Skip to Main Content
by Rob Porter | April 14, 2023


Throughout your career, you’ll likely change jobs more than once. There are many reasons people change jobs, whether it’s for a higher salary, a better location, or to escape a toxic workplace, among others. If you’ve recently changed jobs and feel like you’ve jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire, you might be onto something. Today we’re going to talk about what you should do if you’re suffering from new job regret.

Don’t Burn Bridges

The fantasy scenario of leaving your job in spectacular fashion by telling your boss off and marching out the door is never the way to go. Regardless of your reasons for leaving your previous job, it’s important to maintain a good relationship with your old boss and coworkers. The point is you never want to leave a job on bad terms if you can help it, since you never know if you’ll decide to go back in the future.

The key here is to leave gracefully. Notify your employer of your intentions to move on early, so they have plenty of time to prepare to fill your role or train someone else. Upon leaving, remember to thank your boss for the opportunity, and if you’re not connected via social media platforms such as LinkedIn, now would be a good time.

Give it Some Time

Often, starting a new job can feel a little disorienting. You might be feeling as though you miss the environment of your previous job, or even specific coworkers. All of this is pretty typical and most times, we can chalk these thoughts up to growing pains. Think back to why you wanted to leave your previous job in the first place, and allow yourself time to adjust.

Do your best to enjoy your new job. Show up on time, maintain a positive outlook, be friendly to those around you, and take pride in your work. During this adjustment period, keep your eyes peeled for any major red flags. This will help you to better determine whether or not you’ve truly found yourself in a bad situation, like a toxic workplace.

Pros and Cons

The truth is, no job is going to be absolutely perfect. For example, your new job might pay more, but you might have a longer commute. Make a list of things that are most important to you. Do you prefer to have more time to spend with friends and family? Did you leave your old job because they don’t promote from within? There are many factors to consider when you’re weighing the pros and cons of your previous job versus your new one.

It’s worth mentioning that this exercise is most useful during your job search. You’d be far better off performing in depth research into the companies you’re applying to and weighing the pros and cons against your current job, rather than diverting your energy into comparing the past with a situation that is, as of the present, somewhat unknown. That being said, there are certain rare cases where you might have to escape a toxic situation quickly. Whichever the case, take your time when establishing these pros and cons.

Talk to Your Boss

It’s never a bad idea to go to your boss with your questions and concerns, especially when you’re new. If you’re having trouble adjusting to your new tasks or workplace environment, schedule some time to have a conversation with your boss. When preparing for your meeting, jot down some notes to bring in with you so you’re nice and organized. Here, include things such as your skillset, how you’ve applied your skills in the past, and your goals.

The objective is to provide your boss with a better understanding of where you’re coming from, and how your skills can be properly utilized. Remember, your boss is also getting to know you, so having conversations like this early on is beneficial to everyone. Along with our first entry about maintaining good relationships, communicating with your boss would be far better than quitting suddenly and without warning.

Consult Your Network

If you’ve exhausted all your options and you still feel as though you’ve made a big mistake, you can always reach out to your professional network. If you left your last job on good terms with your boss and the management team, you could check to see if your old job is still available. Aside from that, ask people from your network if they have any leads, update your resume, and start applying for jobs.

It’s important to remember that there is a certain degree of risk involved when leaving a job so shortly after starting. Potential employers might ask what happened, so make sure you’re prepared to explain yourself. The best way to handle this is to be honest and explain that after much consideration, you decided your previous job wasn’t a good fit. If you’ve changed jobs multiple times in rapid succession, it won’t be a good look no matter how you explain it, so keep that in mind.

With everything being said, the best way to avoid new job regret is to do thorough research into the companies you’re applying to. In most cases, you should be able to determine whether a job is a good fit through said research and from information gathered during your interview; however, it’s still possible to find yourself in an undesirable situation despite all your efforts. In this scenario stay calm and cool, and let these strategies and your own intuition guide you.