IT Employment

Help, my new job is not what I expected!

An employee, new to the company, feels a chilly reception from his boss and co-workers despite the fact that he was wooed in the interview process.

I received an email from a TechRepublic member who described a problem he was having at work. Apparently, the honeymoon period on his new job was short-lived, if existent at all.

The disappointed new hire, I'll call him Dexter, was practically wooed by HR and by the hiring manager for which he now works. The job functions and company culture were played up during the interview process. His skills were lauded and the hiring manager even accepted Dexter's counter-offer on salary.

Going in to the office on his first day of work, Dexter, understandably, felt like he was going to be a highly respected and valued member of the team. But reality fell short of his expectations. It seemed to him that from day one, his manager intentionally downplayed all of his ideas and his skills.

You know, I wish I could say that this was the first time I've heard of this happening, but it's not. Of course, I don't have both sides of the story so I'm only guessing on Dexter's specific situation, but here are some things I would look at.

Did he go in with his guns blazing? In other words, after having been built up in the interview process, did Dexter have an inflated view of his importance to the organization? I wrote a blog a while back on how to be the new employee. Basically, you can't go barging in on your first day and tell everyone how you think things should be done, criticizing the existing infrastructure. No matter how esteemed you were made to feel in the interview, no one will appreciate that kind of introduction. Also, without taking time to observe the interactions among employees and the general political lay of the land, you could be inadvertently crossing some lines you don't even know about.

Now, let's say Dexter is a cool guy, and he came into the situation slow and easy. There are some psychological issues going on at the workplace that he has no control over. For example, maybe his co-workers have found out that he asked for and got a bigger salary. (Believe me when I say that nothing surprises me anymore in regard to managerial indiscretions.) In that case, those guys may be prematurely set against you, and nothing you can do (other than the passage of time) will change it.

There is also another kind of passive-aggressive play at work. Every manager wants to hire that technically gifted genius, but without the ego. Even though our Dexter may be the most unassuming guy in the world, there may be some underlying, subconscious tendency for the manager to try to "keep him in check." I'm not saying that's good -- I've just seen it happen.

I would advise Dexter first to examine his own behavior -- check the tone of his emails or what he says in meetings -- to see if he's being a little pushy. If not, then it could be that he has stepped into a pit of jealous vipers and needs to see if things change over time. If not, it might not be the best place for him.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

