We all start off with high hopes when we land a new job. What do you do when it doesn’t work out? Sometimes despite our best efforts the job we were so excited about simply doesn’t fit. Perhaps the job we are expected to do isn’t the one we interviewed for. Or the great manager that hired us leaves unexpectedly and the new manager has a different role in mind for us. Worse yet, maybe the new manager doesn’t like us or thinks we are a threat.
Then it is time to go shopping for another job, discreetly, of course! And the sooner the better because if you are thinking that the job isn’t a match your employer is probably on the same page. It is best that you leave on your terms rather than wait to see what your boss has in mind.
Before you leap into action, reflect on why the job didn’t work out. Were there questions you didn’t ask but should have? Did you ignore any obvious red flags, or overlook more subtle signs of a possible mismatch? What will you do differently this time, so you don’t make the same misstep?
If you know in a matter of days or weeks that the job isn’t a good match, and you haven’t updated your LinkedIn profile or alerted your wider network that you have accepted a job then pick up on your job search where you left off. No need to update your LinkedIn profile or resume with your latest information just yet.
If you’ve been at the job for several months or a year, quietly activate your immediate network with an update. Give them an abbreviated version of your situation, your new boss left, the company changed hands, the job responsibilities changed or weren’t clearly outlined. No whining, just the facts, then circle back around and tell them what you are looking for: ideas, information and introductions.
Update your resume to include recent accomplishments. Revise your LinkedIn profile to reflect current job responsibilities in as positive a light as possible. Share those aspects of the job that you like or have been valuable to your professional development. You want to engage hiring managers not give the impression that you are trapped in job hell. Don’t be shy about taking credit for any accomplishments even if they aren’t the ones you expected.
Schedule time for your job search during off-work hours. It is too easy to convince yourself that things will magically improve. If you don’t consciously set aside time to explore other options, it won’t happen. The job market is hot right now so take advantage of it by being proactive.
Stay active on LinkedIn, post or comment regularly. Reach out to those in your network and beyond to connect. The broader and deeper your network the more likely that someone you know can put you in touch with the hiring manager when opportunity strikes.
Despite having your eye on the horizon, stay focused on work during work hours. You don’t want to give your employer a reason to let you go and there is always the off chance that the right position could open up in your current company and you want the opportunity to be considered for it!
©2021 Mary Jeanne Vincent. All rights reserved.