How to Cope When Your Job Turns Into a Pumpkin…

…Because it happens–that awesome job with the dynamic, open, communicative leaders, the one where you had just enough responsibility to feel challenged, but never so much that you were overwhelmed, that job you strived for, the one that made Mondays fun–management changes, you inherit responsibilities and suddenly you realize that your dream job is making you miserable. It can happen over years, months, or even overnight. You don’t want to be dramatic, and you have no problem pitching in when there’s work to be done, but suddenly you realize that a short term adjustment has turned into the status quo.

Communication is usually the best first move. You may want to speak to your manager or HR and let them know that this dream job is turning into a pumpkin. There may be a fix like more support or a different manager. Maybe they’re aware of the situation and you’re giving them the opportunity to fill you in on the solution they’ve already been working on. If you haven’t opened the conversation it’s possible that your supervisor thinks you’re relishing the additional responsibilities and challenges.

There’s also the chance that this change in your role is an opportunity for you to get out of your comfort zone and add new experience to your skill set. Take stock and determine which parts of the job you’re comfortable with and which parts are a problem, then drill down into the second list: do these tasks feel pointless and upsetting? Or do they make you nervous in a good way? Maybe you don’t have enough time to do the new stuff well, so are there simple tasks that you can delegate so you can succeed at the fresh stuff? Outline solutions and possibilities. You chose your company for a reason, and if those reasons are still present, try to make it work.

Ultimately you need to follow your gut. There are all sorts of companies and all sorts of people. Not everyone is fit everywhere. A bad fit doesn’t mean that the company is a bad company; it just may not be the right company for you. But do your research and listen to your instincts–there are many companies that are works in progress. A pumpkin of a company could be making changes that suddenly turn it into a dream company, and you might find an opportunity to add your voice to the conversation. If the base culture is a good fit for you, or moving in that direction, you might find it rewarding to help build the company, and role, you want.

Note: This article first appeared on LinkedIn (10/31/2018) here.
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Kelly Herrick

Kelly Herrick is the founder of Searchlight, a digital recruitment firm specializing in media, advertising, and emerging technology. Originally from Texas, Kelly has made NY her home and lives with her husband, son, dog, and three cats in Westchester.