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about 2 months ago by Thea Fraser

Is the Grass Always Greener?

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You were fed up: you felt underappreciated, you deserved more recognition and a better pay package. So, you freshened up your CV, consulted an expert recruiter and you entered the job market. You secured a new role; you were excited to start, and it is everything that you asked for. On paper it’s perfect, but you just can’t settle. What do you do? Have you made a mistake? Yes, the grass isn’t always greener but, before you hastily pen your letter of resignation, there a few steps that you can take to give that grass a fighting chance.

The way that you are feeling is natural

Starting a new role is one of the most unsettling things that you can do. You’ve leapt the comfort of your previous role, where you felt secure and competent, into (potentially) unknown territory and that’s pretty terrifying. Any change of this scale is scary, and it may take a little while to find your bearings. It’s important to acknowledge the way that you’re feeling, and it is also worth considering whether this might be something that you can work through before you jump ship.

Try not to compare it to your old job

Much like a relationship gone sour, when we leave, we all tend to look back and romanticise the good days (when ultimately, we left for a reason). Even if it turns out that this isn’t the right job for you, it doesn’t mean that your previous role was any better. Remind yourself of all of the positive benefits that attracted you to this role in the first place; was it the shorter commute, the flexible working or the earning potential? Write a physical list of all of the things that you like about this job. You may find that the good outweighs the bad.

Connect with your colleagues

It’s a no brainer: feeling like part of the team directly correlates to your job satisfaction (and therefore productivity). Making you feel welcome should be an integral part of the onboarding process, but there is nothing from stopping you from making your connections. It may be intimidating at first, but everyone was a new starter at some point. If you prove yourself to be open and approachable, people will start to invite you to more things. So, attend as many work events as you can, tag along to work lunches or start conversations by the coffee machine.

Pinpoint what the problem is

Figure out what it is that’s getting you down and whether it can be resolved or not; make a list of specific pros and cons and what can be done about them. Do you feel kept out of the loop? Unsupported? Frustrated that you’re not picking things up fast enough? In most instances, the best thing to do is to talk to your manager. They will be able to offer you support, guidance and organise additional training in the areas that you feel you are falling behind. Communication is everything when it comes to building and maintaining healthy professional relationships. Your manager will appreciate your honesty and it’s in their best interest to help you.

Speak to your recruitment consultant

In the unfortunate event that your manager is part of the problem, speak to your recruitment consultant. They will have had a long relationship with the company and, therefore, a greater understanding of business and its culture. If all else fails, they may be able to help you find a more suitable opportunity.

Consider your options

Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to adjust, but not forever. Set a time limit for when you expect things to improve by and during that time learn as much you can about your colleagues, your role and company processes. If you have done everything you can to make it work and waited to see if things settle, then it may just be that this is not the right role for you. On the other hand, it could be something as straight forward as the role not matching the job description, you not being given the benefits you were promised (e.g. flexible working) or the company culture is a bit off. Some things won’t get better with time, in which case you are well within reason to consider other opportunities.

Disliking your new role is not ideal, but it’s not the end of the world; you can either decide to work through it or find something different. When you look for your next role, you will know which questions to ask and what research to do to make sure that you don't end up in a similar position. If you are unsure where to start, leave your details below and discuss your options with one of our expert consultants.

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