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THREE Reasons People Regret Taking a Job & FIVE Actions You Can Take to Fix It

By Lisa Woods (1251 words)
Posted in Career Change, Job Search on August 13, 2012

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You were so excited for this new opportunity, happy to move on from your last job, and ready start the new one.  Soon after taking the new job, you realized the grass is not greener, nor is the job what you thought it would be.  Do you leave, live with your new reality, or try to change it?  What would you do if you were on the other end of this dilemma…the person who did the hiring?  Making the effort to understand your new employee after the interview can ensure your investment in them does not become a failure.


Let’s delve into why new jobs are never what you anticipated.


1)  Most people, for a host of reasons, have blinders on during the interview process:

  • You are running away from your current situation so anything looks better than what you already deal with.
  • Your drive to elevate your current position outweighs the importance of when (best timing), where (best opportunity), and how (best transitioning strategy).
  • You need a job and are ready to jump on the first one available because you don’t have time to risk waiting for another opportunity.
  • The new industry you are moving into seems exciting, only to find out that “new” only means new to you…and pretty boring.


2) Personalities are difficult to judge during interviews:

  • You took a job assessment test prior to being hired and thought you aced it from all the online pointers you researched.
  • You and your interviewer/new boss got along great when you first met…it was “like” at first sight.
  • You interviewed with all key company leaders but held off meeting your employees and co-workers until you started the job.
  • You were impressed with the atmosphere of the company, but did not fully understand the implications of its corporate culture.


3) Promises made in interviews are mistaken as commitments:

  • Your lucrative bonus program turned out to be impossible due to constraints out of your control.
  • Your desire to take a senior management position and implement your creative ideas is stifled by the company’s very slow, traditional and bureaucratic culture.
  • The transition to top job changed from 9 months to several years.
  • The person who hired you left and their replacement has a different agenda.
  • Your new boss has a management style you just can’t live with.
  • The company’s financial situation is unstable, and so is your position with them.
  • The position you took is not considered as important as in your previous company.  You went from an office to a cubical without any warning.
  • Your transition to “Manager” is not what you thought it would be…you simply don’t like the job, nor the responsibly.


You cannot reverse your decision, but here are some options to help you move forward.


Actively seek out a different new job:

Pros:  You can limit your time spent being tortured.

Cons: You may be seen as a job hopper and not be taken seriously by the employers you really want to work for.


Suck it up and learn to live in your new environment:

Pros:  Time may heal all wounds?  Once you get past your anger about being wrong, you might begin to see the job in a more unbiased light.

Cons: You might find yourself miserable for a long time and have it overlap into your personal life.


Go back to your old job:

Pros:  You would enter into something more familiar, and may be compensated for coming back.

Cons: The reasons you left in the first place probably still exist.


Actively seek new contacts, networking opportunities and training:

Pros:  If you focus on building your personal brand, in your industry or community, through associations, volunteer work, mentor/mentee relationships, advancing your education…you can find fulfillment in other areas and prepare yourself for future opportunities that come to you.

Cons: Building your brand takes time and tenacity, especially when you are unhappy in your job.


Develop an open dialog with your new boss about your challenges:

Pros:  You may be able to fix the problem by simply communicating your perceptions, as well as what you would like to do to bring things closer to your initial interest in the job. Your new employer invested in you already…he or she does not want you to fail.

Cons: You might find out that you cannot make things better.


The reality is that you can’t change the past, but you can take control of your future.  Making good decisions is all about preparation and awareness.  Use this article as a checklist for future interviews whether you are the interviewer or interviewee.  Although pre-employment assessments are great for the employer to weed out poor candidates, they do not account for employee perceptions about the job.  Make sure you don’t find yourself regretting your decisions.  The act of obtaining information is actually a powerful communication skill both parties should use to clarify perceptions; the interview is a survey that goes both ways.  Be prepared before you make any employment decision, and be willing to takes steps to move your career forward after you take the job.


For more information see the following related articles:

Three Steps to Creating Great Mentor/Mentee Relationships

Two Ways of Ensuring Top Quality High Potential Employees

Interview tactics for the InterviewER

Six Actions to Take When Starting Your New Job

Only you can answer the question: "How do I get promoted?"

Six Steps to Finding Your New Job




Written by Lisa WoodsPresident & CEO ManagingAmericans.com

Lisa is a successful entrepreneur, world-class marketing strategist, dynamic business leader & author with more than 20 years experience leading, managing and driving growth in the corporate world. Today she provides Management Tools, Do-It-Yourself Training, and Business Assessments for small to mid size companies, Lisa utilizes her experience with integration techniques, organizational and cultural overhauls, financial turnarounds and strategic revitalization to help other companies succeed.  Closing the gap between strategy and hierarchy through the use of effective communication skills, Lisa's techniques successfully develop employees into exceptional leaders, results driven managers and passionate team contributors that collectively exceed objectives.


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Comments (5)

Abby maslin posted on: August 14, 2012

This was a really informative article. Thank you!

Melissa McNeil posted on: August 14, 2012

Great Article! I think the first action step for solving the problem is #1 Developing open dialogue because if you can't create that with your current company, chances are you won't have it with the next company either. You can't just jump the gun and move on, there is a reason why you are there in the first place- this could be a great learning opportunity for both the employee and upper management- they can't fix what they don't know about.

Rachit Sethi posted on: August 15, 2012

Thanks for the article...this is indeed true and have seen people coming in, regretting and later moving fast back to roots or elsewhere..This is to do with both the employee as well as employer and much to do with the Employer. Perception of employee while change is to move to new and better place always. It is employer who at 1st place clarifies all doubts and motivates/encourage the deserving candidate to join.

Karen Mount posted on: August 16, 2012

Thank you for reinforcing my opinions about asking several questions about the company and its culture during interviews. Great article. Trying to make sure that your personality and values match the company is a trying but worthwhile process.

Dorel Mosincat posted on: August 17, 2012

This would be very useful and not to forget!

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