New Job Not Working Out

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about boring new job:

I took a new position but after 4 weeks I am totally bored out of my mind. All the promises made just were not true. I have since received another offer closer to home with more money. How long should I stay with my current position?

Signed, How Long Should I Stay?

Dear How Long Should I Stay?:

Nothing is ever easy to decide, is it? There are some obvious reasons for staying in a job at least a year: It provides you a chance to learn new skills and gain knowledge and you need time for both of those. It shows your ability to stick to a project or task, as well as a job. It implies you were successful and not forced to leave.On the other hand, some jobs are only jobs, not career moves or major opportunities and leaving them is not so devastating, especially if you find you were misled or just mistaken.

Think about some of these issues:

1. You have apparently received an offer already, so you don’t need a reference to get it. Thus, even if your current employer is upset, you have the new job waiting.

2. If you truly feel the promises made to you about your job were never fulfilled, save any written material you have about that. Also, if you decide to leave, write a good exit letter that is very courteous and regretful, but also definite about your decision. You can say that you find your current job, as much as you like the organization itself and the people in it,is simply not what you had expected and you know both you and the organization would benefit from having someone whose knowledge and skills are a better fit. You don’t need to mention the new job in that case. Only say you have realized you and the job are not a good fit. If you are asked more, stick to that one story. Save your letter and any responses from your employer. Those might be handy one day if you need them to show you didn’t leave under a cloud.

3. The nature of the job might have an impact on how long you stay–especially if there is some network within the employment field–but even that would be limited, once you have established yourself as a good employee at the new place and stay there a reasonable amount of time–at least a year or two.

4. A good finance idea: If you truly will be making more and not spending as much on gasoline, consider investing or saving part of the additional. Of course you don’t want to save it all, I know that. But still, you hadn’t planned on more than you’re getting now, so saving some of it would be painless. Even a little bit would make buying the next car or a house or Christmas presents or whatever, easier!

So, my bottom line advice is that if you have a new job all sewn up and it pays more and is closer AND IF your current employer truly did misrepresent your current job in some significant way, I’d say move on and learn from the experience. If you leave without any reason given, you may be viewed less than positively by your current employer, but you can overcome that by being stellar at your new job. If there was no misrepresentation, you just have had a better job offer, be even more gracious about leaving and ensure you do not burn any more bridges than is inevitable. Just don’t get caught up with letting your current employer think he or she can convince you to stay. Be adamant that such and such a day will be your last day there. Then, really make an effort to use your remaining time well by helping others, being positive and doing what you can to help the transition. At that point you can say you sought other work and found it, if you are asked. Not all employers ask for references, so they won’t need to know you already had the work lined up.The key is to be the kind of employee any employer would want. If, in the future the job is not what you expect, communicate your concerns right away.Best wishes with this whether you decide to stay or not.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.