General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Too Soon To Start Looking?

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I've been in my current position for a couple of months now- roughly since the start of November. Although I'm pretty stoked to have a permanent position after a long time temping, I'm starting to feel that this job may not be a great match for me.

Without going into a lot of details, I'm not doing as much of Task A, which is what I was hired for, and more of Task B, which I am adequate but not great at. This is causing some frustration both for me and my boss. Also, although the hours are normal on paper, in practice I'm spending an extra half hour to an hour at work every day. This and other issues have led me to the conclusion that I will probably be happier if I start looking for a new position. They're all warm, well-meaning people, but it's just not a good fit.

My question is, do you think a potential employer would feel iffy about hiring someone who's leaving a position they've only had for a couple of months? Is there a minimum length of time that I should stay before I start looking around?

Also, I'm not sure what to say if potential employers ask why I'm looking for a new position. My reasons seem like good, solid reasons to me. But I'm afraid that to someone looking to hire it might make me look like a flight risk who'll jump ship at the first sign of a better job. How do I convey to them that I'd be glad to stay at one place for a very long time if I could do the job I was hired to do at the times I was hired to do it?

I think you have to look at the trend on the resume.  If you list a whole succession of positions in short order, I would be suspicious.  If you generally had a solid resume with one blip, I would be much more willing to accept that it wasn't a good fit.  It happens.

If you've been temping, that's generally a succession of short term jobs.  It's unfortunate for you, but the explanation of not a good fit may be eyed with suspicion.  If you could warm up to Task B with a little more experience at it, I'd try to stick it out a bit longer if you can.  If you absolutely loathe Task B then you should start looking.

If you're really unhappy with the way the job has turned out and you see no hope as far as the situation changing, I see nothing wrong with looking – discretely.  Meanwhile, you’re earning a paycheck.

I don’t know how long it took you to get this job, and I don’t know your field/skills, but I’m sure you know how bad the job market is.  I’ve heard of qualified, experienced people constantly applying and networking but only getting a couple of interviews a year.  And an interview is not an offer.

When you are interviewed, I see nothing wrong with saying the duties you’re been required to perform differ substantially from the agreement when you were hired, that you’re putting in a lot of extra hours, and you see no sign of things changing.  Make it clear that you want to find something permanent and stick with it.

Before you start job hunting again inteh US climate, have you raised these issues with your boss?  What's the response?

I'm in a similar position to yours in that a job I started a couple of months ago is not a good fit and I am looking for something new right now.

I asked my sister, who used to be director of HR for a large corporation, what should I say when a potential employer asks why I'm changing jobs so soon. She said,

DO NOT say that "the job you took was not as advertised" because that might inadvertently look like you're bad-mouthing the current employer by suggesting they lied in the job listing....though I would love to say that because they forgot to mention the working 7 days/wk and the rude, unprofessional manager >:(, but I digress ;D...

DO say "the job grew into or became something that was not mentioned in the original job description". That way no blame is laid, simply an acknowledgement that the job was no longer what you were hired for and it's no one's fault.

Such subtle nuances and reading between the lines :o.


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