Author Topic: Might have made a career mistake  (Read 3353 times)

Bullwinkle

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Might have made a career mistake
« on: August 27, 2019, 08:38:50 PM »
I'll keep this as short as possible. I worked for Company A for about three and a half years. During that time, I made some really good friends. I did good work and had a promotion, although my yearly raises were pretty meager. I left Company A on good terms for what looked like a better position in Company B because Company B offered more pay, a higher 401k match, and a possibility of a larger bonus. That, and Company A is in a cyclical industry while Company B is more stable.

Fast forward a short time. The position at Company B is starting to seem much different than I envisioned. I'm underwhelmed by the details of the work, which seemed much better in the interview. The type of work has me sitting in a chair more frequently (which I absolutely hate). The people with whom I am working are somewhat unwelcoming. It's hard to tell in such a short time, but I am concerned that I may really dislike working at Company B.

On one hand, I know that I more or less enjoyed working at Company A, and the door is open there. On the other hand, I've only been at Company B such a short time that I may be making a hasty generalization. I'm just getting a gut feeling, and I've learned the hard way that ignoring a gut feeling about a workplace may lead to problems.

Has anyone jumped ship and then headed back? If so, how long did you wait? Should I give it a month? A year? Thoughts


Gremlin

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Re: Might have made a career mistake
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2019, 08:53:32 PM »
It happens.  If the fit is not right, then it's not right and if it's not meeting expectations, then an honest (and fair!) appraisal back to Company B *should* be respected.  In some respects it may be easier on Company B if you leave earlier as they will have less invested in your development than if you hang around for longer.  And you wouldn't be the first person to return to a previous employer.

BUT...

There are more than two potential employers in the world.  What are your other options?  And will Company A be coming to the party on salary, 401k and bonus?

birdiegirl

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Re: Might have made a career mistake
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2019, 08:55:37 PM »
How long have you been there?  I'm in week 3 of a new job and underwhelmed as well.  In my case, I'm mostly bored because I haven't been given much to do yet.  Coworkers are ok, not super welcoming but not unfriendly either. 

My thought is that it would take at least 6 months to get a good sense of what it's really like.  There are so many different factors that can be affecting you as a newbie, it's hard to really understand the culture and work until you've been self sufficient for awhile.   

Editing to add - don't go back to your previous company.  You left for a reason and that same issue(s) will come up again when you go back.  If you decide you're not in the right place, go look for another new role.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2019, 08:57:12 PM by birdiegirl »

Bullwinkle

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Re: Might have made a career mistake
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2019, 04:48:41 AM »
It happens.  If the fit is not right, then it's not right and if it's not meeting expectations, then an honest (and fair!) appraisal back to Company B *should* be respected.  In some respects it may be easier on Company B if you leave earlier as they will have less invested in your development than if you hang around for longer.  And you wouldn't be the first person to return to a previous employer.

BUT...

There are more than two potential employers in the world.  What are your other options?  And will Company A be coming to the party on salary, 401k and bonus?

I'm not to the point yet that Company B has invested much into training me. Honestly, Company B seems a bit disorganized with onboarding. I've been given some vague direction, but not much.

Company A would match salary. I once made the mistake of leaving a tolerable job for one that paid more and made me completely miserable for two years, so money, although it is important, isn't the be-all end-all.

Bullwinkle

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Re: Might have made a career mistake
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2019, 04:56:47 AM »
How long have you been there?  I'm in week 3 of a new job and underwhelmed as well.  In my case, I'm mostly bored because I haven't been given much to do yet.  Coworkers are ok, not super welcoming but not unfriendly either. 

My thought is that it would take at least 6 months to get a good sense of what it's really like.  There are so many different factors that can be affecting you as a newbie, it's hard to really understand the culture and work until you've been self sufficient for awhile.

This is the tricky part for me. If I wait six months (and I agree that it takes longer than a few weeks to get a really accurate reading of the place), it's going to be worse to leave Company B, and Company A will have filled the vacancy by then.   

Editing to add - don't go back to your previous company.  You left for a reason and that same issue(s) will come up again when you go back.  If you decide you're not in the right place, go look for another new role.


I get why you're saying that, and I think that's usually completely true. The reason that I left was simply that I wanted more money. Company A was paying me decently, but Company B is paying near the 80th percentile for my position.

I wasn't even really looking at the time. A friend of mine who works in a separate part of the company sent me the posting. I knew he made a lot of money, so I thought that it was a good opportunity, and it was a good opportunity on paper.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Might have made a career mistake
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2019, 05:11:28 AM »
If company A would pay you the same as in B, then you could go back to the same position. But you may expect new meager raises in the future. You are now extra expensive for company A and they need to lower that a bit again.

In my current job, the amount of stuff I had to learn in the first half year was overwhelming. But eventually I managed to grasp a lot of it and things fell into place. As soon as you start becoming useful, your co-workers will start to appreciate you.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 02:58:16 AM by Linea_Norway »

SKL-HOU

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Re: Might have made a career mistake
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2019, 07:39:42 PM »
I gave it 2 months before going back.

