Author Topic: How long is the settling in period at a new job?  (Read 9100 times)

Lanthiriel

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How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« on: August 25, 2017, 07:20:40 PM »
I took a new job three months ago that makes everything about my non-work life life a thousand times better than it was. My commute is a maximum of 10 minutes when there is traffic, it's a decent pay bump that has come in handy paying for those expenses that pop up in the first few months of owning a new house, my hours aren't crazy, and they're pretty flexible about when I'm in. But my department is managed poorly. Very poorly. And the technical staff have been trained that marketing isn't important, so it's like pulling teeth to get them to contribute to VERY FIRM deadlines. I actually cried when I got in this morning just because I didn't want to be here.

So... is what I'm experiencing just new job jitters, or do I need to start putting applications out? I honestly came from a company where I was the absolute golden child (seriously... bonuses and awards while they were laying other people off), but I moved states for my husband's and the office here basically just didn't need me. This job seemed like a great fit: laid back culture, in the 'burbs, and I'm working from the company headquarters, which I've discovered is really important to me. About 75% of the time, this job is fine, but the other 25% of the time, I would rather be anywhere else. Part of me thinks that I'm just having a hard time acclimating to a place that sees me as another cog in the machine and it'll get better with time as I prove my worth and get to know the senior folks. I've found a kindred spirit here who has some authority and I can be candid with. We've been working to craft a plan to try to change some of these problems, but it's not going to happen overnight.

I guess I want to know what you would do. Wait it out? How long? And if I do the wait it out strategy, do I keep giving it my all in hopes of a good reference, or do I try to care less about my work product so that I don't get so incredibly frustrated when I'm not getting the cooperation I need from my coworkers?


datu925

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Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2017, 11:27:46 PM »
I'm sorry to hear it's so frustrating. I personally would wait at least another 3-6 months though before looking into other jobs. I hated my last job for the first 6-9 months, and then I grew to love it. In the end, I stayed for 3.5 years and only left because I wanted to switch industries. I just think 3 months is a short time span and lots of negative emotions can be due to transition/being new.

Looking back on it, one of the reasons that things got better was because I began to feel valued and good at my job, when I hadn't at first. I imagine that going from the golden child to a cog in the machine would be hard to adjust to - and that validation would be missing. You're reading a lot of signs that you're not important, that you're not needed, and of course that sucks. But if you were the golden child before, I have a feeling that you will start heading in that direction sooner rather than later. You will soon better understand how to navigate the technical staff bullshit, you'll prove your worth, get clout, etc.

The other reason is that, ignoring the workplace environment part, your setup sounds great. It would be a shame to throw a structurally great job - negligible commute, good hours, flexibility, and good pay - because of a rough start. If you turn the corner at this place, you might want to be there for years and years. The alternatives you're imagining probably look exactly like your current job but the environment doesn't suck - in reality, you might be able to find a place with a better environment, sure, but with a longer commute, longer and stricter hours, etc.

Those are the reasons I would wait. I wouldn't worry as much about trying to get a good reference or to hold the job for some minimum amount of time. You have good references from your golden child company presumably, and you can just tell potential employers that your last company wasn't a good fit. Anytime someone makes an unhappy exit, the expectation is that the current employer will not be used as a reference (otherwise, the prospective employer would be outing you to your current employer...).

the lorax

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Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2017, 01:01:32 AM »
This is really similar to the situation I am in. I also came from an organization where I was much more valued into one with some really big issues (like laying off 20% of the technical staff just after I accepted the job). I actually stuck it out a year then resigned but was persuaded  back by promises of more support/more interesting work and reduced hours. However, 8 months later, those promises are not being kept and I'm starting to realise that there are some really toxic elements in the leadership so I'm looking to get out. Gut instincts are often pretty good sadly.  It presumably won't hurt for you to start looking for other jobs? If things are so bad you end up crying then try to figure out how much is your immediate management being poor and how much is a poor workplace culture and plan accordingly

