Article: Joined a misrepresented job: What next?

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Joined a misrepresented job: What next?

Candidates and recruits need to remember that any interview and joining process is a two-way street, and they are choosing their employer, as much as the employer is choosing them.
Joined a misrepresented job: What next?

You tirelessly scouted recruitment sites for months. You successfully cleared the several rounds of interviews. You received the confirmation, and eager to join your new company, you put in the papers. Elated, you start work in your new organisation.

But, after several weeks, you realise all you have been doing, is work that wasn’t discussed during the interview. The fancy new job title, that got your so excited, was actually the same old job, just better-worded. And worst off, nobody around you seems to realise that THIS isn’t your job! Your skills aren’t being utilised, or you are expected to do tasks beyond your skill level. Either way, you are struggling. 

Sound familiar? 

In all likelihood, you have been mis-sold a job, and will find yourself in a sticky situation, unless you act now. If your roles and responsibilities, or other variables like resource-allocation, remuneration, or location aren’t what were promised to you as advertised or discussed during the interview, you need to immediately take action. The scope of this article will be limited to discussing only the difference in the discussed and actual roles and responsibilities. First off, you need to understand that while some jobs are mis-sold intentionally (due to employer’s high attrition, or urgency in expansion, or unappealing nature of the work), others are not planned. It is possible that since your joining, the role has undergone a change, or a change in leadership or business model has reorganised the working of the team. Secondly, give your new manager a time of at least 4-6 weeks to absorb you seamlessly into the team. Do not accuse the employer of misrepresenting your job, just a week or ten days into your new role, for it takes time to smoothly work through transitions. The employers on the other hand, if has erroneously committed this mistake, needs to walk the extra mile to rectify it. However, an employer who repeatedly uses false advertising to get applicants and fill vacant positions, will eventually see high attrition, and suffer a serious dent in reputation. Furthermore, negligent misrepresentation, or fraudulent hiring can open doors for legal action, and aggrieved parties have known to claim compensation, depending on their country’s workforce laws. 

Employees, once they find themselves in such a position, should not take rash decision to quit, or create a ruckus in the organisation, for remember, you have just recently joined. The work we do is a part of our identity, and hence, you can only ignore the disconnect between what you are doing and what you want to do for so long. Here’s what you can do, if you believe you have been mis-sold a job: 

Make it official

Before you quit your last organisation, ask for official communication from the new employer, clearly stating your new role, position, salary and benefits, location etc. If the employer is delaying, or is hesitant in providing the same, something is obviously amiss, and you need to rethink your decision. If the new employer fails to do so despite repeated attempts, send them a suitably drafting email stating what your understanding of the role and others details are, and ask them to reply if the same is correct or incorrect.  Secondly, do not skim through these documents once you receive them. If any clause or point is vague or unclear, seek clarifications before signing it. 

Find the trail

If you end up joining the organisation without any official communication about your roles and responsibilities, it will be an uphill task to fix the situation. However, trail the process of hiring and get in touch with your point-of-contacts, before escalating the matter. It is possible that miscommunication at level of the HR, the recruiter or the hiring manager could have landed you in the present position, and hence you need to follow the official channels, and verify your roles and responsibilities with them, to make a case for yourself. 

Communicate your quandary

Be sure to communicate your dilemma to your boss, and other senior level employees, including the HR if necessary, if considerable time has elapsed with status quo. Take note this need not be a complain per se, but a discussion about what your role will be in the future, or how soon will you be eligible for a promotion. If the situation is an unintentional mistake from the organisation, chances are they will look into it, and correct the same. 

Weigh your options

If nothing works out, you need to weigh your actions steps. Is your new role exciting enough and something that you can learn to like, or is it grossly underutilising your skills, by asking you to do cold calling or perform data entry functions? Can you seek a transfer within the company, to negate the adverse affect on your CV? If you are on good terms with your previous employer, can you make a case to rejoin your last organisation? Remember, do not let ego hurt your career or learning, and take the decision in a timely manner. 

The employer, on the other hand, should make sure they take enough preventive measures to avoid the emergence of such a situation. The simplest way to do so, is by creating a comprehensive and updated job description of the position, clearly stating what the new recruit is expected to do. The new trend of creating unique and unheard of job titles and positions often adds to this confusion. Hence, by all means, go creative in coining new titles, but only as long as they are truly reflective of the role. For example, if you are looking for a salesperson, do not use the term ‘marketing strategist’. The job title could be a twist on the role, for example, Subway calls its sandwich makers ‘Sandwich Artists’, which is indicative of what is expected of them, but isn’t your regular title. Furthermore, since a job description and offer letter cannot encompass every small detail like working hours, flexibility, team size etc, be sure to communicate all this information upfront to avoid confusion later. Lastly, if as an employer you notice that new recruits routinely leave their new jobs owing to similar reasons, be sure to check with the HR, external recruiter, or the hiring manager to ensure that miscommunication at any one end is not leading to this challenge. Furthermore, if you find such an oversight from your end, confess it to the employee concerned, and do not promise the elusive treasure at the end of the rainbow, by assuring them that things will change, if you know for a fact that they will not. Make your best effort to accommodate them in a role that was promised to them. 

Thus, employees need to be more careful, and understand their job descriptions well before taking on a job, and employers need to be honest about their expectations. If expectations aren’t met, disappointment and despair might quickly turn to hostility, and prevent the employee from working to the best of their ability. Candidates and recruits need to remember that any interview and joining process is a two-way street, and they are choosing their employer, as much as the employer is choosing them. If candidates can be expected to lie to their resumes, employers too can lie about prospective job roles and details, and if your employer has intentionally done the same, it is reflective of their ideals, beliefs and how much they value their employees. Sometimes, sticking out with it might lead to favourable results, but sometimes, leaving the job for better opportunities might be the only way out. Hence, your best way forward should take into factor your employer’s response, the growth opportunities, and most importantly, your interest in the role. 

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