20 Signs That Your New Job Is Not Working Out

You know that feeling when you start a new job? It’s exciting, right? You’re full of hope and ready to make your mark. But sometimes, a few weeks in, something feels off. The job isn’t quite what you expected, or the company culture doesn’t align with your values.

If you’re feeling this way, don’t ignore it. Those uneasy feelings could be indicators that your new job might not be the dream opportunity you thought it was.

So, how can you tell if it’s time to start looking for something new? Let’s explore the signs that your new job might not be working out.

Your Health Is Suffering Due to Work Stress

When your job is causing you headaches, sleepless nights, or stomach troubles, it’s a big, blinking warning light. Stress can hit you hard and mess with your health.

Here’s what to watch for:

  • Are you catching colds too often?
  • Do you feel tired all the time?
  • Is work making you grumpy at home?

If you see your health sliding downhill, it’s time to assess the benefits of staying with your job versus the risks to your health. Remember, a job shouldn’t cost you your well-being

"You feel 'sick' all the time especially when you think about work. You find yourself calling in sick, and you haven't earned enough sick days. You have restless nights; your tummy and body ache just lingers on and you even pick up a bad habit or two these are warning signs that should be taken seriously."

— Lola Salvador Akinwunmi | Founder, LolaSal, Inc.

You Don’t Feel Valued

Being recognized for your work isn’t just nice; it’s necessary. If your efforts seem to go unnoticed, it can leave you questioning your contribution. Recognition from your peers and superiors boosts your morale and affirms that you are on the right track.

Think about these:

  • When was the last time you got a pat on the back?
  • Do you feel like your work just blends into the background?
  • Does it seem like everyone else gets a shout-out except you?

The lack of acknowledgment is harmful not just to your career growth but also to your overall job satisfaction.

No Opportunities for Professional Growth

Are you stuck feeling like your career isn’t moving forward? That’s a red flag. A fulfilling job should offer ways to learn new skills and take on challenges that push you ahead. 

A lack of growth can make you feel like you’re just going through the motions rather than truly advancing. Without fresh challenges or chances to climb higher, it’s tough to stay motivated. If you’re not seeing opportunities to grow, you might be at a dead end.

"If there is no room for internal movement or upward mobility, it's time to look elsewhere... You should always be focused on your personal and professional development and it's critical that you work for a company that embraces that."

— Samantha Friedman | SVP of People Strategy, Hired

Negative Workplace Environment and Culture

A toxic workplace can really drag you down, and a bad work culture can make even the best job unbearable. When the mood’s down more often than not, watch out.

Consider these:

  • Are people mostly frowning instead of smiling?
  • Do you notice things like bullying or disrespect?
  • Is there more drama than a TV soap opera?
  • Does the air feel heavy instead of buzzing with energy?

These issues can affect your entire work experience and even spill over into your personal life.

Feedback Is Non-Constructive or Absent

Feedback is crucial, isn’t it? It’s how we learn and improve. But what if you’re only hearing the bad stuff without any pointers on how to get better, or worse, you don’t get any feedback at all? That’s not only discouraging but also leaves you guessing about how you’re doing.

When feedback is missing or always negative, it can feel pretty defeating. It’s like trying to hit a target in the dark. If this is what you’re experiencing, then it’s likely not helping you advance in your career. Getting fair and constructive feedback is vital to any good job.

"Not getting feedback or advice in your first few weeks is a big sign that there is an issue. Even if the people in charge are trying to make it seem like they are giving you a shot, if they don't like you, this is often indicated by offering no feedback or advice."

— Yaniv Masjedi | CMO, Nextiva

Your Skills Aren’t Being Utilized

So you’ve got skills, but your job doesn’t let you use them. That’s like having a superhero suit and never getting to wear it! If you’re not getting the chance to show what you can really do, you might start to feel undervalued and bored.

Check if this is you:

  • Your job’s too easy, and you’re bored.
  • You feel like you could do more.
  • You have talents that you’re not using.

