The Career Doctor™


Dear Career Doctor:

I work in a non-profit field where all the major players know each other. I have just changed jobs, supposedly to go to a larger organization where some more of my skills will be used. However, I now started on the new job and realize that I made a total mistake. I misunderstood what my primary task would be; the organization is much more rigid than the one I came from, and I shall have to spend tremendous number of hours if I am to accomplish what the organization expects of me. I would like out, but am afraid that if I leave now, I shall not be hired by anyone else in my field. Can you think of any options?


Dear Henny:

Career counselors recommend two different strategies for dealing with an unexpectedly dreadful new job: either stay for a year because it makes your resume look stable -- or leave as soon as possible. (If you choose the latter and make a quick move, the bad job never even has to be listed on your resume.) Since your work in such a small field, it sounds like you will have a problem no matter which you choose, so why prolong your agony?

If you decide to begin looking quickly for a new job, admit to potential employers that you made a mistake and want to correct it as soon as possible. If you have not been a job-hopper, most prospective employers can understand that bad fits should be corrected.

No matter when you decide to look for a new job, I suggest that you immediately go to your boss and/or the person who hired you. Say something like, "I have been given so much to do that I can't complete the work up to my standards. Let's discuss your priorities, so I know what to work on now and what can be done later. Or, if you want everything done now, please bring in someone to help with the workload."

The Career Doctor


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