You’ve been in your new job or internship for a couple weeks, maybe a month, and have thoroughly settled in. And you’ve come to a stomach-cramping conclusion:
This job sucks!
It happens to everyone at some point in their career. You find a position that looks great on paper… has an exciting title… the description was full of responsibilities that looked engaging and fun. But in real life the new job is everything but what you were sold, or expected.
So, now what do you do?
Maybe you don’t want to find another position; it might have taken you months to find this one. Yet you’re unhappy – and you might be letting everyone know it; for example, through your demeanor, your performance, and sometimes even on Facebook or Twitter for the whole world to see… including your boss.
Well, you have three options: accept it, fix it – or move on.
Yes, at first glance this advice may seem to fall into the “duh” category under common sense. But if that’s the case, why are so many people stuck in a job that sucks – yet they are terminally disengaged (according to Gallup, 70% of us are)? Why do we constantly hear people bitching and moaning about being bored? Or that their boss is a narcissistic jerk?
So, common sense or not, in a situation like this you really only have three choices – and you must pick one.
Accept the Situation
For some people, accepting this kind of situation works for them. Some people land a new job or internship that, while not challenging, provides them a comfortable position and provides them with a steady paycheck. Game over. Shut up.
Change the Situation
Some other people, however, can’t live with the fact that they aren’t being challenged, or that the boss is not worthy of his title. They’re not happy just chugging along earning a paycheck. They want more responsibility or different responsibilities.
If that is your case, you need to take action. Grumbling to your co-workers or Friends on Facebook is not going to improve your situation – in fact, even people who love you will think you are being a whiner, a victim – or both.
Talk to your manager in a measured, diplomatic manner about your situation, and frustration. Communicate. Listen. And don’t just complain – have an action plan formulated that includes solutions to present to your manager. Perhaps there’s a way to expand your role. Maybe there’s another department where the work is of interest to you.
Maybe a different management style that would work better for you. In this case, suggest that you and your manager could move into a coaching relationship, and greatly improve your work environment. You may also consider volunteering for special assignments that will challenge and expand your skill set.
If the manager (or perhaps human resources) still doesn’t listen or react as you had hoped, there’s also the third option…
Time to Move On
Sometimes, in a bad or dead-end job situation, there comes a time where you just have to leave. No matter what you do to try to improve it, or how you view the situation, it just becomes unbearable.
That my friends is called “inspiration”.
These very situations have been the inspiration for countless entrepreneurs and today’s business leaders. Time to move on to bigger and better challenges. There’s nothing to be afraid of; remind yourself, it’s just another aspect of work – and life.
Ultimately in this third option, your professional happiness lies elsewhere. Embrace the new possibilities.
Have a new job that sucks? Accept it, fix it – or move on. Because doing what makes you happy makes much more “common sense” than remaining miserable… and doing nothing.
Thanks for this post go to our friend, Mark Babbitt, CEO and Founder of YouTern. He is a serial mentor who has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Mashable, and Forbes regarding job search, career development, internships, leadership, and workforce issues.
Mark co-authored the best-seller A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive. A prolific blogger, Mark’s work appears in Entrepreneur, Forbes, Harvard Business Review and many other outlets. An in-demand speaker, he was named one of Inc. Magazines Top 100 Leadership Speakers. Questions? Contact Mark on Twitter.