XPG Insights

Staffing industry recruiting news, advice and thought leadership.

XPG Insights

Staffing industry recruiting news, advice and thought leadership.

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Giving the New Job a Chance

In the recruiting industry, they’re called fall-offs – people who quit a job within a designated period of time after starting. We don’t see many as we pride ourselves on effective placements, but this year, we’ve seen some that have been surprising. We’re a bit puzzled, especially considering all the talk about an unstable economy and layoffs. And we hear the same story from other recruiting companies.

As with most everything in the past few years, we could probably blame it on the pandemic. The global crisis had many workers rethinking their careers (and all kinds of life choices.) Suddenly “life is too short to be miserable” didn’t seem like an empty cliché. The Great Resignation started, and workers at all stages of their careers went to look for work that was meaningful and sparked joy.

The reality is that the first few days on a new job often DO spark joy. People have made a change for the better, and during the honeymoon period, everything feels new and fresh. But after the first few weeks, some might change their minds.  This is a common occurrence with a new job. You’re not sure you’re getting anything right; you may not have clicked with your new team or manager. You hate feeling like a novice. You’re not having fun. You start to wonder if maybe this wasn’t the right move after all.

It Takes Time to Adjust to a New Job

LinkedIn surveyed workers to ask how long it takes to get comfortable in a new job. A combined 90% of those who took the poll felt it would take a few months to at least a year to feel comfortable. Forty-nine percent said it would take a few months, and 41 percent said it would take as much as a year.

Writer Alan Shoebridge says he always advises people to stick out a new job for at least a few months unless they’re in a toxic, dangerous, or unethical situation. If you can push past your discomfort, you may find that the new job is a great fit.

One of our current employees tells a story from early in her career when she had a job that made her miserable. She got no feedback on anything she did, which drove her crazy. In her mind, no news was terrible news. If they were enthusiastic about her work, they’d tell her, right? It turns out they loved her work; they just didn’t know she needed to hear it regularly. Once they worked out the communication issue, her misery disappeared. She stayed with the company for 17 years and claims it was the perfect job.

How to Give The New Job A Chance

If someone is miserable in a new job, quitting may feel like the easiest and most logical response. As a recruiter, that is the last thing you want. Hopefully, you have a strong enough relationship with your placement to help them through this adjustment phase. Here are some ways you may be able to assist:

  1. Set Expectations
    Remind the new placement that it takes some time to adjust to a new job. If they know going into it that there may be a period of unrest, they may accept it better.  This can be especially important to an industry veteran who is confident in their ability and isn’t expecting it to be a trying time.
  2. Look for Solutions
    If an employee is struggling with the new job, help them explore a bit deeper into why the new job doesn’t feel right. Is it a communication issue? Feeling comfortable with the team? An aspect of the role that doesn’t feel like a fit? Are they receiving the training and support needed to get off to a successful start?  If any of those issues are factors,  encourage them to talk with their manager. You can also share that information with the hiring company if appropriate. Could more coaching or training help? Could the manager assist in helping them get better acquainted with the team?
  3. Revisit the Reasons They Wanted the Job
    We suggest you revisit all the reasons why they decided this job was the correct one in the first place.  Identify the things that made them excited about working there. Are the opportunities and possibilities of this job that made it appealing still available to them? Are there things they like or could see themselves enjoying in the future in this new position? If they can focus on those positives, the negatives may begin to seem less daunting and will hopefully go away completely over time.
  4. Set A Timeframe for Evaluation
    Encourage the employee to give appropriate time to evaluate the job. Giving up on the job too soon may be giving up on something that could reap the rewards of an incredible opportunity that a little more time could have solved.

Alan Shoebridge recommends to anticipate the transition to adjusting to a new job taking anywhere from three months to a year to get truly comfortable in the new role. He writes, “If it’s faster than that, great. If it’s slower, don’t worry. As long as you feel that you are making positive progress and are receiving feedback that supports that feeling, you are on the right track.”