Let’s say a manager decided to hire someone for an accountant position. But, after the hire, the manager persists in only assigning supply chain analyst responsibilities to this accountant, which the accountant isn’t trained for and have almost nothing to do with the accounting field. This goes on for months…and even that manager’s manager expects nothing but deliverables that only a supply chain analyst would deliver.

Every time this accountant proposes deliverables related to accounting, those ideas are immediately rejected. This accountant would be in a tricky situation, because she would need to describe her achievements in this position to prospective employers. What would be the best way to handle this situation?

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    Has she tried talking to her boss? – solarflare Jan 15 '19 at 2:12
  • Yes, but the manager isn't knowledgeable and has little interest in accounting. And he considers supply chain analysis to be higher priority. So, in his mind, the best solution is to only give his accountant responsibilities dealing with supply chain analysis. This boss also will not support any training opportunities to the accountant about anything pertaining to accounting. – PhilosopherKing Jan 15 '19 at 3:37
  • Were the roles and responsibilities discussed in the interview? Did the employee feel that the description of the role matched her skills and experience or did she get the impression that the employer didn't really know what an accountant was? – user44108 Jan 15 '19 at 6:43
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    Why is she still there? – Mawg says reinstate Monica Jan 15 '19 at 8:04
  • That's what the trial period is for at least in Europe. The contract can be cancelled by either party with no legal repercussions. And if the next employer asks about it, it is perfectly fine to say that the job was not what was advertised, and there's no problem for the employee. – Juha Untinen Jan 15 '19 at 10:04

Update the resume, and put it out there as a "plan B"

Then, push hard to pull the duties back to the job description/title. While it wouldn't hurt to pick up a few supply chain analyst skills along the way, if your friend is an accountant and wants to continue as such, she does need to do accounting work.

This is why floating her resume is so important, she needs to be able to negotiate from a position of strength. If she gets another offer in hand, have her put forward a demand (without mentioning the offer) that she will work in title.

Then, they'll fold, or she'll start the new job

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    I would skip the negotiating part and go straight to new job. Threatening to leave will always make shady bosses prioritize you for layoffs etc. – mag Jan 15 '19 at 13:47
  • @Magisch the point is to be negotiating from a position of strength. Have an offer in your back pocket and say you mean business. – Old_Lamplighter Jan 15 '19 at 13:54
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    Right, and I think that's pointless. Even if you can get them to agree, an employer that is likely to pull something that shady right off the bat will certainly not take kindly to be negotiated with. These types will immediately thin "Is this unhappy = flight risk" and act accordingly. Nonetheless +1 for a good answer though. – mag Jan 15 '19 at 14:05
  • @Magisch "get a new job" is not the solution to every question here. – Old_Lamplighter Jan 15 '19 at 14:13

First, have you talked with the boss and explicitly said you're not trained to do these duties

If you have not, say something like.

I was hired as an accountant, but I've been doing supply chain management. I've never done this job before and will be much more successful as an accountant. Is there a way we can transition the supply chain work to someone else?

If the boss says yes and follows through no problem. My guess is the boss won't be able to change this as accounting and supply chain aren't very related skills in my mind.

Begin a new job search NOW

If you have just started this job (say within the last month), then if you find another one quickly, you can just leave it off your resume. If you are asked about this job in the future, especially why you left so quickly, say something like.

I was hired in as an accountant but ended up doing the job of supply chain analysis. I'm not trained in supply chain, and I knew I didn't have the experience or knowledge to be successful.

  • +1 for leaving it off the resume. The next employer doesn't really care if there is a 1 to 3 month gap. If they ask, I am not sure what to say.... – Trevor Jan 15 '19 at 17:37
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    If they ask, tell the truth. "I was hired in as an accountant but ended up doing the job of a supply chain analysis. I'm not trained in supply chain, and I knew I didn't have the experience or knowledge to be successful." – sevensevens Jan 15 '19 at 19:40

Find a new job.

I think it is fine to explain that you were hired as a but were explicitly prevented from doing any accounting and instead were asked to analyse supply chains.

This provides a clear explanation of what you have been doing for the last x months while also neatly explaining why you want to change jobs after only a short period of time. It also gives you a talking point in interviews. Most people will be surprised/shocked and this gives you an opportunity to empathise and say that you were similarly shocked.

If asked about achievements in your current job ask if you can discuss achievements in your previous (accounting) role. No reasonable interviewer will be upset by this approach as long as you are straightforward. Notice that you are well placed to answer other common interview questions such as "what challenges have you faced in your current role" or "how do you deal with new/challenging situations?". You can point at your ability to perform supply train analysis with no formal training. You could note that the present company is so pleased with your supply chain analysis that they won't let you do anything else, such as accounting.

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