Job offers are exciting, but sometimes things don’t go as planned once you begin working. Maybe this is your first job out of school, or perhaps your skills don’t exactly match up to the position. Or maybe you can’t put your finger on the problem—you just don’t like going to work.
In this situation, it’s important not to give up. Sometimes the work environment is a bad fit, but more often the obstacles are temporary and can be overcome. The boulder blocking your path might just turn out to be a pebble.
Try these four steps to examine your situation and move forward—without leaving your new job!
Understand the problem
Why do you feel like your first week hasn’t gone well? Examine the issues. Do your skills fail to translate into your new job? Are you unsure of what’s expected of you?
Once you understand the actual factors involved, you can develop a plan to target them. For example, if you feel like you need to brush up on your skills, try reaching out to your school. You might find that they have continuing medical education (CME) resources available to you. Or you can look over old class notes and textbooks to refresh your memory. You can research your industry to understand the most valuable skills for people in your role, as well.
The important point is to find a solution. Don’t give up!
Coordinate with your manager
If you can’t solve the problem on your own, have a frank conversation with your manager. Tell him or her what you’re experiencing, but be specific and present problems that can be solved.
“I just don’t like this job” probably won’t go over well. Instead say, “I’m having trouble matching up my daily tasks with the job description,” which is a reasonable statement with several possible solutions.
The first week is a perfect time to initiate these conversations. A good supervisor will see this as a strength – because you’re speaking up and being confident, yet professional. Waiting until you’re six months into the job will likely demonstrate a lack of success.
Work together with your manager to come up with a plan of action. Then ask to check in after a few days, and then again in another few weeks. Don’t put off the value of understanding your role in the first month of your new job. It will set the tone for the rest of your year.
Find your confidence
Sometimes it’s not about the new job at all—it’s your confidence. If this is your first job since graduating, you might feel unsure about performing new tasks or applying what you learned in school. But remember: Out of dozens of candidates, your employer chose you.
You are qualified for this role; you just have to push past your uncertainty.
Wait it out
Do you feel detached from your coworkers? Does being unfamiliar with the office or facility make you uncomfortable? These are natural reactions. You’re in a new environment, working with strangers and performing tasks that you’ve probably never done outside of training.
It’s natural to feel uncomfortable, but discomfort leads to growth. Give the role at least six months, which is enough time to get used to your team and responsibilities. If you still aren’t happy, then you might want to look for other opportunities. But make sure you put effort and enthusiasm into this job first.
After all, you accepted the position—you must have done so for a reason.
Have you been in this situation before? What helped you stick it out? Let us know in the comments!