Help! I Think I Chose the Wrong Job

Almost every professional person finds him or herself at a common crossroad at least once during the course of a long career: Two job offers (or more) that are both promising, and are both close to but not quite perfect. When you find yourself at this intersection, which path should you choose? Once you roll the dice and cross the Rubicon, you can’t go back, and there’s no way to know for sure what the future will hold. What if you make the wrong choice?Here at MyPerfectResume, we don’t have a crystal ball, but our years of experience with job seekers have taught us a few important things. First: like many decisions in life, career decisions can’t be reversed, but they can be revised. And second, when you’re facing two promising job offers, you really can’t go wrong. Even if you’re haunted later by what might have been, your problem is still a happy one. So it’s a good idea to recognize this and move forward with optimism.

In the Event of a Truly Terrible Decision

If you botch this decision in huge way, and you find yourself a few months down the road wallowing in daily misery and regret, don’t panic. And stop wallowing. Try these moves.

1. Put words on the problem.

Sometimes the most impossible words to articulate—even in to ourselves, in our own heads—are these: “I made a mistake.” Just allowing ourselves to speak these words can be embarrassing and frightening. They involve putting our ego on the line and admitting that we don’t have everything completely under control. Face this sentence, gather your courage, and speak the words. Then get ready for the next step.

2. Take responsibility.

There were some aspects of the situation that you couldn’t see when you made your choice. You didn’t know that your boss would turn out to be such a monster, and you didn’t know that you’d be subjected to the daily indignities or morally questionable tasks that your chosen job entails. You didn’t know back then… But now you do. You can’t be held responsible for your initial choice. But you CAN be held responsible for the decision to keep showing up here every day.

3. Stop making excuses.

Yes, the job market is terrible (it’s always terrible somewhere, for someone). And yes, getting back to the search will be hard. And yes, you need to pay your bills. And yes, sometimes suffering through an unpleasant situation can make us stronger in the end. But not this time. This time, these things are just excuses for inaction, and they need to stop.

4. Reach out to your would-be employers.

If only a few weeks have passed, this will be easier. But even after a year or two later, the path not taken may still be available to you. You won’t know until you find out. Contact the company you turned down and ask them what it might take to reopen that option. Be humble, respectful, positive, and confident.

5. Dust off your resume…again.

The job search may have been a rough road, but it’s time to get back out there. Your current gig has been like an oasis in the desert, but now that you’ve had some time to rest and regroup, you’ll need to get back on the road. The life you actually want is out there somewhere…you just need to keep looking until you find it. Turn to MyPerfectResume for support, guidance, and help with your resume and cover letter.