I Just Quit My Job. But What If I’ve Made a Mistake?

It seemed like a good idea at the time – but hindsight is nagging you otherwise! Here’s a pulse check for whether or not this was the right decision

Quitting your job can feel great, but how do you know you've made the right decision?

In the era of the Great Resignation, moving to a new role is something that a lot of us are doing. Millions of us, in fact. And while it’s a shared experience, it doesn’t mean it’s an easy experience. This can be especially true if you’ve been with one organisation for a while, or if you haven’t changed jobs much in the past. Throughout the interview process for your new role, you may have concluded that the grass is certainly greener on the other side … but that doesn’t mean that, now you’ve decided to quit, you shouldn’t feel extreme anxiety, or be wondering if you’ve made the right decision. 

Interrogating our decisions, and worrying about what the future may hold, are certainly valid ways to feel, especially after the turbulent few years we’ve had in procurement. But if you find yourself worried sick about starting your new role,  we’ve compiled some soothing answers to some common concerns you might have. 

What if I don’t love my new role? 

Picture this. You’ve quit your previous role, and you’re taking a well-earned holiday. But while you’re lying on a beach with a piña colada, your thoughts, frustratingly, turn to your old job. 

Was it really as bad as you thought?

What if your new colleagues aren’t as fun as your old ones?

What is your new job just isn’t that interesting and professionally challenging?!

All of these concerns are valid ones to add. But according to some of the world’s most credentialed career advisors, loving a job is always a matter of perspective. 

David Sturt, a management consultant and careers advisor at the O.C. Turner Institute, reasons it’s actually not possible to fully love your job: 

“The truth is, none of us will love every aspect of our job. We won’t love every co-worker, vendor or client … we won’t love the fact that our work sometimes pulls us away from something we’d rather be doing. 

In fact, the truth is, there will be aspects of every job, in every industry, at every company, in every corner of the globe, that have something we find utterly bothersome and frustrating.” 

Despite this, Sturt says, it’s still possible to enjoy your job, and learn to love most aspects of it, even if you don’t feel like this all of the time. In fact, unless the job is making you ill, crippling your success, or leaving you with regret, it may be worth persevering for a while. 

What if my new manager is awful? 

Anyone who has been working in procurement for more than a few months know that one thing that can make you truly miserable at work is your manager. They can be toxic, or worse, they can be a downright narcissist. In a nutshell, a bad boss is a recipe for a bad time at work. 

Being concerned about your future manager, and their impact on your happiness at work, is an extremely valid concern. It is, however, something that you hopefully considered before accepting a new role, given the fundamental difference a manager can make to your career. In fact, choosing the right manager can sometimes be more important than the salary or even the job itself. 

But if you’ve already accepted a new role and you’re worried about your manager, there are a number of things you can do. Trying working to create a positive connection and align your goals with what your manager needs and wants. 

You can also try these other strategies. 

What if my new company can’t offer good career opportunities? 

Let’s face it, moving jobs is, more often than not, a career move. Sure, it might be a money move or a just-need-a-change move, but if you’re an ambitious procurement professional, it’s likely that one of the reasons you moved jobs is to access more and better career opportunities. 

So what happens if they don’t pan out? 

Like many elements of our careers, ‘career opportunities’ are often a matter of perspective. Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually not up to the organisation you’re working for to make your ‘career’ happen – it’s largely up to you. 

After you’ve settled in to your new role, there are countless things you can do to progress your career (that don’t rely on your organisation doing them for you). For example, you can volunteer yourself for key projects or initiatives, or investigate training and development opportunities. You can also mentor others (or seek a mentor). 

There are so many simple ways to get ahead in your career that you can action right now (regardless of where you are working).

Remember this: starting a new job, regardless of who you are, how senior you are, or how many times you’ve done it, can be extremely daunting. Where possible, try to turn your overwhelm into excitement. Things might not work out, of course … or equally, they may be far better than you had ever imagined. 

If you’re starting a new job, what concerns are on your mind at the moment? Let us know in the comments below.