79 comments
Osiyo53
Osiyo53

Not in exactly the same way as the person your article mentioned. In my case, I accepted one of those "blind" interviews. I knew the skills and experience the prospective employer was looking for. But had no idea who the prospective employer might be. Was told that wouldn't be revealed until until after the initial interview, if they thought I was of sufficient interest to them for them to make an offer. Well, I breezed through that initial interview well enough so that I got a call the very next day from the fellow who would/could do the actual hire. Was given an address, phone number, etc and a time to see him. Went there, went through his meeting and questioning, was told I was precisely the type he had been searching for. Got the sales pitch touting that company, the glad handing, the grand tour, etc and was told, "You want the job ... its yours." ROFLMAO ... was supposed to be a job as an applications engineer. Where you took project specs (a job customer wanted done), then designed a system that'd accomplish the goals (combination hardware and software work), drew up the plans and schematics; spec'd and bought the parts; oversaw the installation, acceptance testing, etc. LOL ... the very first job I was given, IMMEDIATELY, was a very large project in progress. Something along the lines of a 1.8 million dollar job. Supposedly already 70% complete. Only later did I find out that the original engineer had botched his job rather completely, really fouled it up. No possible way system would work as designed. To make things a bit worse, the lead tech working as foreman for installers spent more time bragging about his skills and knowledge than he did in actually proving them. So, as the management level sorts figured out the project was heading for a hard crash, engineer and lead tech were fired. Project manager for the job up and quit, figuring he was next on the chopping block. No one else in the company, with the necessary skills and knowledge, wanted ANYTHING to do with the project. In fact, a couple of them who were approached to take it over threatened to turn in their walking papers if forced to accept it. So, essentially, they needed a fall guy. Somebody who'd take the blame when the project failed to meet completion date, ran way over budget, etc. So they went looking for said dummy outside the company's existing employee base. And I was the dummy. I started getting a clue when I found out I was pretty much on my own. My peers, etc didn't seem to really want to get to know me very well. I was treated more or less like a stranger who didn't really belong there and was unwelcome. Later I was told by some folks that everyone thought I'd only be there long enough to have the project utterly fail, have a lot of rework and redesign done to make it finally acceptable to the customer, at the cost of going way into the red for my new employer, and then I'd get the blame and be gone. At first I didn't know any of this, just knew I was treated almost as if I had a case of leprosy. It was only after I was into the job for a couple or 3 months, up to my neck in gators and problems and working extra time to correct the mistakes and foul ups, that one of the senior techs with that company, working on the job with me, revealed the truth. We were having lunch together and I expressed the opinion that this project was about as fouled up as any I'd ever seen. Worse. And told him I didn't see how in the world the company expected me to get it done without going way in the hole. The guy had taken at least a little liking for me, and replied "You don't know? You were hired to be the patsy, the fall guy. The guy to blame." And he explained the background of what was going on. LMAO ... I realized I was scr*wed, again. And royally. Things were utterly FUBAR. My turn in the barrel. I thought about what he'd told me, then figured to myself, "Okay, not the first time. They're not gonna get to pop my cherry. BTDT." So I just dug in and did my best. Upshot was that the project became operational on time, well mostly. A few minor odds and ends still needed cleaned up and fixed. But we went $300,000 into the red. I was called on the carpet, in front of the board of directors, senior management, etc to explain and justify why I shouldn't be immediately fired for incompetence. As I said, they weren't getting a virgin when it came to this sort of thing. As much as possible, I had all my duckies in a row. Showed em original engineering plans ... pointing out MY name wasn't on the bottom of them. Showed em all the modifications and re-engineering I'd had to do. Steps I'd taken to minimize necessary re-do work, and additional equipment purchases. Pointed out that on the appointed date system had come on line and performed within 95% of the customer's expectations ... on that date. 100% a month later. Showed em a letter of appreciation from customer which expressed satisfaction in the final product. (Customer knew the original project plans had been screwed up) They made particular note of the fact that they'd come to believe that no one could have made the fixes and got that system on line as fast as I had. AND, customer had another job coming up at a different site, and were requesting the project be assigned to me personally. Etc. So, I then sat quietly while I was officially chewed out for going over budget, etc. Warned, severely that they'd be keeping an eye on me and looking over my shoulder constantly. But I wasn't terminated. Which not only surprised me, it surprised the heck out of a number of management and engineers who worked for that company. In fact, I was asked repeatedly over the months thereafter by all sorts of folks how it was I was still working there. Literally everyone thought I'd been hired just to be fired. The reason they'd not been too anxious to get friendly with me. In the end, things worked out fine, as far as I'm concerned. Still working there 10 years later. Like my job. Chuckle, the experience led to my being the guy that gets picked for those really messed up projects that no one else really wants to touch tho. Okay with me, work is work. Besides, I like challenges.

zgozvrm
zgozvrm

We had one new employee at our company who, less than a week into the job, had the gall to tell all of his co-workers, "I'm going to teach you guys a few things." Not only did he alienate everyone, he wasn't "all that" anyway (not even close). So, suffice it to say that he didn't make it.

y2ktoou
y2ktoou

Dexter is not alone, I'm in exactly the same boat. The things they DON'T mention in a job announcement but if they had.... Especially unbelievable for me, a coworker later mentioned that he had been asked to join the interview panel but turned it down because he knew how bad things were at our employer and in the dept the position I was interviewing for was and could not in all honesty sit through an interview knowing those interviewing for the same position that he held would not be pleased once they started working for his employer. Well, he was right.

