Have you ever started a new job and quickly realized it was a mistake? (I have.) At one point or another in your career, it is likely to happen. You may make a thoughtful, even prayerful decision about finding a job and building a career and still make a mistake. What then?
If the position requires you to violate your personal moral code, the principles of integrity, or other values you hold dear, you may simply have to quit and take your lumps. There are some things that are just more important than money.
On the other hand, if you simply don’t like the work, can’t stand the boss, or find the commute insufferable, consider the following ideas for a transition.
Don’t quit before securing a new job. Remember, you have a duty not only to yourself but to your family.
Quickly and quietly reach out to the company you left (if you’d consider going back). It is surprisingly common to see people return to former employers and have successful careers.
Reach out to the other companies you previously contacted before accepting your current position. If they were impressed, perhaps they’ll be pleased to hear from you.
Make sure your profile is up to date on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and other social media sites If anyone is looking for your skills you will be easy to find.
Be on your best behavior online. Engage actively with your friends and colleagues but always be respectful. Employers are carefully screening social media to learn about candidates; show them your best self.
Bide your time. If reaching out to your past employer and to the people you were considering before taking your current job doesn’t land you a new position, you may wish to simply bide your time until you’ve clocked a year on the job — simply to establish your ability to persevere through a challenge.
Be quiet. When you’re really ready to fire up a new job search, be quiet about it. As you talk to people about your search, ask them to keep it quiet.
Work your network. If you have a position that allows you to escape for an hour at lunch, make sure you use every day to talk to someone new outside the company. Reach out to old friends. Find out what’s new with them. Offer to help. Tell them you are ready for a new opportunity.
Keep track of your efforts. JibberJobber is a website you can use to track all of your networking, resumes, responses, interviews, etc.
Don’t be discouraged. Remind yourself that everyone who ever looked for a job, heard “no” plenty of times. A “no” doesn’t mean you are unemployable — you’ve got a job. A “no” doesn’t mean you’re ugly, dumb, or poorly educated. A “no” generally just means they don’t have an open position. Keep your head up and keep looking.
When you have to go to work every day to a job you hate, keep in mind that things could be worse. You could be looking for a job without having one at all. A crummy job is generally better than no job — and a suitable and satisfying job is likely just around the corner.
Devin Thorpe, husband, father, author of Your Mark On The World and a popular guest speaker, is a Forbes Contributor. Building on a twenty-five year career in finance and entrepreneurship that included $500 million in completed transactions, he now champions social good full time, seeking to help others succeed in their efforts to make the world a better place.