Bullwinkle

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Re: Might have made a career mistake
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2019, 08:19:24 PM »
Is company A would pay you the same as in B, then you could go back to the same position. But you may expect new meager raises in the future. You are now extra expensive for company A and they need to lower that a bit again.

In my current job, the amount of stuff I had to learn in the first half year was overwhelming. But eventually I managed to grasp a lot of it and things fell into place. As soon as you start becoming useful, your co-workers will start to appreciate you.

Those are both good points.

I think I am going to see how the next six to eight weeks go.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Might have made a career mistake
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2019, 09:00:48 PM »
Lol@ career mistake. My whole working history is a series of mistakes!

life_travel

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Re: Might have made a career mistake
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2019, 09:41:26 PM »
I started a job once ( first job after retraining for carter change ) where after 2-3 weeks I was underwhelmed . Coworkers were fine but job itself was boring , I asked my manager to be transferred to another department but he said ( understandably so) that I needed to be in my role for 2 years before they consider it . Wait at least 3 months ! He said .
You haven't learned all aspects of the job , he said .
I had a feeling too . But I waited 3 months and nope , nothing improved. So I applied for other jobs and left exactly 4 months after my starting date 
How long your position will be open at Company A? I would wait couple of weeks and then move back if they match the pay .

norajean

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Re: Might have made a career mistake
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2019, 05:14:46 AM »
It is very common to jump from the frying pan into the fire and another good reminder to always try to solve the problems in your current company before making a big leap that will guarantee a whole new set of challenges. That said, you should do all you can to fix what is broken for you at company B. If it doesnít work out, move on to Company C. You didnít like Company A and wonít be happy there long term. Keep in mind you are being high maintenance, demanding high pay and requiring minimal desk work and a warm welcome. I mean, it is a job, not a Disneyland experience you bought a ticket for.

FIRE@50

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Re: Might have made a career mistake
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2019, 09:00:55 AM »
Start looking for company C. If you are here because you are serious about FIRE, then make the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time so that you can get away from all of your current frustrations is what you should be focused on. That doesn't always make for optimum working conditions.

saguaro

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Re: Might have made a career mistake
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2019, 10:15:05 AM »
  I started a job once ( first job after retraining for carter change ) where after 2-3 weeks I was underwhelmed . Coworkers were fine but job itself was boring , I asked my manager to be transferred to another department but he said ( understandably so) that I needed to be in my role for 2 years before they consider it . Wait at least 3 months ! He said,  You haven't learned all aspects of the job , he said.  I had a feeling too . But I waited 3 months and nope , nothing improved. So I applied for other jobs and left exactly 4 months after my starting date.

I bailed on a new job after 3 weeks and returned to my old position.   My reasons for leaving the first job was because of reorganization going on that would eventually close the field office I was in however there was no specific end date yet, it kept getting dragged out.   The new position turned up and I decided to go ahead and take it.   New position was underwhelming, no training, I was sitting around while new boss, who was supposed to train me was gone most of the day only to come in late (sometimes until the afternoon).  She kept saying she was going to train me over and over but between the lateness and being overwhelmed, she never did.  Then she told me that there was going to be a change in my benefits.  I started looking for other jobs by the 2nd week.  The end came when my new supervisor hauled me into her office to chastise me for taking the initiative on learning now about my new workplace functioned when she decided, yet again, to not come into the office until late and I was reported for "socializing" to which I told her, I was trying to learn about my job, since she wasn't able to do it.  I bailed on the job later that day, went back to the old job the following Monday which was still open.  This meant going back to not knowing when the office would close but it gave me room to find a better opportunity, my Company C, so to speak, which I did 4 months later.    It was a one off career situation / decision for me, but I decided it was better to go back to the old position rather than tough it out under my idiotic supervisor.   
« Last Edit: August 30, 2019, 10:16:39 AM by saguaro »

Bullwinkle

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Re: Might have made a career mistake
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2019, 07:58:08 PM »
Keep in mind you are being high maintenance, demanding high pay and requiring minimal desk work and a warm welcome. I mean, it is a job, not a Disneyland experience you bought a ticket for.

Well, that is the first time in my life that I have been called "high maintenance." Haha. I can deal with "minimal" work; I just don't want to be at my desk for four straight hours two times a day.

Now, as for the warm welcome, I do think I was overreacting. It's gotten better the past few days. I do still miss my friends from my old job a lot, though.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 07:23:34 PM by Bullwinkle »

Bullwinkle

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Re: Might have made a career mistake
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2019, 08:04:29 PM »
I think it bears repeating because people keep writing that I did not like Company A. I did like Company A. Every company is a circus; it's just a question of what animals you want to deal with. Company A had animals that I could deal with. The only major drawback was that I wasn't making as much as I am now. Heck, until about three weeks ago, I didn't consider myself too underpaid.

