What to do if you hate your new job

You’ve just had a bad day at work – okay, a very bad day, and you’re already thinking your new job is a big mistake. You’ve seen some red flags, and now you can’t decide if you should quit or stick it out with the hope that things will get better.

While no job is perfect, if you are already plotting your exit strategy, it’s important not to ignore the signs that are causing you to second guess your latest career move. Whether you’re two weeks into your new job, or a few months, if you are one step out the door, the chances are that you won’t be as productive as you want to be or should be in your new role. Before you rush to give notice or inadvertently risk your own reputation, here are three ways to make a bad career move work.

Decide if you can make it work in the short-term

Every job has pros and cons and it’s important to consider why you took the job in the first place. Career expert Priscilla Claman, President of Career Strategies, Inc., recommends that you ask yourself “what did you want from this job and are you still going to get it?” Whether it’s excellent benefits, a short commute or better work/life balance, it’s important to focus on the whole picture and keep all aspects of the job in perspective. If your doubts are linked to the work you are doing, team culture or role expectations, a professional conversation with your boss can help to solve some of your concerns. Whether your boss reassigns you to different responsibilities, or your conversation leads to more red flags, you will be one step closer to knowing if you can stay or need to go.

Find other avenues for professional development

Create a timeline during which you will give your new job a chance, and have a clear date in mind for when you will make a decision to stay or go. While you are making your decision, it’s important to do everything you can to make this time investment the best experience possible – including focusing on ways you can boost your professional development. At work, do everything you can to excel in the opportunity and safeguard your reputation. Outside of work, volunteering or taking a class is a great way to amp up your resume and boost your career growth when you aren’t getting it on the job. There is also no better time to connect with a mentor than when you are in a time of transition. A mentor can help you map out your next step as well as keep you connected to opportunities that are coming down the pipeline.

Plan your next step carefully and thoughtfully

If you know that leaving is the only option, it’s important to take extreme care and consideration when planning your exit strategy – avoiding a blemish on your resume is crucial. Claman’s research shows that “most people who take the wrong job haven’t done enough research going in.” Working with a recruiter is one of the best ways to ensure that your next step is a good match. A top recruiter builds long, trusting relationships throughout specific industries, and is skilled at identifying talent that will excel in specialized opportunities. As you look for your next move, be specific about what you are looking for and be pointed about looking for red flags during the interview process to avoid making another wrong move. While most prospective employers will be understanding of a short-term tenure on your resume, two or more quick moves will start to reflect badly on you. Don’t make your decision to jump ship lightly, and make sure that your next move is the right one for your long-term career.