I recently joined a large company (2.5 months in) to a role where the hiring manager wrongfully led me to believe I would be working on new projects with an interesting scope. (Software engineering work.)

This is where the plot gets interesting. I worked for this manager before in the same role about 5 years ago, and left mainly because he was a poor manager and the job offered no career advancement opportunities. After spending the next 5 years experiencing less green pastures in worse companies I rebased my opinions of him and put trust in his attempt to hire me back. I thought it was in good faith.

After moving about in the industry I understand the landscape better, but I still got duped because of some preconceived notion of trust. What do I do?

I have already requested to work on something else and was denied. They have many more open positions but refuse to accept ramping me up on any other tasks. Their stance is that I can do the work I'm assigned without a ramp up and I should continue doing it. They don't seem to care about retaining me. Or they figure because I have a newborn I'm desperate and won't quit on them. I am under no contract to continue. (At will employment.)

Going back to my old job is not an option - my manager made openly racist remarks to me and I chose to leave. At this point I look like a job hopper and fear not being employable if I quit. Any advice is appreciated. Apologies if my post seems a bit scatter brained, I'm a bit distraught.

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    You said you were "led to believe" you'd be working on "new projects" with an "interesting scope" but you don't say what you actually ended up doing. Are you in fact doing "software engineering work" just not on projects you consider interesting? Or are you actually doing something entirely different than the proposed job description? – Steve-O Feb 15 '18 at 0:12
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    I'm sorry, but there really isn't an answerable question here. "What do I do?" is something only you can answer. – Jane S Feb 15 '18 at 0:13
  • You know what you have to do. You look for another job. And if you quit this current job after three months or four, you just leave it off your resume. Just don't make the same mistake again. Interview your future co-workers. Demand precise answers about the tasks you'll be doing. Learn to become better at screening your future employer. Etc. – Stephan Branczyk Feb 15 '18 at 0:18
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    @DarkCygnus 2 other jobs, 2 years per job. The remaining 1 year I developed and launched my own business, which is still active. – stickinmudd Feb 15 '18 at 0:28
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    As @JaneS mentioned this is a question we can't really effectively answer here. Things you can ask about are: how to explain leaving this job in the future, how to discuss/escalate your concerns with management, whether you should leave this job off your resume once you find something new, ... – Lilienthal Feb 15 '18 at 11:12

Some thoughts on your situation:

  1. If they "sold" you a job that wasn't really what you wanted and signed for (and it was specified or delimited in a signed contract) then you are in position to ask for tasks that pertain to the role specified. Never should you passively accept a job that you didn't enrolled for; you are in full rights to ask for such change, as this sort of deception is unprofessional from their behalf.

  2. If they sold you a job you didn't want, and indeed are unhappy with it (not to mention their unprofessional behavior), then what you should be doing is seeking a new job. Be sure to thoroughly check your contract this time, and make sure the role is well delimited so no surprises arise later on.

  3. I don't think that you will necessarily be seen as a job-hopper. You previously had a 5 year job, quite a decent time that indicates professional stability. Also, the other 5 years you had 2 jobs (2 years each), which is also quite a decent time to be in a company and definitely not job-hopper. That spare year you say were launching your own enterprise, which is also something really positive and surely something valuable in the eyes of recruiters.

So, bottom line, I say that you update your CV and start looking for other jobs immediately, in a place that you are actually doing what you want and were hired for. Don't be afraid of being seen as a job-hopper, your work history indicates that you are quite stable in your jobs.

In the meantime, try again to see if they can assign you pertaining tasks, but be ready to jump ship in case such thing fails. It is also better for you to look for other jobs while hired, so do that first before confronting this situation.

And, as a further advice, I suggest you scratch this manager from your contact list. You already had two different experiences with him that were not quite positive, and I suppose you don't want more of them.

  • @stickinmudd glad I could help. I suggest you wait to see if other useful answers are given before making a choice, so you can perhaps consider them all for greater benefit. Hope you can sort this out, just have confidence on your profile. It is better if you ask them first (more directly) for pertaining tasks, but if that goes nowhere then looking for other job is the way to go (still, I advice you start looking before attempting to ask for such tasks). – DarkCygnus Feb 15 '18 at 0:47

Don't worry about the job hopping: As I understand it, you had 2 x 2 years employment, then 1 year self employed, then your current, miserable job. If you now manage to find a new job, simply scratch the current job from the CV entirely. For the current job search you need to list it on your CV since you being employed will affect interview scheduling.

During the interviews, don't go into specifics beyond what you wrote in your question: promises were made before signing the contract and broken shortly thereafter.

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