Columnist image
Pattie Lovett-Reid

Chief Financial Commentator, CTV


We have all done it: moved to a new job only to find it isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. 

Realizing you have made a poor career move can feel like a kick in the gut and can be for a whole host of reasons from an incompetent boss, to a challenging work environment, to an industry that is going through disruption. 

Regardless, this is a lesson you don’t want repeated.

Here are a few signs you may have made a big mistake:

1. You dread going into work.
2. You don’t respect your boss.
3. There is a lack of strategy. Promises unfulfilled.
4. You don’t feel like you are part of the team.
5. You feel physically ill when you think about work.

To ensure you don’t get caught off guard and regret your decision, here are a few considerations.

1.You should always be in a job search mode. Even if you love your job. No one can sit idle without an up-to-date resume, social media presence  and assume networking isn’t important. You should apply for positions on a regular basis – even if feel you lack all of the qualifications. You just might be the candidate they’re interested in and may be prepared to train you. Take the interview process to the offer and earn the right to say “no”. If you are unhappy in your current position, you can do something about it.

2. Before you start the search process, earnestly be very clear on the type of job you are looking for and industry you want to work in. You aren’t going to be qualified for every job out there. It is important to know your strengths and weaknesses. Figure out your passion and be relentless in your search. It is a lot of work finding the right position. No one is likely to come knocking on your door and you must recognize the timing isn’t always ideal. You have to be prepared to move when the offer is right.

3. Before agreeing to join an organization, they will check your references – you should do the same. Ask to connect with current or even former employees. Find out why someone would want to work there, understand the values of the organization and ensure the leadership style is one that aligns with your work ethic.

4. The grass isn’t always greener. Resist the temptation to hear only what you want to hear. A new position is so much more than the starting salary. Trust your intuition and explore further. During the interview process, have your questions ready. It isn’t only about the company wanting you to join the team – it is also about you deciding if this a place you want to work.

5. Never accept a position in spite of someone else or if you are feeling desperate. It pays to take your time. It is often only considered a mistake it you make the same mistake twice. There is a tendency if you are feeling desperate to jump at the first offer when you do have the luxury of choice.

It is a horrible feeling to realize you’ve made the wrong decision in your job, but it happens. Recognize it is important to move on quickly and, if possible, to eliminate the experience from your resume. In some cases, that isn’t always possible to do. If you want to avoid the reputation of being a serial job hopper you may have to tough it out for 18-to-24 months.

If you are looking for a new job, proceed with caution and ensure it is the right fit for you.​