What to do if you’re failing at your new job

After months of searching and more interviews than you’d like to count, you finally landed what you thought would be your dream job. Only instead of rocking your way through those early workweeks, you’re constantly struggling to understand what on earth is going on around you.

12 cities with the most job openings
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12 cities with the most job openings

12. Jobs in Phoenix

  • Population: 1,615,017
  • GDP: 219,968
  • Job openings: 13,409

Current growth in Phoenix is slower than it was during past booms, but the economy is still creating jobs. The Phoenix metro area is chock-full of small businesses — 96 percent of the region's 126,000 businesses have 50 or fewer employees.

The leisure and hospitality sector is booming, with growth of 7.1 percent from July 2016 to July 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The next fastest-growing sector was construction, with 3.5 percent growth over the same time frame.

11. Jobs in Denver

  • Population: 693,060
  • GDP: 193,172
  • Job openings: 13,958

The chief economist for the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, Patty Silverstein, forecasts strong job growth continuing for Denver after a "stellar" 2016. The Denver job growth forecast is 2.4 percent in 2017, with four sectors posting strong employment growth:

  • Leisure and hospitality
  • Education and health services
  • Financial activities
  • Natural resources and construction

Strong economic activity and net migration are expected to push home prices higher, which could have positive, ancillary benefits on the economy.

10. Jobs in Boston

  • Population: 673,184
  • GDP: 396,549
  • Job openings: 14,631

Boston is a college town, home to prestigious institutions likes Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston College. In fact, as of 2016, the city had the largest concentration of top-tier research universities in the country.

Boston also has a number of the country's best hospitals, including Massachusetts General. Thus, it is no surprise that the highest level of employment in the city is in education and health services.

9. Jobs in Dallas

  • Population: 1,317,929
  • GDP: 485,683
  • Job openings: 15,057

Dallas is a bright spot in the Texas economy. Economic growth over the next five years is expected to reach 4.2 percent per year, according to the city's economic forecast.

Dallas is a key driver of economic growth in the state, according to the Dallas Chamber of Commerce. The city is blessed with a diverse economy and its business concentrations are in logistics, technology and corporate headquarters.

8. Jobs in San Francisco

  • Population: 870,887
  • GDP: 431,704
  • Job openings: 15,972

San Francisco is the fourth most-populated state in California and it runs neck-and-neck with Los Angeles when it comes to having the most job openings.

With a well-known concentration of financial services companies, including Wells Fargo and Charles Schwab, it should be no surprise that the professional and business services industry is No. 1 when it comes to employment in San Francisco.

7. Jobs in Los Angeles

  • Population: 3,976,322
  • GDP: 930,817
  • Job openings: 17,061

Los Angeles is the capital of the world for show business — and it's the largest city in the state. As a result, the city's economy is naturally large and diversified.

Away from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Los Angeles is also the home to the nation's No. 1 container port, which makes trade its top industry.

Education and health services come in a close second.

6. Jobs in Seattle

  • Population: 704,352
  • GDP: 313,654
  • Job openings: 17,576

Seattle's economy is well-rounded, which results in many job opportunities. Seattle offers employment in a variety of industries, ranging from trade to transportation and utilities to professional and business services to government to education and health services, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Seattle's economic development plan focuses on "business cluster development," or the effort to align companies in a geographic area that work in the same industry. The city believes that this type of coordinated, economic development activity is the key to Seattle's economic growth.

5. Jobs in Washington, D.C.

  • Population: 681,170
  • GDP: 491,042
  • Job openings: 18,541

As befitting the nation's capital, government jobs in DC make up the largest employment sector. The city also offers high levels of employment in the fields of professional and business services and education and health services.

The city has several organizations and agencies that focus on potential economic development opportunities, and it has initiatives designed to develop small business owners.

4. Jobs in Houston

  • Population: 2,303,482
  • GDP: 503,311
  • Job openings: 19,564

Although Houston's economic situation might change in the aftermath of 2017's Hurricane Harvey, it stands at No. 4 on this list of cities with the most job openings. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industries with the most workers in Houston are:

    • Trade
    • Transportation and utilities
    • Professional and business services
    • Government
    • Education services
    • Health services
    • Leisure and hospitality
    • Manufacturing

The city's economic development plan identifies the energy, manufacturing and medical sectors with the most robust growth.