It might be worth a chat with your boss. If that doesn’t change things, perhaps it’s time to find a place where you can really show what you’re made of.

Lack of Mentorship or Support from Management

It’s tough when there’s no one to help guide you or support your development. Good leadership should be about helping you navigate your role and grow further, not leaving you to figure everything out by yourself.

If your managers aren’t approachable or invested in your growth, you might find yourself stuck. This lack of support can keep you from reaching your full potential. Working somewhere you can learn and improve is important—don’t settle for less.

"You're completely left on your own without any support or training. In other words, there's either nobody who can help you or they're unwilling to assist. So as somebody brand new, you're just 'thrown to the wolves.'"

Ron Auerbach, MBA | Educator | Career Coach | Job Search Expert |
Author, Think Like an Interviewer: Your Job Hunting Guide to Success

Salary and Benefits Are Not As Expected

You work hard for your money, so when your paycheck isn’t what you signed up for, it’s disappointing and can feel like a breach of trust. And it’s not just about the money—it’s about the integrity of your employer and the transparency within your workplace.

If the math isn’t adding up, it’s worth speaking up. Everyone deserves honesty when it comes to pay and perks. And if the situation doesn’t get any clearer, maybe it’s time to look for a place that values transparency—and your wallet.

The Job Differs from the Job Description

Did you sign up for a role that seemed perfect on paper, only to find the day-to-day responsibilities are completely different? This kind of bait and switch can leave you feeling deceived and unprepared.

Here’s what might be happening:

  • Your daily to-dos are nothing like what you were told during the interview.
  • The goalposts have moved, and you’re left with an ever-changing role.
  • You find yourself juggling tasks that weren’t part of the deal.

It’s important to address this issue with your manager or HR to see if there’s a possibility of realigning your role with what was originally advertised.

Communication Barriers Persist

We thrive on clear and effective communication. When communication barriers persist, it breeds confusion, errors, and dissatisfaction. Whether it’s language differences, unclear instructions, or a lack of open dialogue, these obstacles can significantly hinder your ability to do your job effectively.

Ongoing communication issues can indicate deeper problems in the company culture or infrastructure that may not be easily resolved. 

If you find yourself often frustrated by miscommunications or informational gaps, it could be a sign that the workplace environment is not conducive to efficient and productive workflows.

You’ve Lost Your Passion for Daily Tasks

When the tasks that used to spark a fire in you now feel like a slog, take notice. Feeling engaged and passionate about what you do is important because this drives your productivity and job satisfaction. 

Here’s what might indicate that your passion is on the wane:

  • You used to jump into tasks with zest; now, it’s a struggle to even start.
  • The projects that lit you up now barely generate a spark.
  • You find yourself watching the clock, counting down until you can leave.

Passion fuels perseverance and job satisfaction. If it has left the building, consider whether it’s the job or just a phase. 

"You started the job and a month or month three you're still not feeling excited about going in to work. You don't think, speak or you see yourself planning long term goals at this company. The fire you should have ended the first week. This is a sign that you're in a job that isn't in line with your ideals or goals."

— Lola Salvador Akinwunmi | Founder, LolaSal, Inc.

Workplace Relationships Feel Strained

A bit of tension now and then is normal, but if every day is a tug-of-war, that’s stress you don’t need. Healthy workplace relationships encourage sharing ideas and mutual support; without these, work can become a source of anxiety and dissatisfaction.

Strained relationships can signify deeper problems within the organizational culture or management style. If mending these relationships feels like an uphill battle, it might suggest the workplace is not conducive to collaborative success. 

You Don’t See a Future With Your Organization

Thinking about your career’s next steps is crucial. But what if your workplace gives you the sense that there’s nowhere to grow? 

It’s important for your career that you see a pathway that excites you and offers growth. If those aren’t visible or feasible in your current role, it can leave you uncertain about your future with the company.

Pay attention to the following:

  • You’re wondering about your career progress in a year or even five.
  • Upward movement or new experiences seem nonexistent.
  • Your attempts to discuss long-term prospects are met with vague responses or shrugged shoulders.

