It’s not you, it’s me: What to do when the job you took is not the job you want

Article Seldon-Rosser-What-To-Do-When-Job-Isnt-What-You-Wanted

Key learnings:

  • How to navigate the conversations
  • Being able to make the right decision for you

So you started a new job and quickly realise that, for several reasons, it is not right for you. At this point you have a few options…

A) you call your old boss and beg for your job back,

B) leave the country and become a Sharman / yoga teacher or

C) start looking for another role.

For some, it can be easy to go back to their previous employer, providing they left on good terms. But for most, the only option is to find a better-suited role / firm.

Here’s a few tips on how to explain your situation in interviews:

Take the emotion OUT!

It is something that can be difficult to do but you will need to sensor your emotions. Explain why you are leaving but do not use emotive words like “hate” and say “they” (with emphasis) like your employers are the enemies –  they aren’t – it was just not the right position for you. If it is not the right cultural fit, explain that, if the role was sold as senior position but in reality it wasn’t, say that.

If you hold resentment, it will affect your tone and take your conversation in a negative direction, which can be hard to come back from.

Be articulate

Please don’t dwell on the issue. If you spend 30 mins of a 1-hour interview explaining your current situation, the interview is NOT going well. Before the interview, identify 2/3 key reasons your current role isn’t right and move on to the opportunity you are interviewing for.

Ask the right questions

It’s likely, one of the reasons you accepted your current role, and now regret it, is because you didn’t ask the right questions.  You need to ask the right questions – if you don’t, you may find yourself in the same position in 3 months’ time. When you are interviewing, be sure that this firm/role isn’t the same as the last one. If you say there was a lack of leadership/mentorship in the last role, make sure this firm have great leaders and mentors. If it was important enough for you to leave, it should be an important point for your next role.

Be genuine

Your interviewers are probably people that care about their careers too, so when you are able to explain what happened genuinely, you will have connected with them and they will understand (as it may have happened to them, or someone they know). The key here is to be transparent and concise, so make a list of why your current role does not meet your expectations and flip the conversation to the opportunity you are interviewing for, listing the reasons you are interested (and excited!) for this role.

Be positive

See the silver lining; you now know what you do not want, use this knowledge to define the role you do want. Interviewers want to see an optimist who can pick themselves back up and try again.

The above points work; we have worked with a number of candidates who, for whatever (genuine) reasons, decided to make a move a few months into their role. Our goal is that you are happy in your new role and have long-term career goals in with your new employers.

Feel stuck in a job you don’t love? Talk to us about finding the right role for you.

Thanks for visiting our site. We’d love you to stay in touch. If you’re not ready for your next job, follow us on social media or sign up for our jobs & news so you can watch the market. When you’re ready, contact us for a confidential discussion about your next role.