EP 1996 I was given a job without qualifying experience. Some coworkers are bitter and I realize I have no genuine interest in the field. I don’t fit in and dread coming to work each day. What’s the best way to move on without damaging future career prospects or burning bridges?

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So here's the question.

"I've been handed a great job opportunity recently and I'm no longer interested in it. What's the best way to get out of this and move on." Here's the tricky part. "I was handed the job without qualifying experience. Some co-workers are bitter and make it known. Three months in, and I realize I have no genuine interest in the field. I don't fit in and dread coming to work each day. What's the best way to move on without damaging future career prospects or burning bridges?"

So, the thing I'm picking up on is the relationship with the co-workers. I can't tell from this whether the issue is with your colleagues and you feel isolated and alone or whether you really are disinterested in the field.

Now, I going to give you an answer to two parts. The first part is if the issue is with the co-workers what are they're doing, is it really that tragic or are they isolating you because you're young and they're not?

Speak to your manager if that's the case and see what they can do to reach out to these people and help you connect. Often, age shows up in quirky ways and older individuals (and, in case you're not recognizing it, I'm an older individual), look at younger ones especially when no qualifying experience (That's your term for it; I doubt if that's really true) you don't have as much experience as they do, of course, and they're making amply aware of it. So, get your manager to step in if that's the real issue.

Now, if the real issue is that you're not interested, that's a different story. You start looking for a job and if you can afford to walk away without another job, you do it. Otherwise, you hang in there and you start looking for a job while you're there and as you get close to receiving an offer from a firm, speak to the hiring manager and simply say, "you know, I've been approached by another organization about coming on board and part of the reason that I'm entertaining this is, frankly, the behavior of my colleagues toward me. It's tough to feel like an island here where I feel like everything I do and say is going to get criticized" . . . If that's the story.

See if you can get he or she involved with this. But if the issue really is the work then find yourself something else. If you don't want to speak with your boss at that point, then very simply, at the time you get the offer, say, "look, I really appreciate the opportunity you've given me. But I've come to realize this isn't the field for me. I want to be doing something different.".

You talk about what you are moving into assuming it's something for the one you're doing. If it's the same thing at a different place, I go back to my first answer and talk about the fact that your colleagues are the problem not the work itself and that's why you need to speak to your boss.

Hope you found this helpful. Hope you have a great day.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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