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I recently graduated from a well known University with a respectable degree but I haven't applied for jobs that are even remotely at my level because I severely lack confidence in my ability to perform in a professional environment.

In any case, I was contacted regarding a job that wasn't connected to my degree but was in a field that I enjoyed - as well as not being advertised for someone with overly high qualifications - so I decided to interview and give it a shot.

--redacted--

I was hired for a job but it turns out that job doesn't even exist yet and now I'm stuck Googling things and starting out of a window 7 hours a day. I also spend all of yesterday scrolling through math stackexchange and stackoverflow which is how I found this Stack Exchange in the sidebar.

While this is all happening, I've been contacted for a few high level posts that people would be interested in interviewing me for - as well as already having an interview scheduled in a high level organisation - which had helped me realise what a low level job I ended up in.

The clear next step is to tell my employer that I want to leave, but I'm debating how to do this: should I be upfront and tell them that I feel that they lied to me about the position and I'm constantly bored or should I simply politely inform then that something better has come up?

I feel that I was definitely mislead by the company with regards to what my role would be but I also feel slightly responsible in that I shouldn't have applied here to begin with and set my sights higher. I also don't want to give my current employer a reason to dislike me as they would most likely be contacted as referees for a few of my upcoming interviews so I'd like to leave on good terms.

Oh, and lastly I'm in the UK, if that makes any difference.

EDIT: Misspelled the title. Apologies for any typos and/or formatting errors. Wrote this on the train to work.

EDIT 2: This question now makes no readable sense as I have edited out information that could identify me.

  • Sounds like a dream job for some people, though daunting. If you need to uncover use cases you need to see if you can set up a working group, or at least a few meetings with the affected parties to make sure you understand what they need. – Gregory Currie Sep 18 at 8:26
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    see also: How Honest Should I Be in An Exit Interview? – gnat Sep 18 at 10:56
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    Recently, there was this question, also: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/145063/… – Bernhard Döbler Sep 18 at 11:27
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    Are you sure that "buying" the software is as easy as you make it seem? Maybe you need to negotiate a custom package with their sales reps, this can take a lot of time. Also it sounds like you didn't even try to go around and interview people about use cases. From what I read in your post, one month might be a really short time to properly figure out what version is needed and to get a good deal on that, even if you talk to people all day every day about it (depends of course on the size of your company and the amount of people you need to set up meetings with to get the needed use cases). – Dirk Sep 18 at 12:51
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At the risk of sounding like a finger-wagging old person, I'm going to frame challenge your question.

You use phrases like high level, low level, or at my level but it's not really clear (to me at least) what those are supposed to mean. Being given near-complete autonomy to evaluate, plan, buy, set up, and support a software system sounds like a fairly "high level" task to me. You'll be learning many different disciplines and exposed to many different people in the business, and it sounds like your software will affect many of the business's processes. As someone who has just recently joined the workforce, that may be an incredible opportunity. Few fresh grads are given such broad exposure. Even if it isn't deep exposure into your chosen field, broad exposure early in your career can be a huge benefit - as a learning tool, to help you understand how businesses work, and to help you evaluate what you think you are actually interested in.

Even better if it's a "widely used" system because that means you'll be learning skills that will be easily transferable.

Also, since it sounds like this is your first full time job, you may want to consider that a week isn't exactly a lot of data on which to evaluate the job's overall trajectory. Sad as it may sound, it's common for an employee's first week to consist of "boring" or "easy" training or other onboarding processes.

Rather than quitting, you may want to consider raising your concerns with your manager. It sounds like you've only had a few, brief conversations with them. Although it is ultimately their responsibility to guide and support you, it's your responsibility to speak up if something isn't clear, or if you're unsure of your goals or the direction your position is headed. Letting them know that you have concerns will give them the opportunity to address those concerns. If they continue to fail you even after you've done this, well then - maybe you should think about quitting. But you should try to be an advocate for yourself before just walking away.

So - consider raising your concerns, in a way that helps your boss help you. Something like,

Hi boss, I wanted to clarify a few things about my position. It sounds like you want me to focus on implementing X. How much freedom do I have in that process? If I find myself completing tasks like researching the plans and buying them quicker than you have anticipated, can I go ahead and reach out to the business units to start understanding their use cases? Who in the business units can I work with?