You Can’t Be Yourself

Being able to be yourself at work is crucial for personal well-being and professional performance. 

If you find that you have to wear a mask every day, conforming to an image that doesn’t reflect who you are, it takes a toll not just on your mental health but also on your ability to perform your job well.

In a healthy workplace, diversity is celebrated, and individuals are encouraged to express themselves. 

"Whether you're not engaged, allowed to be creative, or just aren't happy, then you'll be able to notice pretty quickly. When you begin to experience what can best be described as "dread," then it's a sure sign that it may be time to speak with your team leader about what is making you feel unhappy or unfulfilled or begin looking for another job altogether."

— Chris Gadek | Head of Growth & Marketing, AdQuick

No Clear Objectives or Direction

Knowing the target is half the battle won. But without clear milestones or goals, it’s challenging to measure your success or understand your role in the larger context of the company.

If that’s missing, here’s what you might encounter:

  • You’re unsure what success looks like in your role.
  • Priorities seem to switch as often as the weather, leaving you lost.
  • There’s a feeling of being in a boat without a paddle—directionless.

You Feel Isolated at Work

Being the odd one out isn’t fun, especially at work. Work isn’t just about tasks and projects; it’s also about connections and camaraderie. If you’re not connecting with your colleagues or you feel left out, your workdays can feel even longer and more difficult.

Check for signs of workplace isolation:

  • Are you often eating solo while others team up?
  • Do you notice team discussions or decisions happening without you?
  • Do you get the cold shoulder when you pop in with a question?
  • Is getting help or input from colleagues more difficult than it should be?

If these situations hit close to home, it’s essential to address them. You’re a part of the team and should feel included. 

"Companies require constant collaboration and the best results come from that teamwork. If you are not speaking to anyone and nobody is utilizing you for your expertise, then you are not producing your best work."

— Cindy Lo | People Operations Manager, Fit Small Business

The Company Has a High Turnover Rate

A high turnover rate within a company can be indicative of deeper issues. This red flag is hard to ignore because it often points to problems like poor management, lack of job security, or inadequate working conditions. 

When employees frequently enter and exit, it disrupts team dynamics and can dampen morale. It’s worth digging deeper to understand the reasons behind this pattern. If the turnover reasons reflect issues important to you, it may be wise to consider looking for a more stable and supportive workplace.

You Don’t Know How Your Position Impacts The Company

Feeling connected to the company’s goal and vision can make all the difference. If you’re unclear on how your work matters to your company, that can dampen your sense of purpose.

Look for these clues that you might be out of the loop:

  • The purpose of your daily tasks in the company’s vision is a blur.
  • After completing projects, there’s no follow-up or sense of their contribution.
  • You regularly find yourself pondering, “Does my work even matter here?”

Connecting the dots between what you do and the company’s success is vital. If that link isn’t clear, it might indicate a problem with the organizational structure or culture that hinders employee integration and recognition.

You Feel It in Your Gut

Sometimes, you just know something isn’t right, even if you can’t put it into words. If being at work consistently makes you feel unhappy or uneasy, it’s worth paying attention to those feelings. Our instincts often pick up on issues before our rational mind can articulate them.

If you dread going to work or feel incessantly worried about your job without a clear reason, it might be your gut signaling that this place isn’t for you. If you can’t shake the feeling that something’s not right, consider it a nudge to take a closer look at why.

"When you go into work each day, monitor how you feel. Do you feel light, inspired, and a little excited? Or do you have a sinking feeling in your stomach, a lump in your throat, and a tightening in your chest? That’s your inner compass talking. Listen to it."

Betty Kempa, CPC, ELI-MP | Executive Career Change Coach

No One Is Listening to You

Effective communication is a two-way street, and being listened to is a critical part of feeling integrated and respected in any job. If your voice seems to vanish into thin air whenever you speak up, it can make you feel invisible.