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2017, 02:26:05 AM »
That's the worst.  It's hard for any of us here to give you much input, I think, because we don't know your industry, details of your workplace, and so on.  You may have already pegged that leadership lacks character, and so it'll be a mess no matter how long you stay.  (So why not go ahead and leave if you can?)  Or maybe it's something that could change eventually.  (I tend not to be optimistic when it comes to workplace changes like that, but it can always happen.)  Maybe you can position yourself to change what you do or how your job functions as time goes on.  It's hard for us to know from your post whether that's possible/likely.  It may be hard for you to know yet, too, as you're relatively new. 

Most jobs can be tough.  My guess, too, from your post, is that you find more meaning/purpose from your work: you either work for a mission-driven organization (non-profit-type thing) or really care about your product. 

That makes for unique challenges, since you want a job where you can care about your work, and it'll be hard to let go of your work fully even if you try.  If that is you, then maybe it makes sense to start thinking about other options earlier. 

But again, it's hard for any of us to give solid input here as we don't know the details and thus can't speculate as to what your actual work situation is or will be like.  (I imagine it's hard even for you, being relatively new there.)  This is one of those things where it helps to ask friends who know you really well and people familiar with your market/niche as well.  All the rest of us can offer are general ideas about workplaces.

lukebuz

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Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2017, 06:24:43 AM »
In my first ever job, I stayed 7 years, and was the "golden child" (I like the phrase, lol).  I then switched to a new job where I was just a cog (albeit more $, etc...etc...).  You'll NEVER get used to it.  It's been 7 more years since then, and it kinda sucks coming in to just put in the hours and go home.  Yeah, I'm making twice as much as my entry level job - but very little satisfaction. 

Either find something else...or just suck it up and don't hope for improvement.

Lanthiriel

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Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2017, 11:51:22 AM »
Thank you so much for the thoughtful replies! I currently do proposal writing for an engineering firm, which is more or less what I've been doing for the eight years of my professional career. It's a position with a high burn out rate for a lot of the reasons I'm finding this job difficult: marketing isn't billable, so you wind up being treated like a second class citizen when companies don't understand your value.

Looking back on it, one of the reasons that things got better was because I began to feel valued and good at my job, when I hadn't at first. I imagine that going from the golden child to a cog in the machine would be hard to adjust to - and that validation would be missing. You're reading a lot of signs that you're not important, that you're not needed, and of course that sucks. But if you were the golden child before, I have a feeling that you will start heading in that direction sooner rather than later. You will soon better understand how to navigate the technical staff bullshit, you'll prove your worth, get clout, etc.

The other reason is that, ignoring the workplace environment part, your setup sounds great. It would be a shame to throw a structurally great job - negligible commute, good hours, flexibility, and good pay - because of a rough start. If you turn the corner at this place, you might want to be there for years and years. The alternatives you're imagining probably look exactly like your current job but the environment doesn't suck - in reality, you might be able to find a place with a better environment, sure, but with a longer commute, longer and stricter hours, etc.
That said, this really resonated with me and is the reason why I'm not sure I want to immediately throw in the towel. The company has grown fast and they are starting to realize that they're going to have to structure things differently to operate efficiently and retain staff. Pretty much any other job I take would result in a longer commute at a minimum.

And this is what I'm super nervous about:
In my first ever job, I stayed 7 years, and was the "golden child" (I like the phrase, lol).  I then switched to a new job where I was just a cog (albeit more $, etc...etc...).  You'll NEVER get used to it.  It's been 7 more years since then, and it kinda sucks coming in to just put in the hours and go home.  Yeah, I'm making twice as much as my entry level job - but very little satisfaction. 

Most jobs can be tough.  My guess, too, from your post, is that you find more meaning/purpose from your work: you either work for a mission-driven organization (non-profit-type thing) or really care about your product.
Finances, it's like you know me. I keep telling myself that if I leave this job, it has to be for a position with a college/university or a municipality. I really should have taken more time with my job search this last time to make a career change into something more fulfilling.