3. Jobs in Atlanta

  • Population: 472,522
  • GDP: 339,203
  • Job openings: 20,712

Atlanta's two main industries — in terms of the percentage of the population that is employed in those fields — are sales, administrative support, management, business and finance. The city, however, also employs those in the science, education, library, engineering and computer sectors at a rate above the national average.

The city's most recent Comprehensive Development Plan was adopted on Nov. 21, 2016, to further economic growth in the city. Invest Atlanta, the city's development authority, is focused on growing residential and commercial economic vitality in the city.

2. Jobs in Chicago

  • Population: 2,704,958
  • GDP: 640,656
  • Job openings: 25,104

Chicago, has the second-highest number of job openings on the list. Chicago's economy is guided by an economic development plan entitled, "A Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs," created by World Business Chicago and the city's mayor, Rahm Emanuel.

Chicago's diverse economy has 13 key industries:

    • Auto manufacturing
    • Biotech
    • Business services
    • Energy
    • Fabricated metals
    • Fintech
    • Food manufacturing
    • Freight
    • Health services
    • Information technology
    • Plastics and chemicals
    • Manufacturing
    • Medical technology

Technical jobs are particularly plentiful in Chicago — particularly for data scientists, JavaScript developers and network security engineers.

1. Jobs in New York

  • Population: 8,537,673
  • GDP: 1,602,705
  • Job openings: 37,428

New York City boasts a growing, diverse economy that has many growing industries, hence its No. 1 position in this list of cities with job openings.

New York's core businesses include technology, fashion, food manufacturing, food retail, healthcare, industrial and manufacturing, life sciences and urban innovation and sustainability.

New York is particularly booming when it comes to the startup sector, which accounts for more than 291,000 jobs and more than $124 billion in economic output.


It’s not an unusual scenario to be in, but it’s a frustrating and nerve-wracking one nonetheless. Here’s how to cope if you feel that despite your best efforts, you’re just plain failing at your new gig.

1. Put Things in Perspective

Maybe you’re not getting the hang of things as quickly as you would’ve hoped — but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re falling down on the job, either. Before you beat yourself up for a job poorly done, ask your manager for a sit-down and get his or her input on your performance to date. You may come to find that in their mind, you’re meeting expectations given your fairly new status at the company.

Keep in mind that even if you come into a job with a strong knowledge base and skill set, every company works differently, and it takes time to learn the ropes. So rather than despair or stress over your performance, create a timeline by which you hope to achieve certain goals or milestones, whether it’s compiling your first major report or learning to navigate your company’s tricky content management system.

2. Demand More Training

Maybe “demand” is a strong word, but when you’re in a new environment, you can only expect to learn so much without a decent amount of training. So if that’s something you feel you’re lacking, be open about it with your boss. Even if they don’t have the time to train you themselves, they might be able to point you toward some resources that will allow you to independently get up to speed.

Another option you might consider is signing up for a mentor within your company. Not all employers offer this option, but if yours has a mentorship program in place, pairing up with someone seasoned might help you overcome a lot of the knowledge gaps you’re facing early on.

3. Use Your Colleagues as Resources

Even if you and your colleagues are mostly on the same level, the fact that they’ve been at the company longer than you have automatically puts them at an advantage. So why not get a piece of their knowledge? Walk around, introduce yourself and ask questions when you’re curious or otherwise stumped. You can also attempt to shadow some colleagues to get a sense of what they do, as this might help you grasp the big picture of how your team or company operates.

Along these lines, if you find a coworker you get along with easily during those early weeks, admit that you’re struggling and ask for advice. That person, like your boss, might be able to share some resources that’ll help you catch up more quickly.

No matter where you are in your career, starting a new job can be challenging, and it’s natural to feel that you’re lost and behind. Just remember that you’re apt to get better at things with time, so don’t be too hard on yourself during those early weeks. Instead, stay positive, set goals, and focus on improving slowly but surely.

This article was originally published on The Motley Fool. It is reprinted with permission. 

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