Starting a role: Good Job or Shift Shock?

18 June 2024

Taking on a new role is a huge step, but unfortunately it doesn’t always work out. For me, new jobs need far more in-depth exploration than is possible in the typical hiring process and the settling in experience is key.

Employees can suffer surprise or disappointment as reality kicks in with a new job and they can feel unprepared, overwhelmed or have a sense of cultural misfit. This newish phenomenon known as shift shock has been on the rise since the pandemic. A survey by The Muse found that 72% of respondents have experienced shift shock. Gosh who knew!  This is a big deal.

In one job move, I was passed between 12 people during the hiring process. When I arrived, I discovered my line manager did not speak to the CEO and I found the culture rather alienating. Good start eh? I sat tight for too long, but disgruntled employees today are more likely to share their views openly and move on if disenchanted. The Muse survey also found that 41% of respondents would give a new job within six months if they felt shift shock, so the importance of regular check-ins are clearly critical in those first months. High churn is a bad indicator externally, can affect production and recruitment costs will grow.

Expectations from new roles are clearly higher than five years ago, and the Gen Z and millennials (40% of the global workforce) expect to be valued, respected and genuinely cared for. However, in interviews, hirers will not always share the less attractive aspects of a culture and candidates cannot get a real feel for things which will really matter on a day-to-day basis. With mindset changes and some talent shortages, the onus is on the seller/hirer to ensure  successful hires and provide support to new starters to surface issues and aid retention. Those organisations investing in their employee experience are more likely to have a well-designed recruitment/onboarding process, as well as a ‘settling in’ plan.

Here are some tips to ensure your job move is a good one:
·       Understand your strengths (and weaknesses)
·       Be clear on your goals
·       Ask more questions throughout the hiring process
·       Talk to other employees
·       And I would add: if you are not entirely sure, withdraw.

On both sides, an honest conversation between hirer, team and candidates is vital to avoid shift shock. Whether the market is good or bad, desperation to fill a role or find a job must never cloud good judgement and instinct.

If you’re exploring new opportunities, make sure you’re supported by recruiters that understand your profession. You can learn more about Comma here.

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