This discussion has been helpful. I think I'm going to try to stick it out while applying to select public sector jobs that are a good fit for my skill set and where I want to go. In the meantime, maybe it'll get better here.


Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2017, 08:25:21 PM »

Most jobs can be tough.  My guess, too, from your post, is that you find more meaning/purpose from your work: you either work for a mission-driven organization (non-profit-type thing) or really care about your product.
Finances, it's like you know me. I keep telling myself that if I leave this job, it has to be for a position with a college/university or a municipality. I really should have taken more time with my job search this last time to make a career change into something more fulfilling.

This discussion has been helpful. I think I'm going to try to stick it out while applying to select public sector jobs that are a good fit for my skill set and where I want to go. In the meantime, maybe it'll get better here.
[/quote]

It may just be that we're a lot alike, so it's easier to recognize... 

If you want an awesome book for figuring out what to do work-wise, I recommend this one (just worked through it myself): http://amzn.to/2vjJwLz.

You probably have an aptitude called foresight, which means you need work that connects to purpose/meaning much more so than most people.  Most people can work on mundane things, but you probably struggle with that.  From what you said, it sounds like you're having a hard time with your job in part because your work isn't fulfilling - and I know those frustrations all too well. 

Because of that, I highly recommend you spend extra time thinking through who you are and how it applies to your work - then finding occupations that really fit you.  It'll be more important for you than for most people that you do so, and worth the extra time it'll take you.  (You might check into aptitude testing, too, from somewhere like Johnson O'Connor, though that's optional.)  I highly recommend the book above for that purpose, at a minimum - it has been worth its weight in gold to me. 

Best wishes to you!!! 

Paul der Krake

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Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2017, 09:42:02 PM »
At one of my jobs, I was really struggling for the first couple weeks. It was so bad that at one point for a good 45 minutes on the parking lot, trying to decide whether to go away and never come back. Resigning meant leaving the country since I was on a work visa at the time, but I was that close to doing it.

It took me a good 6 months to learn the ropes and not fear getting canned. But after that, it was golden. Management trusted me to pick the interesting bits of work, and it seemed that the fewer hours I actually worked the more advancement and liberties they gave me. Very Office Space-esque.

My advice is to suck it up for now, figure out how the place operates, and see if there's anything to be salvaged. Reevaluate in 6 months.

Lanthiriel

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Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2017, 02:41:05 PM »
If you want an awesome book for figuring out what to do work-wise, I recommend this one (just worked through it myself): http://amzn.to/2vjJwLz.

Will have to download this on my Kindle. Thanks for the suggestion!

Noodle

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Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2017, 02:51:38 PM »
You are getting some great advice here! On a very pragmatic note, my smart BIL once pointed out to me (when I was in a very low place about a new job) that the 3-6 month period is the absolute worst. You are not new enough that people are still helping you and giving you direction, and people are starting to expect results, but you are still new enough not to know key information or to have a good handle on the workplace culture. If you are in a job with an annual project cycle, it could take up to a year to have done everything once and feel settled in. This may not be the job for you, but unless you have something amazing lined up it might be worth giving it a few more months. (Oh, and my job turned out to be fine once I learned how to deal with my non-communicative boss).

koshtra

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Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2017, 03:06:51 PM »
Phew. One of my formative work experiences was going from a highly functional team to a just-phoning-it-in barely functional team, due to a corporate takeover. I hated, hated, hated working on projects that weren't being done right. I got depressed and slowed to about a quarter of my normal output. *Nobody noticed*. If there's something worse than failing, it's being part of a failure so large that failing your part of it doesn't even get noticed :-) I lasted a year or two and then bailed. The most wretched period of my life.

