Tech & Work

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.

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.

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.

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