Greg_Clark
Greg_Clark

It seems logical to me to assume that the job that Dexter has taken probably could have been filled by one of the current employees of the company with a pay rise. His now manager was probably overruled when that was recommended and he is taking it out on Dexter.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Companies are now playing the old recruiter's game. Over-hire, under-pay, take advantage a weak employment opportunities. Segue: Recruiters main goal is to find a candidate that WOWS the company, not a company that suits the employee. No matter who you talk to, no matter what the career coach tells you, it is BS. They are in it for money, unless you are paying your career coach, which VERY few people do these days, YOU are going to be oversold. The recruiter is paid a percentage of the new hire's first year salary. If the company was initially offering 60K and they have to pay a recruiter 12%-17% of that (on average) for your first year, it comes off the salary they WERE going to pay you. So you begin underpaid. The recruiter then seeks someone desperate and skilled, preying on the current unemployment issues. The company the recruiter presents you to is happy, they get an overqualified client for low pay! the average hire lasts for 11-15 months before moving on to something more worth their while. the company is so happy with the employee the recruiter found that they use them again, and once again the recruiter gets another 12 months income. After the first year, the recruiter doesn't WANT you to be happy there, you move on, they find a new hire and at paid again, they have you as a new recruit. It's perpetually playing head games with employees and the recruiter comes out smelling like roses. This is the most standard practice and focus of business development for recruiters. Now what is happening is COMPANIES are starting to do this too, they hire you based on an inflated job description, exciting tasks, responsibility, they'll even bump up salary a bit from their initially low offer. YOu are excited and eager then see reality, 'hey, I'm getting screwed here!', you then leave and they have NO problem doing it to the next guy because there's a nearly infinite pool of such talent. Meanwhile it screws up your resume, makes you look inconsistent, and again you find yourself settling for less as your career slowly slides backward instead of leaping forward. It's a scam, it's just not fair and recruiters and employers should both be held to more stringent standards for job descriptions and duties. I've been on both ends of this spectrum as a new hire and as a BDM for a recruiter, it's a SCAM and good, hard working employees get screwed over all the time. there outta be a law, but then some capitalist schmuck will say that it's national freedom and companies can do what they want. Am I bitter? Yeah I'M FREAKIN BITTER!!

dallas_dc
dallas_dc

Many years ago, I was happily working as an IT Manager for a good company. I had been there working my way up for almost 10 years. I was recruited to work for another company as Director of IT with a significant increase in salary. The company said I would have an assistant, would be able to hire a couple of permanent staff to replace those working as contractors, and the company was in a steep growth mode. I was told that I would need to hire at least one developer to work on the new systems.(Private Company - pre-Internet, so no easy way to confirm this.) They also said they wanted me to completely upgrade their computer systems (servers, desktops, etc) and phone systems. The contractors left at the end of their term and I was not allowed to replace them. I had to pick up the slack for their jobs in addition to mine. The assistant was transferred to the Call Center. They decided that the existing phones and computers would have to do. This was not over a period of a year or so, this was within 3 months of my start date. Nothing had changed from a company performance standpoint, they had just lied to get me in the door! Don't ask me why, but sometimes people do really stupid things. FYI - They hired a Call Center Mgr from a large hotel chain and did the same thing to him. He came from a call center where they had at least 100 people on each shift, and brought him in to manage a staff of 8 to 12 people. Same lies - growth, new systems, profit - BS! Fortunately, I got out of there in about 6 months for a lesser paying job, but I kept my sanity.

library assistant
library assistant

If it's at all possible, ask for a copy of the job description in writing. Most companies have this readily available, with a few exceptions that it's being revised. I would be cautious if there isn't a written job description because it could be a bait and switch or that they are dysfunctional enough not to have one. This isn't just my suggestion, but my daughter's as well, and she is an Employment Specialist with the department of labor working with the employers to find the right employees. The only position that I ever accepted in ANY job area that I wasn't able to have a job description was the worst job I ever had, and I ended up walking out after 8 months just to get them to "man up" to helping a customer. It was a help desk outsource before they shipped them overseas and they refused my request to escalate the customer after the customer declared that he didn't think women could do any computer work, and every time I put him on hold to research his history and everything else, he'd try to fix it himself. By the time I gave up, he was down to one boot device, and they wouldn't give him to a man to fix the issue - they just told me to dump him back into the queue. I felt that since none of the level 2 tier were doing anything, it wouldn't be wrong to escalate it since he wouldn't listen to me. I even told him that I held degrees in computer engineering, and it didn't help. Incidentally, this company lost 3 major contracts while I was there because of the administration - all one clique of people.

library assistant
library assistant

It's possible that the problem wasn't Dexter at all. It's possible that the person who previously held the job was one who was liked by everyone, fired or otherwise left the job and they resented HR filling the job at all - in which case ANYONE filling the job would be treated that way. Or else they may have felt that their input wasn't wanted or needed. Either way, it sounds like the work environment is a little hostile and toxic.

