I Made a Mistake! What Do I Do Now?

Yesterday, I received a call from someone I represented a few months ago. At that time she was about to go on her final interview through me when she called and told me that she had another offer for a dream job and decided to take that one.

The dream job is now a nightmare for reasons that are not necessary to describe. The real question is what do you do if you ever find yourself in a situation where the job you’ve worked so hard to get seems to be a lot less than what you’ve bargained for.

The first thing you need to do is find out from your colleagues whether the circumstances you find yourself in are normal or unusual. Every job has surprises and shocks to it. If this is just one of those shock periods decide for yourself whether this is something you can ride out or whether you should get out (I encourage ride out).

From there, meet with your boss and talk about the circumstances you’re in and that you wanted to get an idea of how long this would be going on. Sometimes the change is permanent; sometimes it will be for a few weeks. Better to get a straight answer (or as straight an answer as possible).

If your boss tells you that the unpleasant change will be permanent or go on longer than you hope, DO NOT QUIT YOUR JOB. It is always better to look for a job while you are still working.

Finally, dust off the old resume and start looking for a new position. Don’t lie about where you’re working or speak so bitterly about the circumstances you are in that you present yourself as a bitter complainer. Speak in a matter of fact manner about what has happened. You will scare off some employers who operate under similar conditions and cause others to become empathetic to your circumstances. “Never ever under any circumstances bad mouth a current or former employer”

Employers sometimes exaggerate the good qualities of a job without doing a good enough job of describing the difficult parts of it. The result is that employees are often shocked when they discover the rough edges.

If you find yourself in this situation, take a little time and make sure you do the first two steps before the third.


© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC  2008, 2016


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

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