Having said that -- you might take a few months and see if it's really as bad as it seems. It does take a while to get your bearings in a new place. Some people who seem like duds can be great clutch hitters, and sometimes people are more on top of the deliverables than it seems like they are.

Or... maybe not. Even if the business is somehow making money, the wear and tear of working for a crappy outfit is just not worth it to me. Life is too short not to be working on good stuff with good people.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 06:40:27 AM by koshtra »

Case

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Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2017, 03:25:00 PM »
I took a new job three months ago that makes everything about my non-work life life a thousand times better than it was. My commute is a maximum of 10 minutes when there is traffic, it's a decent pay bump that has come in handy paying for those expenses that pop up in the first few months of owning a new house, my hours aren't crazy, and they're pretty flexible about when I'm in. But my department is managed poorly. Very poorly. And the technical staff have been trained that marketing isn't important, so it's like pulling teeth to get them to contribute to VERY FIRM deadlines. I actually cried when I got in this morning just because I didn't want to be here.

So... is what I'm experiencing just new job jitters, or do I need to start putting applications out? I honestly came from a company where I was the absolute golden child (seriously... bonuses and awards while they were laying other people off), but I moved states for my husband's and the office here basically just didn't need me. This job seemed like a great fit: laid back culture, in the 'burbs, and I'm working from the company headquarters, which I've discovered is really important to me. About 75% of the time, this job is fine, but the other 25% of the time, I would rather be anywhere else. Part of me thinks that I'm just having a hard time acclimating to a place that sees me as another cog in the machine and it'll get better with time as I prove my worth and get to know the senior folks. I've found a kindred spirit here who has some authority and I can be candid with. We've been working to craft a plan to try to change some of these problems, but it's not going to happen overnight.

I guess I want to know what you would do. Wait it out? How long? And if I do the wait it out strategy, do I keep giving it my all in hopes of a good reference, or do I try to care less about my work product so that I don't get so incredibly frustrated when I'm not getting the cooperation I need from my coworkers?

Very hard to judge your individual situation here.  Not enough detail, and unlikely anyone but you can make the call.

That said:
First, you probably need to give it a little more time unless something in you is screaming that you walked into a disaster.  maybe 6 months.

Second... I'm not sure I would have left a job where I was the golden child unless there was something really wrong about it.  You've mentioned commute, pay, work hours, flexibility.  Were any of these things problematically bad at the last place?  Where they 'nice to change' vs 'must change'?  Was it the combination of them that made them 'must change'?  Your post isnt screaming out to me that the previous job was very bad.

After having had jobs that were disasters (major conflict with boss,  severe incompetence with coworkers,  lack of future development potential) I have learned that for me somethings that I thought were of primary importance are actually of secondary importance.  Those things were job location and talent of coworkers.  I'd rather live in a crappy place with long commute and high responsibility than have some of the above problems.  In short, I discovered that my work strongly affects my happiness in life and its important that I'm at least relatively happy there.

Lanthiriel

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Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2017, 05:18:11 PM »
Second... I'm not sure I would have left a job where I was the golden child unless there was something really wrong about it.  You've mentioned commute, pay, work hours, flexibility.  Were any of these things problematically bad at the last place?  Where they 'nice to change' vs 'must change'?  Was it the combination of them that made them 'must change'?  Your post isnt screaming out to me that the previous job was very bad.

I moved offices and no longer had much access to the corporate team that loved me. My position was redundant with the staff in the new location, and I was trying to do my old job from afar to the detriment of the work (engineers aren't great at communicating and it was almost impossible to get them to meet deadlines without standing in their offices). The new office was a recent acquisition with a very misogynistic culture, and my role was essentially downgraded to admin. They were also struggling hard to bring in the kind of work I do and were not making the strategic hires to make that transition happen (marketing supports technical folks, so I can't sell skills we don't have no matter how good I am at my job). I absolutely would not have left that job if I'd have stayed in my original location, but it wasn't working at the new location. 

