IT Employment

Poll: Have you ever been totally wrong about a job you accepted?

It's easy to believe what a prospective employer wants you to believe about a job before you accept it. Have you ever made this mistake?

So you've gotten through an interview at a prospective employer's and the hiring manager is giving you a walk-through of the place and giving you all the details that make you really want to work there. You are offered, and you accept, the job. But you're there for a few weeks, and you start to discover that the job and the work environment aren't exactly how they were portrayed. They didn't tell you about the 22-hour work days or the Corporate Compliance Officer they keep chained up in the basement.

You discover, too late, that those who do the hiring can sometimes mislead to get the best candidate for the job. Has this ever happened to you? Let's take the poll below and see. (Next time, I'll write about an instance in which an IT pro was wooed for his talents but then was completely shut out once he was on the job.)

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.

22 comments
y2ktoou
y2ktoou

This is my current situation where I presently am employed. Should have known things were not as they seemed when, during my interview I asked a pretty innocuous question regarding the network (was it a hub & spoke or ring or bus?). The dept supervisor and an employee from the same dept that was looking to fill the vacant position for which I was interviewing for both looked at each other and neither said a word. Eventually from the employee came the words "hub & spoke" and then the supervisor chimed in to say "yeah, that's it, hub & spoke". Clearly neither of these individuals had ever heard a network mentioned in this manner. I should have taken this cue to mean "steer clear of this place!".

cbader
cbader

I actually had a job that I had a correct feeling for, I just made the wrong decision. I knew the manager was a love him or hate him type of guy and that wed either get along great or we would kill each other. I took a chance given my relatively minimal job security at the company I was leaving (Company was going out of business) and endured two months of the worst kind of hell Id ever imagined. I have to learn to be a little more in tune with my instincts.

dallas_dc
dallas_dc

If the people doing the hiring are willing to lie and even put the lies in writing, you can really get sucked in to a job that really sucks!

Justin James
Justin James

... was made out to be much better than it was. All too often, their house is burning down and they are looking for the miracle worker to put it out. I've had few jobs that were exactly what was described, and those tended to be ones I stayed at the longest. J.Ja

dalefogden
dalefogden

When you find yourself in a difficult position, you use it as an opportunity. Many years ago, I went into a situation where I got a 50% raise from my prior job and bonus guarantees. When I got there, it was chaotic and people were sloppy and undisciplined in their work. Within about 18 months, I was in charge of the department and provided much-needed leadership which, fortunately, my prior boss was willing to accept.

cory.schultze
cory.schultze

I left a dead-end job in search of a career and found a gem in my local JobCentre: Trainee Programmer. At the time, I had just started a home-study course in VB.NET. My interview incurred a spot-the-difference for programmers, where a correct and incorrect script were presented for me to highlight any errors that would affect the program's operation. I blagged the job and started my programming career - in MVBase! (An ancient Dartmouth Basic-based, DOS-oriented second generation language). At this point, I knew the water was far too deep and I hadn't yet learnt to swim. So I thrashed about and quickly got the hang of simple programming. I made an excellent search tool, which disappeared overnight - a possible sabotage by a co-worker? Needless to say, I wasn't ready and I had a hugely different notion of the title "Trainee" to what the manageress had expected.

wpshore
wpshore

Yep, I took on the bookkeeping responsibilities for a small organization (non-profit) running within our larger non-profit, thinking it would be a piece a cake. The previous managers had been fired, the job was undefined, the filing requirements were unknown (and a nightmare) and because I'd said yes and was the only other person there besides the manager who just ignored all my howling - it all landed on me. I begged to be fired or for them to hire a replacement but management just didn't care and I couldn't quit without quitting my main job so it was a five year nightmare. Eventually the manager had a bad-hair day (same one I'd been going thru for years) and she quit. I should have had my responsibilities in writing before taking this open-ended nightmare so it was very much my mistake. Never again, as they say.

sboverie
sboverie

In the early 90's I was working in mostly data production and yearned to work in a PC networked invironment. The job was easy to get to via public transportation and it was a fresh direction for my career. The first problem was the pay I asked for was not what was given; my mistake in thinking in terms of monthly instead of weekly. The next problem was the site I worked at only allowed for one tech; another tech could come and help but for the most part I was on my own. I worked there for 2 months and was feeling like I was not keeping up and I was getting weird comments from the customer's management. I asked my manager to find out what was going on and after talking with the customer's manager, he said I just need to communicate better but did not give any advice on how to do so. The work load increased but I was not able to get help. Ironically, I was told at the company holiday party that it was good that I was so busy and bringing in revenue because the other techs did not have enough work to stay busy. I was finally pulled off of the customer's and put into field service. My manager was new at being a manager and decided I was a problem and put me on probation and firing me a month later. I was able to get a job quickly enough. The employer was a retail computer store with a few onsite customers. This job turned out to be one of the best jobs that I have had. I got to work one of their onsite customers and learned a lot and was rewarded with a 14.5% raise on my anniversary. I went from what I thought was a dream job to another job that I figured would be a temporary stop but became more to what I wanted to do. It was good to leave a job that made me feel stupid and worthless and go to a place that appreciated what I do and reward me well for doing it.

JustinF
JustinF

I accepted a job as state IT manager but between accepting the offer and taking up the role there was a change of manager so I ended up working for someone I had never met as the head office was on the other side of the country. This manager sucked back all control to himself & I ended up working the service desk on twice the salary the position normally got. I was there for a while as the pay was good but the work culture wasn't very pleasant.

danny
danny

Luckily, this was during the Bush 2 bounceback and I was able to get another job in 2 weeks.

