Many of us have been there, me included. We accept a job offer based on what we thought the job entails, but it ends up being something very different. So what now? We’re now in a job that has turned out to be something other than what we expected, something we would probably have turned down if we knew what we were getting into.
It’s the employer’s responsibility to clearly and accurately convey the responsibilities and scope of the job during the interview phase of the hiring process. It’s also the employee’s responsibility to ask as many clarifying questions as it takes to completely understand what the job really is. And if something doesn’t feel right about it, then we should trust our gut instincts. Of course, other factors may come into play – like an attractive salary, or a desperation to escape a toxic work situation.
So several scenarios are possible here:
- We didn’t fully understand the job in the first place.
- The employer didn’t clearly communicate the job.
- It was a newly created position without a fully developed direction or vision.
- There was full clarity and understanding in the beginning, but the job has suddenly turned into something else, something we didn’t or wouldn’t have signed up for.
So what now?
1. If the job is really intolerable, then the best thing would probably be to rev up the job search again. Look outside the organization, but also see what opportunities may exist within. (If however, you just started, it may be too early to make a move internally.)
2. If the job is tolerable, and you’re comfortable doing so, talk openly with your supervisor and see if your job description can be adjusted to allow for more of the things you really want to do. If this isn’t possible, try to give the job more time to see what develops, and what twists and turns it might take. It may just turn in your favor. But in any event, it could never hurt to keep your eyes and ears open for other opportunities.
3. If you have the means to do so, then quitting outright may be a viable option. I see this more as a last resort, but if the job is causing undue stress and having an unhealthy impact on your life, then sometimes you’re left with no other option than to remove yourself from that situation and start over.
Clear communication and full understanding are key before accepting any job offer. But again, sometimes even with that, things don’t turn out the way we expect. But also know you have options if confronted with a bad situation. When it happened to me, I thankfully chose to look elsewhere and found something much better suited for me.