Recent graduates who start with their first job tend to be rather quick to accept a job offer, even though they often don’t know what to expect. Also, more experienced professionals who have switched jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic sometimes regret their choice. But how do you deal with this? And how do you avoid another disappointment in your next job? Amber Vanhooren, senior consultant at staffing specialist Walters People, shares her best tips.
There are different reasons for why particularly the younger generation sometimes opt for an employer that is not their first choice. “We notice that new graduates are quicker to accept a job offer, as they believe it will probably only be for a short period. Often, they are worried that they don’t have enough experience yet to do a better job, or they feel that it takes too long before they get offered a better opportunity," says Amber.
Professionals who switched jobs in during the pandemic, are also likely to doubt their decision. Amber: “It often happens that job interviews took place online via Teams or Zoom, and professionals have never seen their manager, their colleagues or their workplace in person before joining the organisation. Starting a new job remotely does work, but we regularly see that the lack of human contact in the workplace and absence of face-to-face training are missed.
Think before you act
Do you have regret about the job you’re in? It is important to think carefully about the direction you want to go and to create a career plan. Once you know in advance what you are looking for and how this can contribute to your career development plan, it will be easier for you to say no to potential job offers. After all, you don't want to feel unhappy in your new job and go to the office reluctantly.
Suppose you do feel like you have made the wrong choice. It’s important to stay calm. “It’s exceedingly rare to find your dream job right away. When you, as a graduate or junior professional, accept a job that doesn't really suit you, there is no problem. See it as an opportunity to gain experience. Even if you don’t like it, you can learn new things.
It can make you even realize what you really don’t want, which is useful information as well. Once you have made up your mind, you can search more specifically for your ideal job", says Amber.
Talk to your manager
Quitting your job is not always the best choice. There may be solutions to take away your disappointments. "Whatever the reason is, talk to your manager. Tell them why the job is not for you. Is it the job content or the company culture? Or is it maybe the location or the working hours that don’t suit you? By talking about it, you may be able to find a solution together. For example, you might be able to obtain better working conditions. Perhaps you can get more flexible working hours, or who knows there may be internal opportunities that suit you better."
If you and your manager can’t come to an agreement, you can resume your search for a new job. "As I said, it is particularly important to think about what you hope for your future. Do not get caught by certain job titles or high salaries. The most important thing is that you can do what you like" says Amber.
"Lastly, make sure to gather enough information about your potential employer. What does the company stand for? Do the mission and vision of the company match your personal ambitions? Does the new employer meet all the requirements you had in mind, and does the job provide what you are missing in your current role? Only when you are convinced that you have done enough research and that it will be a good match, you can confidently accept a new job offer" concludes Amber.
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