Almost a third of new employees leave their jobs within the first 90 days of getting hired. While new employees should move on if the job is truly not a good fit, it’s important for them to reflect carefully on what it is that isn’t working. Before turning in their notice, the author suggests that dissatisfied new recruits attempt to bridge gaps between what was promised and what is being offered if that is the source of their unhappiness. Employees should have honest conversations with their new managers, and be willing to put extra effort into the new role. Not every new job is going to be the right fit, but taking action early on can make awkward fits more comfortable.
A record number of Americans have left their jobs during the latter part of the Covid pandemic, fueling a historic surge in job turnover. Some left because of health concerns or caregiving demands, others lost their jobs in pandemic downturns, and still others because they’ve rethought their career and work aspirations. With hiring at an all-time low, many job seekers are finding that they have, maybe for the first time, an opportunity to call the shots when it comes to accepting a job offer.
Maybe this is you. But what if the new job isn’t all you’d hoped for? Maybe you’re even wondering if you can remain in it for even another month — that’s how bad things appear to be.
You’re not alone. According to a survey from recruiting platform Jobvite, 30% of new employees leave their jobs within the first 90 days of getting hired. Why? Forty-three percent say that their role doesn’t meet the expectations that had been set for them, 34% report that a specific incident drove them away, and 32% blame company culture.
Before you turn in your notice though, it’s important to reflect on what is making you so unhappy. Here are some steps you can take to determine your next move.
Reflect on why you’re disappointed in your new role.
Taking the time to reflect on the source of your disappointment will allow you to steer clear of repeating your mistake. Start by making a list of what was promised to you prior to accepting your new role. Place an asterisk next to those items that aren’t actually happening, and then highlight the ones that appear to be fixable. For example, if you were told that you’d be able to leave the office in time to get to your evening graduate classes and you haven’t been able to, you may be able to fix the situation by offering to come into the office earlier so you can leave promptly at 5 PM. Resolving any discrepancies that can be rectified should be your first priority.
Give the position a chance.
Beginning a new job and getting a chance to start over can be exciting. But then, reality hits. Suddenly, your BFFs at work are no longer there for support, and you quickly realize that you’re going to have to find new allies. It’s okay to miss your former co-workers and the fabulous company get-togethers you used to attend, or whatever it is that you miss. But you’ll also need to try looking forward. Consider what your future could look like if you’re able to master this role successfully. In a few months, if you’re still feeling like you made a mistake, you’ll be able to make a course correction.
Have a genuine conversation with your manager.
If you’re feeling that things aren’t going as well as you’d hoped, then consider having a heart-to-heart conversation with your manager. When doing so, choose your words carefully. Inferring that your boss purposely misled you will not help to advance your cause.
If it’s a matter of how the job is structured, think about areas where you can add value and ask to be assigned this work. When meeting with your manager, here’s how you might begin the conversation: “With your permission, I’d like to share some ideas I have on how to redesign some of the aspects of my job that will make this role more interesting for me while taking some things off your plate so you can focus on strategic matters.”
Don’t be shy about telling your boss how you’re feeling, as most managers want their employees to be happy.
Do a good job.
It’s easy to forget the importance of doing an excellent job while you’re trying to sort things out. You may find it challenging to put your heart into your work. However, you must continue to put your best foot forward. Here’s why.
Suppose you discover a job opening in the company that seems more well suited for you. Before you can apply, you need to have your boss’s blessing. If you’re doing an excellent job in your current role, your boss may be willing to advocate on your behalf. If you’re not, your boss will certainly block this move.
There is also the matter of your reputation. Regardless of whether you stay or go, you want to preserve your reputation.
Give yourself permission to be happy.
After all of this, you might still decide that it’s time to relaunch your job search. You deserve to be happy. It’s okay to admit you’ve made a mistake and move on to a job that you can’t wait to get out of bed for.