I had two job offers, and I took the one I thought came with a bigger challenge. Turns out it was a wrong move. I’ve been here for the last three months and it’s awful. There is no leadership, and no clear strategy. Can I call and ask if the job is still open?
Yes you can and you should try, but this should not be your only option. The truth is that once in a while, people make career mistakes which they are afraid to acknowledge. But once a career blunder is made, three questions will guide your next move: How did this happen? What can I do to change my circumstances? What must I do to ensure this never happens again?
In your case, the first question is already answered. You deliberately chose one job over another. You have a few options for the second question. First, you can choose to stay and find ways to resolve the challenges you face. You will perhaps need more time to understand all the underlying issues, and how best to build relationships that can bring about the job environment you desire. So instead of running, how about looking for a solution? After all, there must be a good reason why you chose this employer over the other.
If you feel convinced that leaving is the better option, do not hesitate. Better to venture out and explore other possibilities, than to be stuck in a role that only makes you miserable, and limits your career growth. Cast your net wide, not limiting yourself to the role you declined.
While it is logical to check whether the other offer is still open, your success will depend on the reasons you gave while declining the offer initially. If you had revealed that you would be taking up another offer, you may need to say why the new job has not worked out for you. If you did not decline in a polite and convincing way, they probably won’t be interested in you. If you declined just to take more money from the other employer, they will be worried that their offer may not motivate you to stay for long. On your part, if the role is still open after three months, you should find out why it has taken so long to get the right candidate, lest you move from the fire and onto the frying pan.
The last option is to learn from this experience. In future, when you find yourself in a similar situation, think about your career goals. Consider not only how each role compliments your competencies, but also how it challenges you to stretch your capabilities. Only choose a role that rewards you well for work done, and whose benefits best meet your needs. If you are single, foregoing a good family medical insurance benefit for a high gratuity return is a no brainer.
Mwikali Muthiani – Managing Partner, MillennialHR