DNSB
DNSB

I've been on the other side of that situation. New hire came in and had to take an elevator by himself so he could fit his ego in. The guy was a genius, no doubt about that. Unfortunately his social and teaching skills were non-existent. After the first two days, his nickname was "Nick Burns".

ps.techrep
ps.techrep

My questions are, is the work of the new position as advertised, was the Hiring Manager, his direct supervisor/manager, and _why_ was the new hire needed? Sometimes a new hire is brought in that the direct supervisor/manager neither wants nor needs, but is pushed into getting by someone higher up the food chain. This is done to push the work group into taking on more responsibility and/or new technology that they haven't the ability to handle. Sometimes accepting a candidates' counter offer means that the budget of the direct manager is stretched to the limit and inhibits giving raises to the the staff (including that manager) who have been carrying an excessive load. Sometimes the new hire' specs are purposely set high so that it's unlikely to be filled. If a 'qualified' candidate is then found who is over qualified for the actual work, there's no basis for rejecting him, the overqualified candidate unwittingly disrupts that stability of the group.

schmidtd
schmidtd

One time a highly esteemed co worker left and recommended another person as a highly skilled replacement. The leaving co worker really talked up the abilities of the person he recommended. But when we went to interview the new person, we felt his skills fell short of the praise he had gotten and didn't hire him. In the end I can't help but feel that he has been so talked up, that anything short of walking on water was going to be a letdown. So we ended up rejecting someone who was competent because he wasn't a miracle worker. Because this is such a hard position to fill, it was probably a mistake. I wonder if the situation is something like that.

jgoodyear
jgoodyear

This happened to me. After a being recruited by this company, and a 2 day interview with much rosy talk and a big show on their part, I took the job. No counter on salary, did everything to try to be their guy. Within 6 months I was totally in the dog house and nothing I did could save it. I've excelled in every other position, I blame them not knowing what they wanted or being able to communicate it.

delphi9_1971
delphi9_1971

So reading the comments, it appears to me there are two camps of readers: 1: Managers are always wrong 2: "Dexter" didn't know what he was doing. However, I read article and think there is a 3rd possibility. After years in IT, I've noticed that IT people in general (yes I'm generalizing) don't have very good people skills. I've read the stories on the high incidence of Asperger's Syndrome among IT staff which one symptom is poor social skills often attributed to missed communications queues. Even if it's not that, it takes a certain kind of personality to spend hours staring at a computer screen trying to get to the bottom of a technological problem. Also, there tends to be a higher utilization of communications mediums that strip out many of the Audio and Visual queues we as humans use to communicate (READ: Email and IM). It's my thought that due to this all people in IT, from Management on down to the most Junior Tech have a tendency to miss body language and not hear voice inflections that aid in the communications process. I think this one thing leads to this very problem. In IT departments. For instance, if it was Dexter that has these problems, maybe he missed the queues in the interview that would have given him an indication of the acidity of the workplace environment. Conversely, if it was the hiring manager who has these types of issues, maybe he/she didn't notice some of "Dexters" issues. Lastly the one thing no one mentioned is maybe it was a combination of both. Not a big a problem as "Dexter" makes it out to be and also disappointment on who "Dexter" became once he landed the job. Either way, I've found that often in IT, due to the over utilization of communication methods that remove our ability to hear Audio and Visual queues to conversation (Voice Tone and Body language) has a tendency to lead to miss communications and hurt feelings that are often the root cause of these types of issues. Add that to a group of people that are usually less socially skilled than the populous at large and you have a recipe for disaster.

Englebert
Englebert

When you first move into a new position, at a suitable moment, bring in some delectable cookies, or candy or item that is appreciated by all. The theory being to bring people to your side, to have them remember your first act of generosity, to engage in social acceptance and a host of other benefits. It's similar to Obama's Beer theory.

jdriggers
jdriggers

I haven't been a job hopper, and have been fortunate enough to stay employed, but I did move around within the company taking different and upward positions. One rule I always followed was, do not except the job without meeting some of the people I would be working with. Because of that rule, I turned down a few offers because I did not need their attitude or crap. Because of that rule, things have always been pleasant. If you are needing a job, sometimes you have to take it for awhile if things are tough, but don't let it suck you into a black hole. Ride the wave and keep looking until the match is found.

MDonaldWil
MDonaldWil

The position HR is grooming you to accept has already been promised to a team member ( without a degree ) who has been there for 12 years; by the manager!! Both the manager and the team member will try to sabotage you in the job even if you are competant

redbud211
redbud211

I've seen new employees come in that were intelligent, quick and had great assets to offer. But even with that skill set, nothing will "turn off" co-workers and a boss as much as a guy who constantly says "that's not the way we did this at [his former employer] -- they have a much better way to handle it." It got to be so bad that we were all wishing he would just go back to [his former employer] instead of always talking about how 'they' did things so much differently than 'us.' So my advice - lay off any comparisons to other places you have worked!

