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Help - I hate my new job and have only been there 3 months

Help - I hate my new job and have only been there 3 months

I absolutely hate my new job after just 3 months. I moved from the public sector to consultancy for 2 reasons - money and status. I have now found out how misguided I was to base a job on these 2 superficial factors. From day one, I knew I'd made a big mistake. The commute is horrible, the work is dull and I don't have a clue what I'm doing most of the time, the environment is ultra competive, my colleagues are not my kind of people (work and money obsessed) and there is no social side to the job. On a normal day I leave the house at 7.30am and get home at 8pm. I have worked in the office between midnight and 1.30am on a number of occasions though. I think about work all the time, worrying about all the stuff I have to do and panic so much. When I'm at work I'm almost paralysed by fear. I can't sleep as I'm so worried and on numerous occasions I've cried in the toilets at work. I've never hated a job so much and let soemthing consume me in this way. Some friends have said 'just quit', others have said 'wait until you find another job'. I'm quite lucky in that my partner has a good job so we can cover the bills and I'd also go back to the public sector so I'm not as affected by the current state of the economy. However, I'm so worried about quitting without another job and also about how it will look on my CV (was thankfully in last job for over 3 years) but know that staying while I look for a job will make me ill and also I could risk jumping into another crap job to escape. I am prepared to take a salary cut for shorter hours and more enoyable work and am prepared to do some temp work in the meantime. Anyone been in a similar situation and have any advice? I just don't know what to do and worry that other people and future employers will think I'm a quitter.

Many thanks


1/4/2009 6:16:06 PM

I hate my job

I hate my job too and recently it has been cosnuming my thoughts almost of all the time. Constantly worrying about what I have done, what I have not manage to get done, how I am going to cope with all the incerasing workload and ever demanding unrealsitic bitchy boss. I dont really like anymore what I am doing as I have a feeling of constantly just trying to catch up rather then achieving anything at the end of the day. It has made me alsmost ill (constant headaches, fatigue and it has aaffected my overall hapiness generally).

Like you, I have been thinking if should I leave without having another job, worry ehat will happen and of course if I will find a good job afterwards. This has been going on for months making me more miserable then ever. Then I realised I am free to make the choice, I dont need to serve the sentence and I have made my decision.

I have decided to go back after new year and hand in my notice. Since I have made the decison I have been feeling relieved and more optimistic about my future. There are jobs out there and there is one for me too. It can be of course bit scary at the times when you may suddenly panic about finding work but I always say to myself that there is no way I would not find something right (and of course there is always temping). I am in a similar situation whre my boyfriend can pay the bills etc so our lifestyle would not change that much. Whatever happens it still feels hundreds times better then being in that place that basically ripes me off my life. As to your dilema of worrying that you are a quitter: you can always say something about commuting being a real inconvenience that you did not forsee, I have left a job after 3 months and that is exactly what I have said. I suggest you also contact some of the employment agencies and apply for some jobs and see what response you get.

I dont know what else to say but I wish you a good luck.


1/4/2009 7:03:19 PM

Speaking as a public sector consultant - if you can get out, do so. I am guessing you work for one of the larger firms. Well there's a lot of dross work in them, and like anything else, to get to the top where the more interesting work often is, you need to want it bad enough. Most people don't and have the same experience as you. Consultancy isn't for everyone anyway. It's a special type of work and can be quite isolating for some people. Go back and do what you do best. Money and status aren't everything - as you have found, they often aren't much. But maybe in the future, when you have some more experience and seniority under your belt, you might consider consultancy again. There is a bigger market for the specialist consultants and many work alone or in smaller companies. These are often very different. And don't worry about telling people the truth. You don't have to go into details. You made a career choice - it wasn't for you and now you realise that and are looking for something better suited to you.


1/4/2009 8:50:08 PM

There are a couple of practical things you can try. A gap in employment on your CV, particularly after a short period in a job doesn;t necessarily suggest a good long term bet to a new employer. Not all will think this, but it is a risk. So, planning your next step before you do anything is a good move.

If you left your last job on good terms then I would first suggest speaking to your old boss, telling them that the new job is not working out as you had hoped, and seeing if there are any suitable vacancies that you can be considered for. You would certainly not be the first person to go back to their old job after finding that the grass isn't greener, and you have nothing to lose. And your old manager might well welcome you back, knowing that a bad experience working for someone else means that you are probably unlikely to leave any time soon!

If that doesn't work out then look into some temping. This will obviously depend on what you do, and may not apply in all jobs, but you might find that there is scope for short term contracts if not weekly temping. This would then give you the space to work out what you want to do next, while still maintaining your employment record. And if you are on a short term contract the employer will expect you to be looking for other work as the contract approaches it's end, so using it as a stepping stone while you look for something more permanent should not cause you any problems.

