Imagine starting a new job at a new company. You are all excited and eager, can’t wait to sit at your desk and meet your new coworkers, learn new things, etc. And then you walk in on your first day and discover… it is not at all what you expected. You are dealing with tight deadlines, your boss micromanages you, the team overall is not happy and all you feel is stress and anxiety just from being there. You have one thing on your mind – Gosh, I have no idea how long I am going to last here. Did you know, you could have avoided this type of stressful job, to begin with?
Has something similar ever happened to you? The above scenario is not unusual and can happen to anyone. In this article I would like to explore some ways you can avoid these types of situations and what can you do if, God forbid, you end up stuck in them anyway.
Stop and think about what you want
Our professional lives are so hectic and busy. Furthermore, our culture constantly reinforces that this is the way it should be. Who has time to stop and think about things like personal and professional values, needs or what inspires and motivates them? I bet you already know your values and what’s important to you in the workplace. But for some reason, getting that job offer you wanted makes you forget about your needs and values.
This is actually quite understandable. Your needs for security are more urgent than your needs for community, belonging and self-actualization. When you are dealing with the anxiety about how you’re going to pay your bills, it is hard to think about what you would like your work environment to look like. That is, until you end up in a work environment that causes you to have anxiety.
Do Your Research
Every career expert is talking about researching your company before you apply there. How many job seekers are actually listening to this advice? Besides, can you really find out much about the company culture from research? Yes, you can. It may be true that you can only find positive things online because companies will only put stuff, they want you to know about them. But there are other ways to find information than by simply going online.
You are not doing your research just to look good at your job interview. Although that certainly will make you look like a stronger candidate. The main reason for thorough research is for you. Many job seekers are so desperate, trying to get employed they don’t take the extra time to find out information about their potential employer. And guess what, desperate candidates are a big turn off for hiring managers. Because they don’t want you to be unhappy working there either.
What if you still end up in a rut?
Sometimes research is not enough. You may miss important steps and come across misleading information that only shows positive things about the company. Or you don’t have a chance to talk to anyone before you start. Or, let’s face it, you didn’t do your homework and couldn’t avoid getting this super stressful job. Now what?
This really depends on your situation, your experience, and your tolerance. The safest thing to do is to hang in there until you can find another job. Hopefully, you can do your diligent homework this time around. If the stress is really bad, sometimes it’s best to just quit and pretend this job never happened. Don’t put it on your resume, LinkedIn and don’t mention it during interviews.
Finally, having a professional career coach on your side can really do wonders. Not only will this help you deal with your stress of your current job or job search, it will save you time as you will learn effective job search strategies and how to sell yourself on an interview. In other words, you will find your next job faster, better quality and higher pay.
Katherine Bouglai is a career transition coach and the founder of Blossom Career. She works with professionals in technology who want to discover their passion in life and build careers of their dreams. Her specialties include career change, resume development, job search strategies, job interview preparations, offer negotiations and other related skills.