Starting a new job can be thrilling. The thought of all the possibilities that come with a brand new position drives many of us to never stop going after that dream job. But what happens when that shiny new job isn’t what you thought it would be? What happens when you want to quit your job within just a few days of starting?
You took a step in the wrong direction, accepted a position, and regretted that decision immensely. Now, you’re running through a million different scenarios in your head of how you will work up the courage to tell your new boss that you are simply never coming back. Luckily for us, there are others who have charted a path of how to successfully breakup with your boss. Below are a few steps you should follow if you ever find yourself working up the courage to quit your job.
Should you quit your job?
It’s not an easy burden when you realize you made a mistake accepting a new position. You have already invested a lot of time and effort into this new role. General life advice – don’t panic. Emotions can get the best of us, so the best thing for you to do is to take a step back and make clear decisions without clouded judgment. Your conversations shouldn’t be led by emotion, but rather by why you realized this role just wasn’t the right fit.
Is it jitters or something more?
It’s like the first day of school all over again. It’s completely normal to feel those first day jitters. You’re going into a brand new environment, associating with new colleagues, not to mention taking on new responsibilities and expectations. But in this moment you have to distinguish between new-job nerves or something more.
Emma Isaacs, Founder and Global CEO of Business Chicks asks, “Is it an excited type of feeling, perhaps the feeling of being a little overwhelmed? Or is it a nagging dread that sits in the pit of your stomach, giving you signs that maybe this isn’t right?”
She continues, “Almost everyone experiences varying levels of self-doubt when they start in a new position, but as your confidence and competence increase, these feelings subside. That nagging dread in your stomach though? It’s unlikely to pass.”
Find someone you trust and respect. Take a moment and talk to them about what you are feeling. Make sure it’s someone who will be able to truly guide you with the best advice for your professional future.
Be ready for the quit-your-job conversation. It might get awkward.
You may be reading this thinking about how you will gain enough courage to walk back in to work tomorrow. It’s time to make a pros and cons list. You should write down all the benefits of staying in this job including the reasons you accepted it and why it’s no longer suitable for you. If you decide to quit your job, prepare yourself mentally for an uncomfortable conversation with your boss. Accept the fact that it won’t be pleasant and your employer won’t take it with a smile.
Read the fine print
Once you’ve become emotionally committed to quitting, consider the steps you’ll have to take. Start by reading through your contract. In most contracts, you are required to give two weeks notice although it is possible your employer may let you go right away. Be sure to write a formal letter of resignation. This way, everything is written down and traceable.
As soon as you make up your mind about what steps you are going to take, communicate right away! Reach out to the person that hired you and have an honest and thought-out conversation with them about your decision. Avoid giving this notice via email or phone if possible. It may be an easier way out but consider the hiring manager and remember you owe them the courtesy of telling them in person. Lauren McGoodwin, former university recruiter and now founder and CEO of Career Contessa believes that it’s all in how you word it. It’s not to say that they or the company are wrong, it’s that overall it wasn’t the best fit. “You need to explain that you’ve gone in with the best intentions but out of respect for them you wanted to cut their losses and your losses before either party has invested more energy into it,” McGooden adds.
Go in prepared with the reasons for your decision. Have in mind three or four key points on why you have come to that conclusion to show that you are not being impulsive but that you put thought into what you are doing. Your employer may not take your decision very well. Sympathize with them and if you have no doubts in your mind, stand firm on your decision.
Ready to quit your job? Learn and move on
A fear one may have after experiencing quitting after such a short amount of time is the mistake of repeating it again. You dealt with all the questioning from your colleagues, friends and family which may have knocked your confidence level a few. Luckily, there are a number of ways to ensure you don’t not relive these moments on your next role.
Avoid interviews in cafés or off-site venues as these don’t give you a true glimpse of the environment of the organization. Meet the hiring manager or team in person and in the office space you’ll be working in. Sites such as Glassdoor can be extremely useful and remember, you are interviewing the the employer as much as they are interviewing you.
What’s the point of sticking around if you know it won’t lead you anywhere? Think about the big picture and let that lead you when taking the steps to arrive there. This situation may be daunting at the moment but keep in mind that careers are long. If you made a mistake, learn and move on.
What went wrong?
Don’t dwell on feeling embarrassed or ashamed. Sometimes things just aren’t meant to be. Once you’ve settled, take the time to reflect on what led you to say yes to that position and the reason you decided it wasn’t a good match. Take this information to guide you when looking for your next job. Take your time when searching your next role and don’t just jump into the first opportunity you find. If you’re unhappy now, it’s possible you may be unhappy there too if it’s not the job you truly desire.
Plan your future
Think of all you’ve just gone through (or are about to go through) as a learning opportunity. Take the time to plan out how you will approach your job search differently in the future. What are the steps you can take to avoid the mishap of excepting a position that is not for you?
It’s understandable if you’re feeling down after all these waves of emotion and stressful/ awkward conversations. To avoid getting stuck in negative thoughts, write down all the things that make you amazing at what you do. You didn’t fail. You’re not a quitter. You simply have a goal in mind and know that there is a specific path to get you there.
Click here for more tips via GirlBoss.
Have you gone through a similar situation? Be sure to comment below. We’d love to hear how you went about that awkward conversation.