Recovering from Taking The Wrong Job

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
It’s painful to come to the conclusion that you made the wrong decision in taking this job. What do you do?

Job Hopping: When Is It Bad? Good? How to Avoid It

I’m Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I’m a coach who helps people deal with career issues. They may involved in a job search, advancement in your career, hiring more effectively, managing and leading, and overall workplace-related issues.

Years ago, a neighbor of mine who spent 19 years with one organization decided it was time to change jobs. It made no sense to me, but it made sense to her. And I said, “Let me try and take a backseat on this because we’re neighbors and friends. I don’t want to have my career as a headhunter and the temptations to earn a fee, get involved with this. Let me try and advise you, and I’ll point you to a couple of other recruits.

She gets an offer and she’s all excited about the offer. After all, 19 years with one firm! I didn’t really think she understood the role well enough for what she was stepping into, but she decided to accept it. I tried to advise her, to at least go back and ask some questions, but she was afraid.

The point of all this is that sometimes people make bad decisions. In her case, it was based upon not really having enough information, and trusting that everything she was told was going to be exactly accurate when it rarely is.

And she came back to me and said, “I made a terrible mistake. What are we going to do?” And I walked her through a simple process and started off with let’s try and move quickly. And this was like three weeks after she joined, she realized she made a mistake. So the first thing is, you know, if they’re not behaving as you expected them to, you can’t hang in there and try and persuade them to change. They are who they are. So you need to move quickly resign yourself and accept the fact that you’re going to need to change jobs again.

What’s the remedy? You know, you can try working it out. But most of the time, it’s going to be about moving quickly and having a story prepared to explain why it is that you’re moving on.

It could be as simple as you know when I interviewed with them, they discussed such and such with me. I joined and the position as they described it was radically different. And walk them through two or three things that are different from the role as you understood it to be and the role as it was now being defined.

“I don’t want to hang in there and do this kind of work. My experience is with such and such. And that’s what I expected to do and that’s what I want to be doing.” And understand that the next firm is going to have to be able to deliver that to you. But the idea becomes, you don’t hang in there. You may try but don’t hang in there for very long. Start reactivating your search.

And then from there, what’s the lesson that you take from this? What can you learn from this experience so that you don’t get surprised with a similar situation going forward? What didn’t you ask? What didn’t you hear that they said that you decided to gloss over? What was it that they tried to signal to you that ultimately maybe you disregarded, that prompted you to fall for this story? Whatever it is, learn your lessons, and move on.

And you might want to work with me in order to talk about the story. We can do that fairly quickly. If you’re interested in my coaching you about that, reach out to me at the website is If you want me to help you throughout the search or with these questions or how to handle certain types of questions. At the website, there’s a button that says schedule. Schedule time for coaching or schedule time to ask a few questions. I’d be very happy to help you.

And there’s much more at my website in the blog that you can watch, listen to or read, that’ll help you. Go to the blog. Go exploring. There is a lot there.

Lastly, subscribe to my channel on YouTube by clicking the small icon in the lower right or the picture of me in the upper left; you’ll get notified whenever I release something new.

From Paycheck to Purpose


People hire Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter to provide No BS Career Advice globally because he makes many things in peoples’ careers easier. Those things can involve job search,Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter hiring more effectively, managing and leading better, career transition, as well as advice about resolving workplace issues. 

Schedule a discovery call at my website,

He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2700 episodes.

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