WanderMouse
WanderMouse

First impressions often establish and "lock in place" our opinion of any job, person, organization, or situation, but can be misleading. One has to give a situation time, and sufficient open-mindedness, to evaluate it accurately. The first days of adjusting to a new job environment can be stressful, and can give one an unfavorable impression that may have little congruency with reality. So my first advice would be to give it time- at least a month- before making a go-no go decision. Second, if one has multiple job offers, and the time between acceptance and starting your position is short, don't let at least one of your acceptable alternative job offers know that you've already taken a new position. "Stringing them along" may not be quite fair to the other company, but will provide you a ready exit, should you need one. Even if you don't do this, still keep trolling the job market during your first month or two that you're in your new position. If this should get back to your current, new employer, tell him you "just forgot to take your name down from that site." I don't know how ethical this is, but it is pragmatic. Finally, never leave your current job until you have an alternative lined up- whether this be the current situation of a poor initial fit, or a longer-term situation where you've been in a position for some time, but come to realize that you and the compny are progressively becoming a poorer fit for each other. The only reason anyone should ever be leaving one position without another already lined up is an unexpected layoff or firing.

devshop
devshop

Been there, done that. I hit that same situation on a 90-day contract-to-hire and the only mistake I made was to accept the full time position 60 days into it. Never again!

WaveCrest
WaveCrest

Ok, so what's the advice on falling into this trap and then trying to get out? How long do you give it before you must include it on your resume? If you stay long enough that you do need to include it on your resume, how do you position that job to your prospective next employers?

treyler
treyler

What do you do when you come back after time off and everything has changed? I was passed over for promotions and found out the manager only wanted people to talk to His "team leads". The other three of us might as well not be here.

mattohare
mattohare

It's very easy (especially after a flattering woo session or two) to go in with ideas that could come off a script. I may have read up on what the project is, but that doesn?t mean my ideas haven?t been tried. Some of these ideas may come off as arrogance if they?re too fundamental. Early on, people love to be asked about things. The more insecure they are, the more they need to be asked. One might even apologise for taking the time and asking. After two to four weeks, it?s easier to suggest things right off. Others will know that you have a more solid understanding of the project and its pitfalls.

r39hive
r39hive

Hi Bower, This is nothing surprising! I have been there in this situation in several places. I think it is mainly that they find out what your salary is and when you are technically good, your co-workers downplay you. This happened in 4 out of 5 jobs. The last job was the worst as it did not even last for 8 months. I have seen things over the years and everytime it will be around 2 years by then things will be in this situation, but the last job was within 8 months I had to run as my manager, my co-workers all ganged up on me and started to see that I could be pushed out of the door. I was hired for a Sr.Network Administrator and was told to go do desktop technicians job and had to change printer inks, desktops, refresh desktops and was not working on any server administration jobs. As, my boss downplayed me.

claudia7950
claudia7950

I worked for a company which - during the interview - boosted every sunny side of the job, forgetting to mention some details, including that the boss himself was a sort of mental. I could have managed that, but not the fact that the job I was offered was totally different from the one I had to face from the very first minute. I had inopportunely left the previous job to "improve", and I had to stay over until I found another job. This took me 2 years! I bent to the dismissing tasks, but never bent to the insane attitude of the boss. I hope that Dexter will soon sort out what is best for him. If the problem stays on the top of the hill he will find it difficult to emerge. On the other hand, if the problem is the general co-workers climate, I think time will prove his value.

BogdanC
BogdanC

Maybe I've read the wrong introduction but Dexter wasn't complaining about his colleagues...

imhorwood
imhorwood

This is all too common a situation. Skilled individuals are employed to do a role (add value, make a difference, whatever..) but are then not allowed to delivery on that. This is most certainly down to culture and poor management leadership. As already stated the real issue is in the interview and the individual must take responsibility for their own judgement on the role, and its potential to deliver their needs, as well adding value to the business. Dexter should man up, grow some, and tell these people exactly what their problem is, and that the current attitude is part of the problem... If they then dismiss him then time to move on...

rastr
rastr

See my reply above. I went back and looked at the article- it has 526 words. All we know of Dexter's experience after he started work was 26 words: "But reality fell short of his expectations. It seemed to him that from day one, his manager intentionally downplayed all of his ideas and his skills." Maybe he felt this in all his jobs and the only thing different about this one was his good feelings going in... The wonderful thing about all this is that I'm not as bored as I usually am during the 8 minutes it takes to compile a new build... -r

