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I Took The Wrong Job - Now What?

took the wrong job - what do do now?I have worked for a world giant very well known company for 8 years. Promoted twice and received several awards and recognitions within this 8 years time frame. 5 months ago I have quit my job to look for other opportunities outside the organization. I just wanted to have a couple of months of time off before I accepted another challenge. ...and I did!

Two months ago I started my new job, which I realized that was the wrong offer to accept. Expectations from that role are totally different than what I've been told in the interviews; people are rude and problem oriented, company's culture is totally different than the business conduct I have.

I am so unhappy with the job, that I am having panic attacks on mondays. Although I have a very good track record, good CV and good references from my former company, I received suspicious questions in my 3 months job search period. If I resign now I know I will get difficult questions in interviews, but if I don't as I'm an office based person and a new employee I will not be able to be off for interviews and keep having this panic attacks. Do you have any similar experience or advice for such a case?

Answers

Anonymous
(CFO) |

Take a medical leave of absence and get the heck out of there before you ruin your health. You won't have much of a career if you end up going off the deep end.

Next time, do a better job of ferreting out the details of the work environment where you apply.

I know that is a tough call. Employers want applicants to prove their worth and provide references to show they are everything they claim to be. But, employers aren't forthcoming about their own, internal issues with applicants.

BTDT. I've walked into some real nightmares in my own career. Three years of temporary assignments and consulting exposed me to many dysfunctional work environments. Sometimes bordering on insanity. ;-(

What I took away from that experience was:

You have to look out for yourself. No one else will

Anonymous
(Controller) |

Anonymous (CFO) any suggestions for doing a better job ferreting out the details of the work environment before you get there? The interviewers will always put on their best face and most likely won't bring up the real issues in the company. I find this the hardest piece of info to really get your arms around in an interview.

Anonymous
(Financial Planning Manager) |

Thanks a lot for your comment. I don't want to leave a bad note to my current employer neither, therefore I'm thinking of explaining my reason without mentioning values, culture or morale. my current employer is a start up company. therefore I'll probably explain with the change in the responsibilities/ priorities from fp&a - controlling to accounting & administrative.my concern is after having 8 years of track in one company, I'll have 3 months of sabbatical and 2 months of experience (I'm thinking of resigning without a job immediately to protect my health). This may look unsustainable for any interviewer although it sounds very "it happens" to me. I would appreciate to read your point of view for this?

Sarah Jackson
Title: Associate Editor
Company: Proformative
(Associate Editor, Proformative) |

Here are some other great discussions here on Proformative about taking the wrong job.

Anonymous
(NA) |

Just came across this website and your posting, totally resonates with me as I'm in a similar situation - which is very stressful. I've been having nightmare for 2 weeks now and i"m worried the longer this goes on my health will take a toll. But walking away from a job without having an offer lined up is never easy ... will be a different kind of stress. I wonder how you came out of your "nightmare" ... did you find it helpful to speak openly and candidly with your manager then? THank you!

Anonymous
(Financial Planning Manager) |

Thank you for the comment and reminding me that I need to look out for myself. I couldn't agree more! I thought I've done a good job on sorting out the job's requirements and the company frankly, however a big surprise is a risk always may realize in start up companies I think. I don't have any doubt on leaving the company, what I need to care is my next step. I'm not really sure how can I explain this difficult case in interviews if I resign before finding a job.

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

I went through such experiences. Just keep a positive thinking! If you are selected for job interviews, it means that your CV talks a lot about your achievements.
I've also been scared/depressed by weird interview questions. But don't panic! Just respond in positive manner with some sense of humor, smile and confidence!
If you cannot attend the interview meetings,due to the current job, a solution is to resign. But if your family depends on your income, you may wish to work until you receive a firm job offer. Also, I would not hesitate to use unpaid leave, just to make it to a job interview!
With only 2-3 months of employment, I would not mention the current company in the CV. Better chances to get hired quick because a prospective employer would believe that you were unemployed for quite some time, and you need the job.

Sally Charles
Title: Finance Specialist
Company: State Road and Tollway Authority
(Finance Specialist, State Road and Tollway Authority) |

From past experience, I would NEVER leave a job off of your CV. You don't have to put any details other than the name of the company, your title and your time there. Most of us in the workforce have this experience -- it shouldn't affect your chances of getting employed.

