Shift Shock

What is shift shock?

Surprise that a new job is not what you expected

Shift shock is the surprise a person feels when starting a new job and discovering that it isn't what they expected. Although they may be surprised positively, the shock is usually negative, after discovering the position is worse than expected.

Origin of Shift Shock

While the feeling of shift shock has been around for years, the term did not gain popularity until 2022. The rise in shift shock is partially due to "The Great Resignation," where many people resigned from their jobs during COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021.

The massive exodus left employers desperate to attract other workers, sometimes embellishing and misrepresenting their working conditions and benefits. For example, a company may try to attract Gen Zers by offering remote work and unlimited paid time off but rescind those offerings after they start working.


Brian confessed his shift shock after a week at his new job
I heard. I can't believe they misled him about the benefits
I agree. He should quit

That shift shock feeling

Related Slang


Updated December 6, 2022

Shift shock definition by

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