rastr
rastr

Toni seems to have asked Dexter VERY few questions. In response, people posted many theories and their own past experiences. It's amazing how, knowing almost nothing, we're eager to wade in and theorize. #1: We know nothing about this particular situation. #2: My advice is for Dexter to talk to his manager and everyone else on the team- at breaks, at lunch, in the hallway, and regularly with his boss. Share his feelings and ask if they're accurate or off-base. Ask about ways he can contribute. Recently I met a woman who started at a company. She was told "in general, it takes a good 6 months to be accepted, part of the in-crowd". Everyone teased each other, but not her- she wasn't "in". She bought into this and was resigned to being an outsider. I met her in a seminar and she saw that she had inadvertently bought into the "culture." She went back committed to getting to know people and open to the perspective that people would be happy to get to know her (regardless of the culture). With that in mind, she found opportunities to talk with people and get to know them and pal around with them and soon was close to many of them, despite "what everyone knew." As humans, we're very socially aware, but as mammals, we're very wary. We're very quick to think there's a problem and invent a cause- it's because of us or them. The truth is usually much different. Whether it's a perspective we're telling ourselves, or one "everyone knows", it's up to us whether we live under its constraints or not. Yes, some of these cultures are too weird for words, but making them explicit and talking about them, and alternatives, is a good start to making them less powerful. -r

library assistant
library assistant

were you including the people this person had to work with in the interviewing process, or introducing them before hire? Seeing how this person responds to meeting their future co-workers should be a must because you can see how they fit in, and if the co-workers already know him, they can tell you if they've heard bad things about him. One job (almost 20 years ago), on which I was a temp in a different department, I went into the IT office only to find a "new hire" that I knew... I asked what job they had been hired for and discovered that it was something I KNEW they had no experience doing. I didn't really know what to do. Eventually, I came up on the person who asked me for help writing code, and I just told her that if she couldn't do it, she shouldn't have padded her resume. It wasn't long after that that she left, supposedly on medical leave. Not long after, she lost her house to Sheriff's sale and was on unemployment for a long time. I think they discovered that she'd lied on her resume, and she never worked in IT again, as far as I know.

waltjohnson35
waltjohnson35

After an early retirement from a major IT manufacturer I was recruited by a non-profit company. Despite my spoken reservations and their agreement on the amount of travel required, I took the job. I was not given the computer I needed for three months and not the software for seven. Then, was told that the amount of travel had been underestimated and I would need to travel regularly. I concluded that they had hired a scapegoat they could blame for not completing an impossible assignment and resigned in less than a year.

wwgorman
wwgorman

I will add to Delphii9_17 well written analysis that many people can not do written communications well. Some warm and gregarious people come across in the written memo (not email or IM) as "cold turkeys." They may also not have writing skills to communicate properly in reports (the era of the typing pool getting the punctuation and grammar corrected is well past us now).

klandreth
klandreth

I've often felt alienated & ganged up on, but only to discover it was the way I interpreted an email. Once I had a real conversation with the other person / people, I realized the feelings were the result of my overactive imagination.

dba88
dba88

...of this very situation. By working for others you are subject to a certain set of unspoken rules which includes; personalities, chemistries, politics and culture. It's difficult at best to absorb and understand the nuances during interviews. You either adjust to the new circumstances, look for something else, or both. Many times these things simply are not apparent during the interview process or the romancing period. What can you do? Grin and bear it and / or leave. You can terminate them just as easily as they can terminate you. As a consultant, you're subject to the same general rules, but you also know the engagement will be over at some point and you move on. You always know it's a temporary situation and you're most probably being paid more than your employee counterparts. I love being a consultant, because I'd never have the exposure to different environments that I get as a consultant. So, from that perspective, consulting has an advantage. When I get up in the morning, I don't want to go to a stressful work place! Who wants to live like that? As a consultant, you do your job, take some crap when it's necessary to do so, live with the pressure when it's necessary as well, and then the project is over and you move on. Yes, it is a different lifestyle, but one that I've become accustomed to and have grown to enjoy. If you're not willing, or are tired of being an employee, try consulting for awhile.

John.M.Thompson
John.M.Thompson

This is the world I live in. The team has been together more than a decade. They had never had an outsider come in. They are not happy when I let them know "if you do this, this will happen". I become the loser when my prediction proves correct.

ckeller
ckeller

It's been my experience that the IT field is awash with very intelligent people that lack the Emotional Intelligence to exist peacefully and productively in the workplace. That SNL skit is funny because it's true. So IT professionals not feeling "welcome" in a new environment doesn't surprise me at all.

klandreth
klandreth

I have a habit of doing the same thing, but not so rude or blatant. I will say 'at X, we did it like this'; my INTENT is to say, "here's one way of tackling the problem". I am beginning to learn to say "what if WE did it this way?", and leave out the X part.

