-13-17   |   Reviewer:   Bob Cohen, MBA


When you discover that the job you’ve taken is not a fit, all sorts of thoughts and feelings begin to build barriers around the logical thinking you need to plan your way out. When you recognize that what feels like a horrible situation is really an opportunity to rethink your career strategy, as gruesome as it may feel, you now have the chance to further refine what works and doesn’t work for you and apply that to your next steps. Below are a few ways to begin that process.

Decide What's Salvageable

Analyze your situation. Is it the job itself that isn't a fit? Did you miscalculate how much you would like the role? Is the lack of fit environmental? Do you find that you're on a toxic team or positioned in an ill-fitting institution? Think of ways to redefine your skill set. Obtain guidance from a mentor or other reliable source. Most of all is be patient. The last thing you want to do is jump from the frying pan into the fire.

Deal Breakers

Tammy Perkins, chief people officer with Fjuri Group, explains: "Professional deal breakers for me are toxic environments and unethical leaders." If what you thought was your dream job is uninhabitable because of either or if you identify other deal breakers, it may be time to forge an exit strategy, even if you're new on a team or at an institution.

Forge a Plan

A key step in forging a new plan is to find clarity in the situation. Imagine, for a moment, that you can make a consequence-free decision. If that could be the case, how would you move yourself forward?

Move Forward

Once you have some clarity about how you want to handle your situation, set a meeting with HR and explain how your onboarding experience is going. If you sense that the HR pro with whom you meet is open and available, then you've found a helpful ally. If you sense resistance, then don't go too far down that road.

The Power of Agility

Don't give in to fear. This situation challenges you, but it certainly doesn't sink you. How you handle this situation matters. You get the chance to prove to yourself that you can overcome this.

Your Reinvention

Like so many things in life, your imagined goal turned out differently than you expected. But it still teaches you something about what you want and don't want. Use that awareness to fuel your reinvention, and don't let this get you down.

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