Got an interview and talked with some people, but not my current direct supervisor. Got hired and things were OK, but because of the training I wasn't really working on the stuff I got hired for, so I let it go. A couple of months in I was told I am supposed to do something else by my direct boss, which was something never brought up during my interview and wasn't even in the job application. It's still software development, but it is somehow in a different branch.

I did not feel speak up at the time, I was scared by being the new guy and immediately complain would have cast a bad shadow on me. Now I realize that I am really starting to hate what I am being asked to do and this has repercussion on my performance and mood on a daily basis. Every day is really tough, not only for the meaningless tasks due to being the last arrived, but also because I know they do not add anything to the career I was planning.

I am too afraid to speak up because there is no way my direct boss won't be pissed off. In the end I am messing with his plans. Additionally, I am still on probation. I feel this is a lose-win situation in the best case (win for me), or lose-lose if he decides to retaliate.

Shall I suck it up and hope I'll get the chance to bring up the thing later and get moved when I'll have a good reputation or shall I do it now?

  • If your manager told you that your current role would not change and you have to stick with it, would that be a deal-breaker for you? Would you seek employment elsewhere if that ended up being the case?
    – user34587
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 10:14
  • No, but that is the case because there are external forces that would make me unable to leave.
    – Mateo S.A.
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 10:19
  • @MateoS.A. Where is this occurring? In the US, at least, it seems rather illegal for any external forces to outright prevent you from leaving.
    – SemiGeek
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 13:33
  • I meant it as I cannot afford to lose my job at this moment. Not that anybody is forcing me to stay! Just circumstances :) What I find a bit shady instead it's the fact of being hired for a position and then being moved immediately.
    – Mateo S.A.
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 14:33

1 Answer 1


This is a tricky situation - made more so by the fact that you are still in probation.

I'd say there's nothing wrong with bringing it up in a gentle way, organizing a 1-1 with your direct manager and saying something like:

Hi [boss], as you know I've been working on X for the last few months. Do you have any idea how long you think you'll need me working on X? Obviously I'm happy to help out where I can but I was hired for Y and I'm keen to get stuck into some Y work as I know that's where I can bring the most value.

Youy aren't outright refusing to do the X work but you are making it clear that you'd rather be working on Y and you might get some idea of when/if you'll be able to get to that.

Obviously if they give you an undesirable answer such as "You'll be working on X forever" then you can take that into account and decide yourself whether you'd rather start searching for an alternative role.

Doing this isn't entirely without risk - but it's pretty small and you can always do some hasty backpedaling if your boss decides to be unreasonable.

  • I think your answer is indeed good in order to maintain balance, but I see that things may not change in the end. He may agree and still ask me to do the same stuff. In fact, this whole position-moving could have been orchestrated by him in the first place and tried to take advantage of my inexperience. I feel that if I have to risk annoying him, I'd rather raise the stakes then risk annoying him and getting nothing for my self.
    – Mateo S.A.
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 10:43
  • 2
    @MateoS.A. by keeping the stakes low in the conversation with him you are preserving the option to make an exit on your terms if you feel this is a dealbreaker. Taking a more "ultimatum" approach could take the decision out of your hands.
    – motosubatsu
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 10:45
  • I see your point. Given that I am quite emotionally involved in this situation (for additional reasons that I don't want to risk writing here, for identification), shall I tell him how this situation makes me feel and how stressful it is, or would it be better to leave it out? I think he is a good person, but I also don't want to expose myself too much.
    – Mateo S.A.
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 11:05
  • @MateoS.A. I'd leave that out personally. I'm not saying you should never talk to a boss about feelings like that but with a (relatively) new boss? Not generally a risk worth taking and tbh I don't see it helping make your case here.
    – motosubatsu
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 11:10
  • This is a good approach to your problem. I would add: be patient if you possibly can. When you finish your probation period you will have many more choices than you do now.
    – O. Jones
    Commented May 4, 2019 at 11:41

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