bamilster
bamilster

This is from a non IT guy who who works in a similar kind of technical job. What you do is present the job as "not being quite the challenge you were looking for." Then do not elaborate on why they are your former employers. Present it neatly and professionally. Then move on to the next topic. I've interviewed and gotten that answer. The candidate had no way to know that I knew the former manager well enough to dislike him myself. He got high marks for diplomacy for what he did't say about the other guy.

v r
v r

Some excellent replies have been posted here. We do not truly know the situation,so it is difficult to give appropriate advice. The situation could be: 1. I have seen and experienced cases in which the job accepted was not the job in which the person was placed. It is rarely good for the company, the Dexter role or anyone else. Talk to the manager about the role you thought you accepted. Use the words "possible misunderstanding". Listen, don't argue. If it is temporary, it's okay. If not, be quiet, be pleasant, do the job to the best of your ability and continue the job search. 2. Perhaps, the manager was forced to hire you and resents it, so he/she treats you poorly. Talk to the manager about what you could be doing wrong. If you can "correct" it, do so. If you believe that the manager's "style" and yours do not fit, be quiet, be pleasant, do the job to the best of your ability and continue the job search. 3. If it has become obvious to you that the manager has severe emotional issues, do not discuss it with coworkers. Unless the manager is so abusive that he/she is violating company policy (separate discussion topic) simply, smile, be quiet, do the job to the best of your ability and continue the job search. Dexter needs to determine whether he has just run head long into a personal "growth opportunity" and learn from it or whether he should run away.

klandreth
klandreth

in THIS case, you were "pushed" to "other" tasks, but unless those people were also mean to you, does it REALLY matter? You might be under-utilized, but your mortgage is being paid & you have food on the table, right?

mgmorgan01
mgmorgan01

Perhaps you cannot perform to the level stated on your resume and your peers know that you will soon be looking for yet another job?

jk2001
jk2001

I was actually lied to about 50% of my job, but I was very interested in working at this organization. (It has been fun, and has been a good experience overall.) Their lie was that there was a lot of PHP and Unixy work - and there wasn't. They did a mash-up of "cooler" job descriptions with their own to concoct this job listing. They used it to attract more interesting talent. I figured since I had very little Windows admin experience, and that's what I needed, it would be a great way to learn Windows and get paid for it. (I've been mostly in the Mac and Unix camp since the 1980s, and the Perl and PHP thing since the early 2000s.) Well, it turned out that it's a small organization that's 100% Windows, except the website. So I spent a lot of time learning Windows. I also set up an old computer with Linux, so I could get work done. In the time since, we've grown the network, and the quantity of Unix here has increased, the quantity of PHP code has increased, so the job pretty nearly matches the original job description, and is greatly expanded. Things are moving in a direction where continued upgrading gives me an opportunity to pit FOSS solutions against proprietary ones and in-house solutions. What made this work was that I was interested in the organization's success. Management has been a mixed bag. Tech's been lame. There's no ladder of advancement for me - I need to make a horizontal move eventually. But, I have no regrets and am happy with this job.

hananddiep
hananddiep

Yes, I did move on. My situation is exactly what you've just described "This is all too common a situation. Skilled individuals are employed to do a role (add value, make a difference, whatever..) but are then not allowed to delivery on that. This is most certainly down to culture and poor management leadership."

PeterM42
PeterM42

When I was working on a contract at a MAJOR telecom supplier's software house, I (very gently) pointed out a significant technical error in something they were doing (which caused system logon to take about 10 minutes!) and was told "you do your job and we will do ours". I didn't last long there - the politics were cut-throat and the atmosphere appalling.

delphi9_1971
delphi9_1971

I've been in the same boat too. The one that gotten me is that I might be frustrated or upset because I couldn't get a technology to work or have a user upset me as often happens in IT. Then I'll read an email from that personal emotional perspective and think that the author is being negative or argumentative when in fact it's my state of mind that's the cause In fact the author of the email was just being professional. Personally I think this is something that effects all of us, it's human nature. When the communication lacks the audible and visual queues, we project our own emotions on to the communications. It's a trap that we all fall in to from time to time.

marathoner
marathoner

A fabric of misrepresentations exists in a lot of those places. The new employee is expected to analyze and figure out the way things actually are, i.e. how to stroke each individual so that you "get along with them" other wise known as kissing up. You can't ASK anybody because no one will admit to it. The time spent doing all that crappola is time you don't spend doing tasks that might actually move the company forward. I've had jobs where I spent 25% percent of my time figuring out the crappola and another 25% doing it. I call it "watching my back." No wonder everyone is incompetent. In my ideal world you'd lose your job for misrepresenting stuff and making all your co workers waste their time figuring out what the truth is and what they should do about it. I've been where that guy is. I had no illusions to "take over" but I thought they hired me because I knew something about what they were doing and how to do it. Nope. I tried that "making the boss think he thought of it" or better "planting the idea privately so he could take the credit" but no.