SpendyMcSpend

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Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2017, 05:42:06 PM »
Okay first impressions of this:

Was your old job your first job?  If so, then you were trained in their culture and you probably bought into it, and therefore the corporate team loved you since it's "their" culture in the first place.  I have switched jobs a few times now after working at my first firm for over 8 years.  Every company is completely different, and while you mention that you want to change things with the help of the person with some authority, I regret to inform you that it's probably not going to happen.  One of the first things I learned in my career is that you cannot change a corporate culture.  You have to conform to it.  If you aren't a good fit, then the company isn't going to change, you have to change or you have to leave.

The second thing is that, you said that even at your old job, you weren't valued in the company itself, just by certain individuals that you grew to form a strong relationship with.  You're probably right that you are more of a cost center to this type of firm that you work at, being in marketing.  If it's extremely important for you to be valued and recognized, then you have to be the "talent" at a company.  For example, if you want to be really valued at a law firm, you have to either be a lawyer or be bringing in business/profits.  If you want to be valued at an accounting firm, you had better be an accountant.  Some people like to be a helper or on the side, but it sounds like you want to be the star.  So why not go into something where you are the talent at the company that you work at? 

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2017, 11:33:07 PM »

Or... maybe not. Even if the business is somehow making money, the wear and tear of working for a crappy outfit is just not worth it to me. Life is too short not to be working on good stuff with good people.

Amen.  I'm one of those who needs a good work environment. 

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2017, 11:36:38 PM »
If you want an awesome book for figuring out what to do work-wise, I recommend this one (just worked through it myself): http://amzn.to/2vjJwLz.

Will have to download this on my Kindle. Thanks for the suggestion!

Awesome!  I seriously can't recommend it enough.  It's worth the time - especially the exercises in it (those are where the value is).  It'll also help unravel some of the things SpendyMcSpend is talking about, too.  Best wishes to you - would love to hear where you end up at and how it goes!!!

Bicycle_B

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Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2017, 03:00:44 PM »
Great remarks by previous posters.

A wise person told me never to decide about a job until you've been there 6 months.

@Lanthiriel, if 75% of the job is good, don't leave without a very careful search.  75% is a good percentage. 

Regarding the 25% you hate, consider reading (or writing to) Ask a Manager and similar sites about the 25% you hate, or about your overall situation.  Lots of examples and experience out there can be found online rather than by trial and error.  This could be important if you're new to the job hopping scene. 

Last but not least - if you decide to move, may your next move be an example of the "trial and success" method.

Case

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Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2017, 06:56:33 PM »
I took a new job three months ago that makes everything about my non-work life life a thousand times better than it was. My commute is a maximum of 10 minutes when there is traffic, it's a decent pay bump that has come in handy paying for those expenses that pop up in the first few months of owning a new house, my hours aren't crazy, and they're pretty flexible about when I'm in. But my department is managed poorly. Very poorly. And the technical staff have been trained that marketing isn't important, so it's like pulling teeth to get them to contribute to VERY FIRM deadlines. I actually cried when I got in this morning just because I didn't want to be here.

So... is what I'm experiencing just new job jitters, or do I need to start putting applications out? I honestly came from a company where I was the absolute golden child (seriously... bonuses and awards while they were laying other people off), but I moved states for my husband's and the office here basically just didn't need me. This job seemed like a great fit: laid back culture, in the 'burbs, and I'm working from the company headquarters, which I've discovered is really important to me. About 75% of the time, this job is fine, but the other 25% of the time, I would rather be anywhere else. Part of me thinks that I'm just having a hard time acclimating to a place that sees me as another cog in the machine and it'll get better with time as I prove my worth and get to know the senior folks. I've found a kindred spirit here who has some authority and I can be candid with. We've been working to craft a plan to try to change some of these problems, but it's not going to happen overnight.

I guess I want to know what you would do. Wait it out? How long? And if I do the wait it out strategy, do I keep giving it my all in hopes of a good reference, or do I try to care less about my work product so that I don't get so incredibly frustrated when I'm not getting the cooperation I need from my coworkers?