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

Do NOT, under ANY circumstances, allow a military recruiter to get you to sign any form authorizing them to assign you to a job or career field of their choosing. Know exactly the job you want and expect to be performing, and make sure you get it guarranteed in writing. I know too many guys who went Open General thinking they were going into avionics (aircraft electronics) and ended up guarding base perimeters from jackrabbits and coyotes during high plains blizzards. Or most recently, a young neighbor's kid who joined the marine reserves wishing to get a job in automotive maintenance and ended up in infantry.

maj37
maj37

Recruiters are frequently a bit dishonest; sometimes they are simply intentionally ignorant. Most guys in my basic flight had found out that things their recruiters told them were either out right not true or were not exactly like the recruiter said. One guy that I got to be real good friends with, we went to the same base for tech school, was always telling everyone about how his recruiter told him everything right on the money, no issues for him, until we got to our tech school base. We both had been told about a program to let us finish our college and become officers I knew that Math Education wasn't going to hack it so I was prepared to have to pick a different major. He was all set to finish his last year of Electrical Engineering Technology, a low math step-sister to an electrical engineering degree. At our tech school base they told him that degree was not acceptable for the program and he would have to pick something else. He went off the deep end and just wanted out and he got out too with a general discharge. It was really sad to me that the one thing his recruiter didn't give him accurate information on was the one that just tore him up. Sadly also at first I thought it was sort of a just deserts situation after the way he acted in basic, very petty of me I know. I guess this applies to HR managers and hiring managers as well. maj

cartmit
cartmit

Don't join the military. Get an honest job instead.

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

The main purpose of the United States' Military is to prevent military attacks on our country from other countries. With the exception of Pearl Harbor, they've done a pretty damn good job over the past 235 years. Their secondary purpose is to provide military intervention to favor our national goals around the world. They guard, they advise, and they get to blow things up to slow or stop the bad guys. Our advice is pretty good. Our guarding works against normal criminals and small groups, but will get plowed under by a large, determined opponent. Our blowing things up works wonderfully, but the expected results don't always follow through - blame the politicians who gave the military the job thinking it would make a difference. You have to have a massive amount of logistical support for each combatant we put in the field. Something like 150 people to get a pilot in the air and the bombs on target. 50 to 100 or so for each soldier, sailor, or marine. And you have to have a reserve capacity (slack) to fill holes. A lot of that slack is considered to be the desk jockeys and warehouse rats that make up the second string after the guys on point are killed or exhausted. You do get some "dishonest" workers in there; but a lot fewer than in the civilian world. And every, single, man or woman, who's joined the military for the past 30 years has done so as a volunteer. A volunteer to put their life on the line for you, me, and the rest of America. It doesn't get any more honest than that.

jedmundson
jedmundson

I was active duty, US Navy and Leading Petty Officer of a couple of Navy clinics. There's one minor point in the above statement that is often overlooked. According to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), military personnel are forbidden from publicly disparaging their seniors. I believe that the President of the United States and Commander in Chief was his senior. Historically speaking, remember what happened to Douglas MacArthur when he complained to the press about President Truman. Thy were both lucky that they didn't face a courts marshal for their statements.

waltz
waltz

After over 20 years of military service I can unequivocally state that what Zinj said used to be generally true. I found more honesty and integrity throughout the military than I found in both the public and private sector. There was also far more loyalty, both up and down the ranks, amongst its members. Unfortunately, the military has started to devolve into the politicians? sandbox for social engineering experiments that are designed to appease ?minority? voter groups. The Joint Chiefs and Pentagon staff has succumbed to the same folly as pervades all of the rest of the political organizations inside the Beltline. Political correctness and other such nonsense run rampant and, since General McChrystal?s forced resignation, no real leadership prevails. They have lost sight of their mission which is to support and defend the Constitution of The United States.

Jessie
Jessie

My brother joined the army being told by the recruiter that they could train him to be a physical therapist. As SOON as that paper was signed they said, "We don't have any openings for physical therapists, but you could drive a TANK."

jim.casey
jim.casey

As ex-military I agree, I joined the Navy 30 years ago and they tried that on me, kept telling they would get a spot in an electronics field but there were no openings but there would be one before they flew me to boot camp. I showed up the day I was to fly to boot camp and they still didn?t have a spot and they said I could get one once after basic training. I told them I wouldn?t take the Oath of Enlistment until they had what I wanted in writing and was ready to walk out when out of nowhere they found me a spot. Some of the others that went in with no ranking ended up scraping paint, I ended up with a good gig on a Submarine and when I got out that opened up a lot of doors for me.

Fregeus
Fregeus

Was once hired by this company to be the network administrator only to be told I was nothing more than a technician there to fix printers and take backups. Left the place after two months to another place that turned out to be the best job I ever had. You never know what's around the corner. TCB

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

Declined at the last minute as I has a feeling. The job was never filled after that as well.

rwtodd2007
rwtodd2007

Took a position once, everything went smoothly during the interview, etc. Started the following Mon, and was given a dolly. Im like WTF is this? Oh, we're moving to the building next door, and decided not to train you on the product yet, so you need to move all the spare equipment, supplies, etc to the new rooms and get it all set up for us. Got it done, then literally twiddled my thumbs the rest of the week. Had to beg for a users manual so I could at least read that and get familiar with the product. All the promised training, additional school, etc never materialized. Got out of there as quick as I could for better position.

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