I just started a new job last month as a developer at a well-known company (in my area). But to be frank, I hate this job. To put it mildly, I dread going to work every morning.

The people here are great and I feel like they took a chance hiring me (I haven't graduated yet because for the past few years, people from my family have been dying and making it really hard to focus on classes and so on) but I don't think the environment is a good fit for me and I don't like what I'm doing. Also, for the whole month I've been here, I've had a rather inattentive "teacher" in my co-worker, who is usually really upset when I ask for help. So in my first month, I made a lot of mistakes and I can't help but think if I had better help... that wouldn't have happened. But it's making me stressed now because I feel useless.

I keep telling myself I haven't been at the job long enough to quit and that I should work hard and try my best, but I've never actively hated going to work so much, even when I did manual labor. Worse, half the time they give me assignments I shouldn't have yet by admission like, for example, something that could shut down multiple servers if I don't do it perfectly. My co-worker (who gives me jobs assigned to our two-man team) gave me this job with a badly written Word document that isn't helping me understand what I'm doing. And I'm working with materials I'm not familiar with, with very little constructive help. On one hand, I'm happy the company is depending on me and I want to do this right... On another, I don't see why the co-worker I have who has more experience couldn't do this project considering it's vast importance and why I couldn't get a project closer to my level right now, considering how I know nothing about the thing I'm "fixing". Also I found out this project is a once-in-a-year kind of thing and screwing it up screws up an entire year of data (and shuts down the servers, and other awful things). I feel like my co-worker is just giving me assignments he doesn't want to do because they're difficult, but I could screw the company up if I don't get this right, so why give it to me? I asked my boss and he said I should be doing a smaller project, not this one, but he sort of shrugged it off when I asked about getting a small project instead. It's frustrating. Part of me thinks I'm overreacting and the other part is screaming "Bail already, bail!"

I don't think it's normal to hate work this much in one month and I want to search for other jobs. Am I being unreasonable (And is this intense dislike normal?) or should I really consider quitting as an option?

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    Stopped reading after "I dread going to work every morning." Start looking. If you are that unhappy with a job, it's time to go. Apr 8, 2014 at 18:33
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    @Garrison Neely given the OP is just starting a career and has just been hired do you think this is the best advice? It could backfire if he gets the reputation for not being able to hold a job long enough. If it is an abusive workplace that is one thing, but it seemed like his boss agreed that the task he was given was not suited to his skills at the moment.
    – kleineg
    Apr 8, 2014 at 20:21
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    @kleineg I was a little quick in my call to start looking, but I still think it's valid advice. I wanted to edit the comment with "If this isn't your first time dreading going into work, there may be something outside of work you should investigate.", but the timer had run out for edits. In the end, there are too many IT positions in this world for someone to be stuck dreading going into work. Apr 8, 2014 at 20:24
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    You should really consider talking to your manager about getting a different "teacher". Explain to him your frustration that he doesn't really like helping you, isn't helping you and you are getting very discouraged. Apr 9, 2014 at 20:42

4 Answers 4


Be very careful, from reading the question it seems like this is your first major step in your career (going from the fact that you have not graduated). When you apply to your next job you will be listing this company as your only applicable work experience, and if you leave after a month you will be asked to explain why.

You were handed a problem you could not be expected to solve, and by talking you your boss you brought the matter to his attention.

I would be very careful about expressing things like "I feel like my co-worker is just giving me assignments he doesn't want to do because they're difficult" to your boss or coworkers. If it is true then it will shine through without you pointing it out, and you are the junior employee, one who needs to prove that they can integrate into the team and be professional.

Honestly you will make mistakes, everyone does and as the new person you should have enough room to learn. And most people can feel useless for a couple months after being hired as a software developer. It takes about that long to learn enough about the systems and existing code base to make a major contribution.

Actually when I say a couple months it may be optimistic, when I was hired as a developer out of school the boss said he was expecting a year to ramp up.

Don't refuse to do work, instead research the problem. Any materials you are given, anything you can find online. Also, go to your coworkers for help, and if you don't get enough from the person you should be getting it from then go back to your boss, do not blame that person but say something like "I have been working on X, I have looked at the following resources Y on my own, and I have talked to my coworker and they said Z. I do not understand Z and I was wondering if you could shed some light on it".

One of two things will happen, your boss will take you off that project (I believe this to be very likely) or you will find that it is actually within your abilities.

Congrats on the job and good luck!


Congrats on your first job. First of all, I would say give it six months. I started my current job after ten years at my previous company where I was well-liked, respected, I knew what to expect and what was expected of me. My skills were proven & I really enjoyed my job (most of the time). When I started my current job, I was miserable, having to start all over & my first project was a very high-visibility one. I had to learn a totally new culture as well as prove myself to my new colleagues, and to a certain extent, to myself as well (do I really know the stuff I think I do).

I would try to identify the things you don't like (as well as the things you do) and try to figure out if they are things that you just need to get used to/learn, and if it'll get better once you do, or if not, if they're things you can look past.

If you're getting tasks for which you are ill-prepared or equipped, communicate with your manager and or ask to be teamed up with someone more experienced.

I do think a minimum of six months is necessary to truly gauge if the job is a good fit.

  • Very well written response.
    – Jason D
    Sep 2, 2016 at 20:36

A couple of things comes to mind;

  • A new job will mean you are working outside your comfort zone, often giving the feeling of not knowing what the hell you are doing. This is normal and its a good thins, since this means you are learning new things. When you feel everything is well within your comfort zone, its time to change job.
  • Quitting after a month will not look good on your resume. If you do choose to do this, I would consider not including this experience at all on your resume. Being fresh out of school and quitting the first job after a month is not good, it'll give the impression you will quit as soon as things get difficult.
  • You will regularly be doing things that could potentially screw up a company. In many cases this is normal. But it sounds like the company really needs a better disaster plan with proper backups. Also doing this by yourself the first time sounds strange.
  • When you are new, especially with little work experience, you must have a mentor that has been assigned to teach you. He/she should have been assigned this task to 20 - 30% of his workload. It sounds like that hasn't happened in this case, your mentor has just been given an additional task along with all his usual jobs.
  • As a new person on the job, you have a unique perspective regarding how good documentation is, how simple the code is to understand, etc. Make sure to suggest improvements in areas you find difficult to understand

My suggestion;

  • Talk to your boss, tell him how you feel. This is largely a failure on their part, and since they presumably will be hiring more people in the future, it's important to get the introduction right.
  • Find a task that you would feel comfortable doing and suggest that you start with this. Idea
  • Ask how much time your mentor has been assigned to work with you, make sure that his workload has been reduced to give time for helping you.

Listen to your boss. He indicated you should be doing smaller projects. Either he can assign those to you or someone else can. When you are given an assignment that is too big, decline to do it. If anyone has a problem, suggest they talk to your boss because you are following his orders.

You can offer to work "with" someone else on a larger task. This will help you learn, but by no means should you be given a mission critical task without ample training and supervision.

"They didn't throw you in the deep end to see if you could swim. They threw you off a cliff to see if you could fly."

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