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

If the manager is so abusive that he/she is violating equal opportunity treatment, anti-abuse, anti-discrimination, and anti-harassment laws; document the heck out of it and seek legal help. Oh, and definately continue the job search.

r39hive
r39hive

Hi, I agree with you and not with the other comment. But, there is dignity in what you do and you take yourself accountable and pride in the job you do. The issue was with the Manager who was basically incompetent and I was her target as she knew that I was clear in knowing how wrong she wss doing things scheduling downtimes during business hours and not notifying the business and suddenly come in and say this is going to be upgraded that is going to be upgraded. Does not communicate properly nor does she understand the technical role of a person. Assigns a network engineer job to a NAdmin and a NAdmin job to a NE. wow! and she was acting as if she was so technical in front of Executive committee who did not know anything technical and believed what she said. So, when someone with good background with 20 years of experience comes in, she is just stumped that what the heck did I do in hiring this guy who is coming out and finding out all the faults for the 10 years we did. Which was not my reason to be there, but I was only trying to help her to get it all straightened and make things better for everyone including the business. She would outright lie which we can see that she is lying, but couldnt do anything.

jmarkovic32
jmarkovic32

Less responsibility for more pay!!! Only problem is that you're not learning anything new and your current skills atrophy.

r39hive
r39hive

It was not I could not perform, It is because I could not tolerate the nonsense and bull crap that goes in in the IT world and specially people who just cannot do their job right nor know how to do their job. People will laugh at you Morgan if you really think I don't know my job. Infact, I have delivered projects and done work that you in your dreams could not even imagine it. And the speed at which I do is surprising to the so called Gurus in this field. Maybe, you have to think before you say something. As, one thing I have noticed is a good knowledgeable, sincere and ethical worker cannot sustain, but only lies and playing the games that people play can sustain in any jobs not only in IT.

r39hive
r39hive

Good that you moved on, but for guys like this do you know what happens, it looks bad on our resume that we cannot stick onto a job. And that is the situation I am in now. I always wanted to go to work for a company thinking that I can at least stay there for 10 years, then after going in I pray oh god, let me at least stay there for 5 years, but no way........you have to play the damn politics, play their games, kiss up and do anything to survive. I never used to do that, and I tried to do my job well and get lots of acclaimation, but your co-workers and your bosses do not like it......I am not sure, I have never come across a true since boss other than the one I had 5 years back, who really valued my work. He was a sincere, hard working good manager who really valued employees contribution. It is hard to find managers like that. Nowadays, it is getting more tough and worse, with different generations working where we have to put up with all kinds of generations and their attitudes.

don.gulledge
don.gulledge

I took a job at a company. Was hired by the IT Manager and HR. Turned out there was a competition between the IT and Accounting and I was hired right into the midddle of it. The IT manager didn't want me there, the accounting guy didn't want me to do anything unless he got to watch and control all access. I've since seen these kinds of politics and there's no way to get around them no matter how much you try or how hard you work. I finally went to a VP and told them there's no way I can function in this situation or do what I was hired to do. So just after two weeks they gave me the boot. That was what the IT Manager had planned all along. I knew it and so did he. But, there was no salvaging of this situation, just accept and move on. The one obvious thing I've learned over the years is that people operate in their own best interest to the detriment of the mission or the sake of their employers. Most think of it as job security in their own minds, but it usually is just their own minds fooling them. Politics trumps skill, trumps logic, and trumps everything else. It's unfortunate, but it's true.

wwgorman
wwgorman

I am copying what I said in another post as I think it applies. Here it is: The work around is to keep your mouth shut and eyes open. Also, take those calls from "Crazy Ed in Chicago" that nobody else wants to. Take calls at lunch time when the poor telephone operator can't find anybody else to answer an irate customer or field sales manager. Stay a little later at your desk at closing time. Do your work quietly and carefully and without comment. Take on some "little pain in the buns" jobs that nobody wants. In my first job I was lucky as I was accepted by my peers although I still had to prove myself. I did what I posted above and got along fine.