If you are here because you are serious about FIRE, then make the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time so that you can get away from all of your current frustrations is what you should be focused on. That doesn't always make for optimum working conditions.

That is certainly an opinion. In my view, I am more interested in the FI part than the RE part, though. I'm willing to sacrifice a few FIRE years if it means I am not miserable during the working years.

Who knows how many years I have left? Life's too short to work miserable jobs in the hope that it might pay off in 10 years. That's my view, anyhow, and I respect your right to have another if that is what suits you.






Rdy2Fire

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Re: Might have made a career mistake
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2019, 08:03:10 AM »
I knew I made a mistake day #2 at a company.. By day 3 I called the recruiter who put me there and said I need to be out ASAP or I'll be walking out within a month. My situation wasn't the norm but apparently this company was a mess.. Anyway I didn't return to my old company, it may have been an option but like yourself I left for money and they still weren't going to give me what I wanted.

Sometimes you just know right away.. I'd say go with your gut. In my case it worked out better then I could have EVER imagined, I took a 20% raise to go to the hell company and was out of there in less then a month going from being a FTE there to being a W2 consultant elsewhere and took another 18% raise.

Personally I'd say if you don't think the new company is a fit then I'd either go back to company #1, but only if you don't think leaving and returning will be held against you and affect future pay etc or #2 just start looking for company #3 today

Lanthiriel

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Re: Might have made a career mistake
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2019, 12:41:04 PM »
I was in this exact same situation a little over a year ago. I had worked for a company that I really liked for 3 years. A layoff for my husband forced us to move and I switched offices. My job and reporting structure were exactly the same, but I felt I wasnít doing the job effectively at a distance.

I took a new job for a 20% pay increase. It was actually a step down in responsibility, which I thought I wanted. From Day 1, I knew it was going to be a disaster. I actually also posted on here and got some good advice: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-long-is-the-settling-in-period-at-a-new-job/msg1675889/#msg1675889

I stayed for a year. The job and the commute were so easy and the money was so good for what I actually had to accomplish that I felt insane wanting to leave. But the culture was so toxic and I was so unhappy. I got a certification on their dime and started looking for new jobs. I made a list of what was important to me and turned down a couple of offers that werenít the right fit. I finally found THE JOB. Iíve been at that job a little over a year now, and I am so happy. Itís a great culture fit, my role gets a ton of respect, and the pay is top 25% for the industry, and even better for my region. Iím buying into ownership this month, and my intent is to spend the rest of my career (hopefully only 12-15 years!) here.

My advice is to leave, but donít be hasty. There was a reason you left your first company. Donít look back. Do some work to really figure out what you want in your next position. Hit up your network. Learn who has a good reputation for what you do. If youíre at your next job for 3+ years, no one will look twice at a short stint. Everyone makes mistakes. You just donít want to make the same one twice in a row.

Bullwinkle

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Re: Might have made a career mistake
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2020, 08:12:00 PM »
Old post, I know. I've waited a while now, and Company B has not improved. There are some cultural issues here that aren't going to change any time soon, so...

I made a list of what was important to me and turned down a couple of offers that werenít the right fit. I finally found THE JOB. Iíve been at that job a little over a year now, and I am so happy. Itís a great culture fit, my role gets a ton of respect, and the pay is top 25% for the industry, and even better for my region. Iím buying into ownership this month, and my intent is to spend the rest of my career (hopefully only 12-15 years!) here.

How exactly did you determine if a company was the "right fit" for you? I seem to have lacked the ability to foresee the fact that Company B was such a terrible fit for me. I don't want to make that mistake again, since I am going to have to stay at Company C for a while.

Dave1442397

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Re: Might have made a career mistake
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2020, 07:14:19 AM »
See if your company has a page on www.thelayoff.com

Obviously, most of what's posted there is negative, but it can give you an idea of corporate culture and what's on people's minds.

Sibley

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Re: Might have made a career mistake
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2020, 08:33:00 AM »

SKL-HOU

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Re: Might have made a career mistake
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2020, 11:06:47 AM »
Old post, I know. I've waited a while now, and Company B has not improved. There are some cultural issues here that aren't going to change any time soon, so...

I made a list of what was important to me and turned down a couple of offers that werenít the right fit. I finally found THE JOB. Iíve been at that job a little over a year now, and I am so happy. Itís a great culture fit, my role gets a ton of respect, and the pay is top 25% for the industry, and even better for my region. Iím buying into ownership this month, and my intent is to spend the rest of my career (hopefully only 12-15 years!) here.

How exactly did you determine if a company was the "right fit" for you? I seem to have lacked the ability to foresee the fact that Company B was such a terrible fit for me. I don't want to make that mistake again, since I am going to have to stay at Company C for a while.

I had gone back to my old company after 2 months. But it went down hill fast at the old company. I left before the year was up and only waited so i could move closer to other jobs (waited for the school year so i wouldnít have to switch my sonís school). I went to a 3rd company, which is what i should have done to begin with.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2020, 11:09:52 AM by SKL-HOU »