Better to be forthcoming with as positive a spin on your experience as you can; than be perceived as trying to cover something up. My experience is that the latter raises the far worse red flag,

Topic Expert
Moshe Kravitz
Title: Director of Finance
Company: IDT Telecom
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, IDT Telecom) |

When asked about this position - make your answer as brief and objective as possible and get on with discussing the opportunity you're applying for. The interviewer is not interested in the gory details. He only needs to make sure that whatever the issue was "over there" will not be an issue if you work for him.

Anonymous
(Financial Planning Manager) |

Thanks a lot for your comment. I don't want to leave a bad note to my current employer neither, therefore I'm thinking of explaining my reason without mentioning values, culture or morale. my current employer is a start up company. therefore I'll probably explain with the change in the responsibilities/ priorities from fp&a - controlling to accounting & administrative.my concern is after having 8 years of track in one company, I'll have 3 months of sabbatical and 2 months of experience (I'm thinking of resigning without a job immediately to protect my health). This may look unsustainable for any interviewer although it sounds very "it happens" to me. I would appreciate to read your point of view for this?

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

I've had my share of what I call "crazy town" experiences, they make great war stories, but are not acceptable stories for interviews. The worst thing you can do is to blame yourself for accepting the wrong position. You are who you are regardless of what happened. You will recover.

You were a great candidate but you might have been the only candidate as well if that company had a reputation for what you have experienced. I currently am in a similar situation where the culture statements do not line up with reality. There has been progress and because they have a plan to eliminate the issue in a few years, I am biding my time focusing on achievement gathering rather than ducking and running.

Get back on the horse and get on down the road.

When asked about what happened, you should mention that during your brief "time away" you decided that you wanted to work in a [describe the perfect culture for you] and say absolutely nothing about the bad experience, the non verbal message will be received and the HR people will appreciate your discretion.

Good luck.

Anonymous
(Financial Planning Manager) |

Thanks a lot for your comment. I don't want to leave a bad note to my current employer neither, therefore I'm thinking of explaining my reason without mentioning values, culture or morale. my current employer is a start up company. therefore I'll probably explain with the change in the responsibilities/ priorities from fp&a - controlling to accounting & administrative.my concern is after having 8 years of track in one company, I'll have 3 months of sabbatical and 2 months of experience (I'm thinking of resigning without a job immediately to protect my health). This may look unsustainable for any interviewer although it sounds very "it happens" to me. I would appreciate to read your point of view for this?

Anonymous
(CEO) |

Do not panic. I am in similar circumstances. I resigned my job about 2 weeks ago for the sake of my health because of the insanity and unrealistic duty experiences.. I have been in this job for just 2 months and the sort of indecent language peddled is just unpleasant and unacceptable. Sometimes accusations are levelled against even your integrity. Reputations are built and should not be withered away by somebody just like that

I will advise that you make effort to get out of that job immediately to save your health and increase your success in job interviews because of the short duration of the position.

Anonymous
(Financial Planning Manager) |

Thanks a lot for your comment. I don't want to leave a bad note to my current employer neither, therefore I'm thinking of explaining my reason without mentioning values, culture or morale. my current employer is a start up company. therefore I'll probably explain with the change in the responsibilities/ priorities from fp&a - controlling to accounting & administrative.my concern is after having 8 years of track in one company, I'll have 3 months of sabbatical and 2 months of experience (I'm thinking of resigning without a job immediately to protect my health). This may look unsustainable for any interviewer although it sounds very "it happens" to me. I would appreciate to read your point of view for this?

Anonymous
(Manager) |

Good decisions come from bad experiences and if you have one, consider you are in right direction. Be positive and optimistic - both in thoughts and action. May be you are a mis-fit in the organization. It's best to quit sooner than later. While in interview, avoid criticism and keep the discussion to the point. All the best!

Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

We always tell people in interviews that we want to make sure our company is a good fit for them as well as them being a good fit for our company. Wanting to work in an environment that works with your own morals, beliefs and standards doesn't need to be compromised. When asked why you are looking for a new job after being employed by this company for 3-4 months be confident in your answer and honest as you can without making negative statements. I'm sure you know, the potential employer does not want to hear you complain. Tell them it's a great company but the office culture isn't what you are looking for. They will likely ask you to elaborate, so be prepared to have something non threatening to share.

