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I'm a little lost and looking for help. I recently started a new position within my organization and I am really uncomfortable. Luckily, I work for a company that allows folks in a certain program (that I am in) to rotate every 9-12 months to see different parts of the company for your first three years or so while working. The idea here is to find the best fit both for you, and the organization.

I accepted this new role because I was looking to get a certain kind of experience (security / cyber), and that is what the job was titled and how it was explained to me (or, rather, how I understood it to be.)

However, when I arrived, I noticed it was not quite like that in all. In fact, it is a very heavily software engineering oriented position and I am feeling very uncomfortable. My background is not in software engineering, nor is software engineering an interest of mine at all. I feel mislead, confused, and scared about how to approach this situation.

I would like to discuss this with my manager and explain that I think I misunderstood the job responsibilities, and believe I may be able to make a bigger impact on the business in a different area that more closely aligns both with my current skillset AND with the skillset I hope to gain in this rotational program. This is obviously a super effective and very bright unit, but I am not confident I am the best fit for the job, nor is the job the best fit for me.

My worry is that I will seem like I am complaining / whining that "waaaah, I don't like my current job, move me, move me!!" which is not the case at all. I am more than happy to stay here and learn, however it is not necessarily what I am interested in doing nor is it anything I have experience in, so the learning curve is mighty.

Enough with the venting -- my question directly is: Is it inappropriate for me to discuss with my manager that I may have mistakenly accepted this offer?

Obviously, I would frame (and aptly feel) the question in a way where I would propose that I could make a bigger business impact elsewhere, and that it would dually be beneficial both for my own development AND for the organization.

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance for any help - I feel alone, mislead, and frustrated right now.

  • How recently did you move into this role? 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months? Although I don't think it'll change the answer much, it could change how your manager perceives your request, and how likely it is that he'll suggest you try it for a bit longer. – AndyT Apr 20 '18 at 15:02
  • I felt this way after the first 2 hours, but I am going to give it 2 weeks before I have that conversation. I figured 2 weeks should suffice enough without seeming irrational. The rotational program only allots me 9-12mos in this role anyway, but I am only gifted 3 "rotations" before I have to pick my permanent location, which adds to why I don't want to squander one opportunity in an environment where I don't think I can contribute as much as I could elsewhere. Thanks for the beginning to a good conversation. @AndyT – Jerry M. Apr 20 '18 at 16:35
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    What cybersecurity skills do you have, if not software engineering? I am under the impression that cybersecurity jobs involve software engineering. – ell Apr 23 '18 at 17:45
  • Without trying to be facetious or mean, expecting a cyber security position without software development is like trying to be a road police officer without a vehicle or driving license. – Flater Apr 24 '18 at 10:23
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No, it's not inappropriate to have that discussion. They aren't using you to your strengths, and you're now in a job that you aren't necessarily qualified for. Either they can move you, or you can move yourself to another company.

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    Agreed and +1. Not inappropriate, and imo it is far better for you to state this to your management then for them to notice on their own that you're not working to their expectations. – Jim Horn Apr 20 '18 at 14:49
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    This is really helpful, I appreciate the feedback from both of you – Jerry M. Apr 20 '18 at 16:36
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Have that conversation as soon as possible. It seems that being in your current position is just a phenomenal waste of time and resources for everyone, so stop it as soon as possible.

And since you landed in a group of software developers and have no interest in software development, it won't take 12 weeks until these developers pick up on the fact and start complaining about you. Once that happens, you are at a disadvantage, so get out as soon as you possibly can.

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If I put myself into your managers shoes for a moment, I'd say that I would much rather you had this conversation with me than just stayed silent. Then I can do my job!

Worst case, I'll want to keep you in the current rotation for a period of time. This might be because I want you to learn more before deciding it's not for you (I know from my own experience that sometimes a job can grow on you). But I'd definitely have a think and a further chat about how we can make the experience the best that we can before reviewing things (less software dev heavy perhaps, maybe just a softer introduction to the work).

On the other hand, maybe I'd know that the problems you're having are not going to go away and we can move you. That would also be a positive outcome, as the point of the rotations is to get you to figure out what you want to be doing, and that includes finding out things you don't enjoy. Right?

Unless your company is rather backwards, I'd say that your manager would like to know that you're having some issues so that they can do their job and help you out to be the most productive that you can be.

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