I'd therefore suggest speaking to an agency or two in your specialist area of employment (rather than a general employment agency), and seeing what options they suggest. They will also be able to give you an idea of what the employment market is like.

monkey steve

1/5/2009 11:59:25 AM

Thanks all for your advice. It's been very useful. This week at work has been horrid and I know it's so wrong for me. Have never felt so stressed It is one of the bigger consultancies (I think I would have felt better and got much more interesting work in a small consultancy).

I am really worried about having just a few months on my CV but life is too short. Have decided to hand in my notice in the next few weeks as still on 4 week notice period as part of my probation. Dreading handing in my notice though as I'm worried I will be tagged with the 'couldn't take the pressure' label...but once I do I know I'll feel really relieved.

Good luck martamonika in your search for a new job!


1/8/2009 10:34:27 PM

I wouldn't worry about it. The larger consultancies have fairly big staff turnovers and they probably won't think twice about you being another one. Don't get offended - but they have a lot of "cannon fodder" and they are easy to replace. It might put it is perspective if I tell you that I lecture part-time for a university, and I know for a fact that these agencies recruit dozens of students straight out of university, without a scrap of experience. In the clients place, would you want inexperienced "consultants" of this kind? I know the quality of work these agencies produce - and that's why the "little people" can survive against them - because we offer experience, tailored solutions, and high quality. I recall many years ago managing a consultancy firm on a rather large project. They turned in their report, and instead of the name of the local authority who commissioned the report, it had the name of another one. The sum total of supposed weeks of work was having cut and pasted a few local facts into a generic report - and they forgot to amend the clients name in the process of cut and paste and had left in the name of the last client! Like I said, quitting now doesn't say anything bad about you - it says more about them. Good luck.


1/9/2009 9:01:27 AM

In itself, one short period on your CV, especially after a longer period for a different employer, is not too much to worry about. When looking at CVs for prospective candidates employers will understand that not all other employers are good ones, and that sometimes it shows far more gumption to leave after a short time than to stick it out when the job isn't working out.

What is more of a problem is if your CV is peppered with jobs where you have stayed for less than a year - that's a red flag that somebody isn't likely to stay too long, although it depends on a number of things - a number of short-term jobs would be OK if they were fixed term contracts or temping, or might be overlooked if they were a while ago with longer employment since.

I once rejected a candidate for a job who interviewed really well, but on checking with her agency why she had so many short periods in jobs on her CV (over a relatively short period) was told that she kept finding that jobs she accepted hadn't worked out as she had thought they would at the interview. Hardly looked like she would be one to stay for a reasonable length of time.

So, I wouldn't lose any sleep over how this looks on your CV. However, you will certainly be asked about it at the interviews for your next job, so it is worth thinking through what you are going to say about it.

monkey steve

1/9/2009 9:45:34 AM

One last thing...

Thanks all again for your help but I have one last question (sorry!).

I really don't want to hand in my notice and say I'm leaving without a job to go to and I'll probably temp for a while, as I've always been leaving positions for better paid jobs not no job or less money (and if I'm honest I worry about what people there will think about me ... I know I shouldn't care!). Is there any way I can make it sound better? I really don't want to go through the whole 'it really wasn't the job for me' discussion as imagine they'll think I didn't give it enough time, couldn't stick it etc. It's such a big org that bland references (if you can call them that - they only ever confirm x worked here from x to x) go from HR anyway so my managers will never know what I was up to.

Also, what would I say in an interview when they ask why I only did the job for a short while? What's the model answer?

Thanks again!


1/12/2009 8:42:30 PM

There isn't one. But the best lie in the world will give you away unless you are the most accomplished liar in the world - in which case you should have been better suited to the employment! Tell the truth! It does not reflect on you that you were enticed, nor that you realised that it wasn't for you. It says that you are self-aware and capable of making judgements and acting on them. To be honest, provided it's truthful, and your reference backs up that you weren't sacked (which it will), the answer to why you left will be the one that any interviewer will be least interested in. Concentrate on your skills and what you have to offer.


1/12/2009 8:51:25 PM

Agree with Shikahra - there isn't an ideal answer, because situations will differ from person to person, and if you aren't telling the complete truth then it will also depend on how convincing a liar you are!

So the safest bet is to tell the truth, although preparing your side of the "truth" is worth doing.

A basic point to consider would be to soften any criticism of your former employer, but it's a difficult line to tread. You need to avoid simply coming out and slagging them off, while finding a way to show what you did not like about the working environment. As Shikahra says, an interview is an opportunity for you to show an employer what you have to offer, but it is also for you to find out whether the new job would suit you. So, it doesn't necessarily hurt for you to say that, for example, you didn't like the size and impersonal nature of the working environment and are looking for a smaller, more personal place to work. Or that your core skills are X, Y & Z and unfortunately these skills were under used in your last job.

If the new employer is going to be very similar to the last one then it's better to find out straight away than go into another job that you hate.

monkey steve

1/13/2009 10:28:25 AM