Here’s what it looks like when it feels like no one’s tuning in:

  • Your input during meetings evaporates like it was never said.
  • Your emails and messages seem to fall into a black hole.
  • You’re repeating yourself more than a catchy song chorus, yet nothing sticks.

Your opinions and ideas have value. Being heard validates this. If you’re only hearing echoes, it might be time to find a platform where your voice resonates.

More Expert Insights

“If you’ve been working in a new position long enough to know the job and you do it well—yet you see colleagues (seemingly with less talent) get opportunities and promotions while you’re stuck where you are—something obviously is wrong.”

Timothy G. Wiedman, D.B.A., PHR Emeritus |Associate Prof. of Management & Human Resources (Retired)

“If you are not getting enough work, then your manager doesn’t know how to utilize you, or they never needed you in the first place. If you do not understand your work, then you have not been provided the proper resources to succeed. In both scenarios, you are not performing to the best of your abilities, and the job will feel like a confusing waste of time.”

— Cindy Lo | People Operations Manager, Fit Small Business

“Even when you are convinced to give a project your all, if you don’t have enough support, lack the tools to be successful, or simply flat-out do not enjoy the task, then chances are good that you won’t be working at 100%.”

— Andrea Loubier | CEO, Mailbird

“When someone isn’t working out, generally it’s because their personality is clashing with the company culture. Clashing with the company culture is often indicated by a clash of their views and our views. If you keep thinking the company does everything wrong, probably you aren’t in a suitable job.”

— Yaniv Masjedi | CMO, Nextiva

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I wait before deciding my new job is not the right fit?

It’s generally advisable to give it at least a few months before making any firm decisions, as this allows you to get past the initial adjustment period. However, it might be worth reconsidering sooner if you’re experiencing significant stress or unhappiness from the start.

Should I talk to my manager about my concerns?

Yes, communicating your concerns can sometimes lead to changes that improve your situation. It’s best to approach this conversation with specific examples and a clear idea of what changes might help you feel more engaged and satisfied at work.

What should I do if I decide to leave my new job?

Check finances: Make sure you have enough savings or another job lined up to support you after leaving.

Update resume: Revise your resume to reflect your most recent job experiences and any new skills you’ve acquired.

Start your job search: Begin looking for new opportunities that better align with your career goals and personal values.

Inform your manager: Discuss your decision professionally.

Give notice: Respect your current employer by giving the customary two weeks’ notice or more if your position is particularly crucial.

Help transition: Aid in training your replacement if possible.

Reflect: Use this opportunity to consider what went wrong and what you can look for in your next role to ensure a better fit.

How do I know if the issues I’m facing at a new job are just temporary?

Consider whether the issues are specific events or stem from deeper problems like cultural mismatches or role misalignment. Temporary problems often have clear resolutions, while deeper issues are more pervasive and affect your work satisfaction consistently.

What impact can staying in a bad job have on my career in the long term?

Staying in a job where you are unhappy can lead to:

Limited growth: Staying could hinder your skill development and career progression.

Loss of motivation: Ongoing dissatisfaction can sap your drive.

Mental health impact: Prolonged stress can lead to serious health issues.

Reputation risk: Poor performance can tarnish your professional image.

Missed opportunities: You might lose out on better, more fulfilling roles.

Restricted networking: A toxic job can impact building positive professional connections.

Final Thoughts

If your new role is losing its shine and leaving you with more doubts than delights, it’s okay. Recognizing these signs is the first step towards change.

Remember, your career is a journey, and every experience—even the less-than-ideal ones—can teach you something valuable. If your current job isn’t the right fit, there’s a place out there that is.

Trust in your ability to find it, and when you’re ready, take the leap. Your future self will thank you for the courage to seek happiness and fulfillment in your work life.

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Robby is a multimedia editor at UpJourney with a journalism and communications background.

When she's not working, Robby transforms into an introverted art lover who indulges in her love for sports, learning new things, and sipping her favorite soda. She also enjoys unwinding with feel-good movies, books, and video games. She's also a proud pet parent to her beloved dog, Dustin.