Anonymous
(Financial Planning Manager) |

Thanks a lot for your comment. I don't want to leave a bad note to my current employer neither, therefore I'm thinking of explaining my reason without mentioning values, culture or morale. my current employer is a start up company. therefore I'll probably explain with the change in the responsibilities/ priorities from fp&a - controlling to accounting & administrative.my concern is after having 8 years of track in one company, I'll have 3 months of sabbatical and 2 months of experience (I'm thinking of resigning without a job immediately to protect my health). This may look unsustainable for any interviewer although it sounds very "it happens" to me. I would appreciate to read your point of view for this?

Anonymous
(Finance Manager) |

I had a colleague who resigned after 2 weeks because she couldn't stand her boss. The official reason she gave was she needs to look after a family member who is unwell.

If you really cannot stand your job and resign without a new job, perhaps you could sign up a course so you could use that to explain the time gap. I guess furthering your studies will be perceived positively by employers.
All the best in your job search.

Keith Johnson
Title: Principal
Company: Keith E. Johnson CPA PA
(Principal, Keith E. Johnson CPA PA) |

No amount of money is worth dry heaving every morning due to stress. If you're that bad, get out. You'll find something else.

Anonymous
(Financial Planning Manager) |

Thanks a lot for your comment. I don't want to leave a bad note to my current employer neither, therefore I'm thinking of explaining my reason without mentioning values, culture or morale. my current employer is a start up company. therefore I'll probably explain with the change in the responsibilities/ priorities from fp&a - controlling to accounting & administrative.my concern is after having 8 years of track in one company, I'll have 3 months of sabbatical and 2 months of experience (I'm thinking of resigning without a job immediately to protect my health). This may look unsustainable for any interviewer although it sounds very "it happens" to me. I would appreciate to read your point of view for this?

Jeff Durbin
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: F. Gavina and Sons, Inc.
(Chief Financial Officer, F. Gavina and Sons, Inc.) |

Most of us who have been working for 20 - 30 years have had the "wrong job" experience. Find a new one before quitting. Be truthful when interviewing and simply state that it is not the right fit. Finding a job while unemployed is tough because many employers don't want what they perceive as 'damaged goods'. It's unfair but the reality in many places.

Anonymous
(CFO) |

"because many employers don't want what they perceive as 'damaged goods'."

I'm not saying this isn't true in some cases. But, it isn't universally true.

Having years of hiring experience as a middle manager and executive, I can say that most decent hiring managers and HR types have been around the block once or twice. If they've weathered downturns or, found themselves working in environments that were incompatible with their own beliefs, values or lifestyles, they know that good people can leave for a plethora of valid reasons. They don't get spooked by someone being out of work for a time unless they have other information to indicate that the person has issues that will be problematic if they hire them.

Maybe it's because I live near the Silicone Valley, where tech types say they would never stay anywhere for more than two years. They like the constant movement and new and different challenges. They are even known to take a year off and do their own thing. This is accepted and not frowned upon as much as is commonly assumed.

The bottom line: I think the "you won't get hired if you don't have a current job" mantra has turned into urban myth. I've known companies of both persuasions. There are at least as many who realize that people sometimes "stop out" for sound reasons as there are those who would eliminate a candidate on this basis.

Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

"my current employer is a start up company". I think it sounds like you have a viable plan that makes sense and one that you are more comfortable with. You moved from a stable company where you had spent 8 years. You wanted to grow your career and yourself and decided to make a move with a startup and realized the start up just isn't for you. I honestly don't think any employer would view that negatively. Especially since you made your mind so quickly and decided to move on.

Resign, get healthy and go for it! Good luck!

Anonymous
(Sr. Revenue Accountant) |

I have found the hardest decision about accepting a new job is not knowing the company and department culture. I'm in the position where morale in my department is low because of our manager, but I'm afraid if I leave and accept a new job that that environment is no guarantee to be any better. I was approached my a recruiter for a company that I "thought" was my dream company and was very excited. Then, I looked at the employee reviews on Glassdoor.com and did a complete 180 with my attitude based on the low morale of current and former employees. I dodged a bullet on that one. Sorry I don't have much to offer, but if the company is listed on Glassdoor.com, that is one option to try to get an inside look into the company.

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

"Culture" is a marketing tool. It is rare for statements made to the public to align with what life is like on the inside. Same for the "Best Workplace" awards, the company pays a fee to be included in the judging, then management spends a couple years being nice to obtain great survey reviews, but then does some cost cutting and things go back to the way they were before. Funny how the world works isn't it?

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