What Happens When Your New Job is Meh?
You’ve started a new job. You were excited to start but the reality is just, well, meh. What do you do? Say you’re going for a coffee, then make a break for it? Call your girlfriend in tears from a bathroom cubicle? Let’s have a look at your options.
Give it a few weeks then sit back and reflect
Starting a new job can be overwhelming, all those new systems, colleagues to meet and information to take on board. These first few weeks can be especially hard on introverts. A good long handover can help. Maybe try and keep the rest of life simple during this time and get some early nights in. Sometimes it takes months to be able to get a good clear look at what the job involves.
Let’s go back to the beginning
Pull out the job description. Run through what the draw was for you. Are those factors present in the role? If not, where are they? Is the job what they said it would be? You have grounds for discussion if the reality is distant from the job description.
What’s really going on?
Is it the workplace? The commute? The expectation that you work excessive overtime? A team dynamic? Is the job not what you thought it was? Manager not doing it for you? Once you identify what the roots of your discontent are, you can act. Is it something you can shift? Can you talk to your manager, or the HR Manager? If it’s that dire, it may be that you have a three-month trial period, you have a few months to find other work.
Sometimes it helps to sit down with a friend who knows you well and you can trust to be honest. Outline the issues you have with your new work with them. Just speaking it all out loud can help you see things with a new perspective and they might have insight on how to shift you from feeling meh.
If the job is a jump into management or otherwise a stretch for you, it could be that those pesky inner voices are having their way with you. You can do it. Just act as though you can for a month and see if you can get your mojo back.
Find someone to mentor you through the transition
It can be really helpful to get another person you respect to support you through the transition into a new role, especially if you are new to the industry. It could be you are in over your head but a good mentor will help you identify tools to help, and they’ll help you reframe that to a do-able learning curve. They’ll talk you down if you freak out and share stories from their own struggles, both of which are super helpful! You can be that person for someone else in the future.
I have a friend who schedules a ten-day holiday a month into every new role she takes on, whether it be contract or permanent. She factors that into negotiations when she takes on the role. She finds transitions challenging and says the holiday gives her something to look forward to and the distance allows her to honestly reflect about what is working and what isn’t. Smart, if you can afford it!
Putting the sparkle into your day.
If you’ve inherited your job it may be that you need to sparkle things up a bit. Redesign some systems, jazz things up a bit. If it’s a new role, it may be that certain aspects weren’t thought through. This can be especially hard around the interface with other employee’s roles. It’s hard to sparkle when you’re inadvertently stepping on other people’s toes. Keep communication channels open and clear and work it out.
New Zealand is a fairly small pond, you want to handle this work issue with dignity and respect to all involved. You can do this!