Very hard to judge your individual situation here.  Not enough detail, and unlikely anyone but you can make the call.

That said:
First, you probably need to give it a little more time unless something in you is screaming that you walked into a disaster.  maybe 6 months.

Second... I'm not sure I would have left a job where I was the golden child unless there was something really wrong about it.  You've mentioned commute, pay, work hours, flexibility.  Were any of these things problematically bad at the last place?  Where they 'nice to change' vs 'must change'?  Was it the combination of them that made them 'must change'?  Your post isnt screaming out to me that the previous job was very bad.

After having had jobs that were disasters (major conflict with boss,  severe incompetence with coworkers,  lack of future development potential) I have learned that for me somethings that I thought were of primary importance are actually of secondary importance.  Those things were job location and talent of coworkers.  I'd rather live in a crappy place with long commute and high responsibility than have some of the above problems.  In short, I discovered that my work strongly affects my happiness in life and its important that I'm at least relatively happy there.

OK,  makes more sense now.

Probably give it more time but it never hurts to keep your eyes open for new jobs.  It doesn't sound like your old old job is a possibility anymore, otherwise I'd recommend going after that.

bognish

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Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2017, 11:14:28 AM »
Sounds like your current job as some great new positive benefits and a few new negatives that did not exist at your golden child job. If the negatives are not structural (low pay, bad commute, etc) then you should not quit without trying to improve them. Set a timeline 3-6 months and see if you can make changes to the issues that are having the biggest impact on your job satisfaction. That is exactly what I expect of my employees and state specifically in the interview- if they have problems or bad processes I expect them to suggest solutions to improve the company. For items that cannot be changed you can work to define your role to minimize your exposure to them. Think of the good paycheck, short commute, or fun after work activities in the parking lot, not the crap parts of work. If it still sucks in 6 months then start looking.


Lanthiriel

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Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2017, 05:25:48 PM »
fun after work activities in the parking lot

Uh oh... how do you know about how much time we spend in the parking lot? :)

Thanks for the advice, everyone! I probably do need to stick it out a full year.

afulldeck

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Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2017, 06:16:12 PM »
Have you heard of the 3 year rule of employment for high achievers?

Normally, it takes 1 year for you to learn the basics, build the relationships, bridges and understand how the new organisation truly functions. In year 2, you and your Boss begin to break even since the organizational relationship are stronger and understood, work requires less effort because trust is now developed. In year 3 and every year after, your boss is winning since you are quickly adding to the bottom line.

In short, it takes time to get back to the 'golden' status. 

Lanthiriel

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Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2017, 10:02:21 PM »
I thought Iíd provide an update, particularly because I took the advice and held my horses for the six month mark. You all were right; things are better after the settling in period. I have a couple of champions, which makes a huge difference. My concerns about the management of my department still stand, unfortunately. I have a coworker who is extremely challenging, but sheís in a different office, so itís a surmountable issue. In all, Iím fine staying for now.

Iíve decided my long-term goal is to work in the public sector, likely in grant writing. Iíve joined a City committee to try to get exposure to municipal employees. Iím going to have to play the long game to find a position that plays to my strengths and pays well, but at least Iím taking steps to make that happen. Wish me luck.

Bicycle_B

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Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2017, 06:42:35 PM »
Hell yeah, good luck!  Thanks for the update.  And yay taking steps, too.

Finances_With_Purpose

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    • Finances With Purpose: deploying resources wisely to live vigorously
Re: How long is the settling in period at a new job?
« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2017, 11:50:50 PM »
Fantastic!!!  Thank you for the update - and I'm so glad to hear it's going better!  Definitely keep at the long game.  I have found almost every job I have ever had through a current colleague or someone I worked closely with who saw my work and then pulled me into something new.  So, good for you that you have champions and you're producing good work - while thinking about your future.