When the job doesn’t match the description
CAREERS' panel of expert recruiters answers a reader's question each week. Have a question? Email email@example.com
The role that I've started hasn't turned out to be like what they said it would be in the interview. Is this common?
It certainly can happen. When interviewers explain a role and workplace to a potential appointee, they are looking at it from a different perspective. They know the history of the business, the people in the team and the culture.
It's common for your expectations to be different to what was described as everything is going to be new to you. It takes time to settle in, learn the tasks and feel confident in your role. Getting to know the team and your superiors makes a huge difference but it can take time to build those relationships.
Some things you can do to ensure you really understand the role it to ask a lot of questions at interview and ensure you receive a job description that clearly outlines the responsibilities.
While this isn't a common occurrence, it unfortunately does happen from time to time for a number of reasons. It may be as simple as working with clashing personalities, changing job roles/responsibilities, inaccurate job descriptions, or even unforeseen events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
To limit the risk of this happening in the future, I would recommend researching the company extensively during the recruitment process. Talking to former employees and viewing business reviews/blog posts are great starting points.
If you're struggling in your current role, it may be worthwhile discussing it with your HR manager to reach an actionable outcome.
Head of Organisational Psychology Consulting,
Stillwell Management Consultants
The first few months in a new role can often feel disorienting and confusing and not be what you expected, particularly if you are working in your first job, in a new area, in a role for which there is not a training pathway that may have already given you some insight into what is involved or when your job description was ill-defined and your employer is looking to you to shape the role to suit your skills and experience.
Give it some time but also take some proactive steps to seek out the tasks and duties you expected to be undertaking. You could meet with your manager and outline how the role was described to you at interview and ask if/when you will be doing what was promised: it may be that certain projects are in the pipeline or there are some induction activities they need you to perform before you will be doing what you expected.
Sorry to hear that your new job is not meeting your expectations. While this is not the norm, it is also not uncommon. In fact, many professionals, at some point in their career, have left a job because it didn't meet their expectations.
Your best course of action is to look at why the job isn't turning out the way you expected. Collect examples to support your case, such as duties that do not match those described in the interview. Then talk to your manager about the disparities between your expectations and the reality of your role. Perhaps there has been a simple misunderstanding or oversight that your boss can rectify. However, if you've spoken to your boss and things haven't changed, it's probably time to start looking for a new job.
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Originally published as When the job doesn't match the description