I'm not sure if my new job's for me......

Starting a new job can be stressful to say the least. It involves a real leap of faith and can unleash fears of judgement and failure as the brain works overtime trying to make sense of and adapt to the new situation. During this period, it can be natural to question whether taking the role was the right decision.

Various studies (including a study by the workforce insights arm of Equifax in 2013) have found that between thirty and forty percent of employees who left their jobs voluntarily did so within six months of starting in the position, therefore if you’re considering whether or not to stay in your job, you’re not on your own. However, you certainly don’t want to jump ship too soon and miss out on what could be a great career opportunity.

To begin to gain some clarity, consider the following:

1.       Visualise what’s important to you in a job/career? Write down your top 3 priorities and rationale. Thinking about your new job, score how it meets each of your priorities out of 10. What action can you take to bump up these scores (where applicable) and who can help you?

2.        Now, what are your SPECIFIC concerns about your new job?  What impact does this have on you?  What information supports your concerns? How do they fit with your priorities?  What steps can you take to address these? Who can help?  

3.       Give yourself permission to learn the role and the ways of the new company. Hewlett Packard carried out a study which found that men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them. If these findings are believed to be the case, then it’s possible that women start new jobs assuming they’ll be expected to excel in the role immediately. This is an unrealistic expectation and anecdotal evidence suggests it takes between six to nine months to fully settle in. Be kind to yourself and manage your expectations. Write down at the end of the day what’s gone well and what you’ve achieved; no matter how small these achievements may be – they all contribute to the bigger picture and your progress in the role.

4.       Don’t try and mind-read!  In a new job, we’re trying to impress our boss and in those initial few months, it’s common to feel judged as we hope we’re doing a good job. However, remember he/she has hired you as they value your capabilities. Where your boss acts unsupportively and you’re struggling with their style, don’t be quick to make a judgement. Reframe their comments on the basis that we’re all wired very differently and think what else they could mean / have going on. I worked for a chap who ruined my working life for 6 months. His approach was direct, short and impatient; in my mind, he patently didn’t like me. Naturally, I responded (internally) extremely negatively to this however, over time, I started to reframe my thoughts and began to recognise that we simply had very different styles. Our relationship improved, and it turned out he was actually a supportive, respectful, and an emotionally intelligent guy. Had this not been the outcome however, I most certainly would have been out of there.  

Julie Greaves is a qualified coach and HR professional. To arrange a free 45 minute consultation to see how she can help you with your career goals  Click Here or call 07841 158540.  

Julie Greaves