  • I have a first class STEM degree from a top 10 university and this "software" is nothing more than an automated customer service system. I don't want to come off too abrasive here, but that just sounds stuck up more than anything. If you just don't like the job, that's fine. But passing it off as beneath you is an attitude that will cause you problems in life. – dwizum Sep 18 at 14:20
  • Okay - I guess my response to that is, you've been there a week, which may not be a very representative sample. If you switch jobs, you may find that many employers have a hard time keeping brand-new hires busy until they've naturally integrated into the culture and processes. And, you can always go ask for more work. Do some searching on here - there have been a handful of good questions about "what to do when I don't have enough work" and similar topics. – dwizum Sep 18 at 14:41
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should I be upfront and tell them that I feel that they lied to me about the position and I'm constantly bored or should I simply politely inform then that something better has come up?

None. If you are set on leaving, do not accuse them of lying. You also do not need to sound smug by indicating how boring their job was and then telling them that you are leaving so soon because something better has come up. This could make you sound more unprofessional than them (It will remove the focus from the fact that they mislead you, and instead put the focus on you. How short sighted you are, jumping between jobs frequently, etc).

You just have to tell them politely that you got an impression that you will do work "X" but that does not seem to be happening and work "Y" does not align with your career interests. No hard feelings about past misunderstanding but now you would like to explore opportunities outside the company.

  • Thank you for this. It makes much more sense than what I was planning to say. How would I answer questions they would ask me such as "why did you apply in the first place", "what are you moving on to" etc. Given this is my first time leaving real full time employment I'm not sure how conversations like these usually go – anon Sep 18 at 10:28
  • All those questions you can answer by saying you got the impression that you would be doing something else and not what you are doing right now (Still do not have to accuse them but just present it as mutual misunderstanding). They may ask where you are moving and that you can decide to not reveal by saying I am still trying to figure out next steps or if you are comfortable just say exactly where you are going and let them deal with that information. You do not have to discuss any more details than this. – PagMax Sep 19 at 5:51
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You should not resign until you have accepted your next job. Meanwhile, you should work as well and constructively as you can in your current job.

You disagree with allowing a month for planning, but then say you do not yet know the use-cases that the system will have to handle. Maybe the month is intended to include time for you to learn, classify, and analyze the use-cases. In any case, that seems to be the next step in your project, and so is what you should be doing at work.

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Apply for places before you leave (I know that being in that situation can help me get in gear with what I want out of my new job). Then once you leave just explain the situation as you have put in here and go through their formal procedure.

  • I have applied for a handful of places. Most interviews will be taking place this week or next week, and most of the jobs have start dates of end of October/start of November. Failing that, I have Christmas work lined up (also starting October) or failing that I have enough savings to actively look for work – anon Sep 18 at 8:59
  • @Overclock I suggest looking for work first before leaving because then you have the time to be choosy with what kind of job you want. Just call in a sick day for an interview and if it is successful then put in your two weeks notice. Commenting on PagMax's answer, you don't have to comment on why you are leaving if you don't want to. Just say that its not what your looking for and move on. – Meerfall the dewott Sep 18 at 9:04
  • @Overclock forgot to mention, put that degree to use! You will learn to be professional on the job and be challenged on your skills. My idea of a good job is one where you learn something new every week that helps you hone your skills. – Meerfall the dewott Sep 18 at 9:07
  • thanks for your input. Yes, makes sense to find something first and it's looking good from where I'm standing as I've been getting a lot of positive feedback and interviews recently. With regards to putting my degree to use; I find that learning on the job is something I'd love, but I'm always apprehensive because I feel like I don't have to skills to get the job to begin with. That's why I like to look for jobs that provide training from the ground up – anon Sep 18 at 10:26
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It is generally a good idea not to discuss leaving your job with your current employer until you have signed an offer for your next job. That is, if you tell your current employer that you wish to leave, they have no vested interest in keeping you around, and you have nowhere else to work (for the time being). So I would advise that you do not discuss this with your current employer until you have a new job lined up and are ready to hand in your two weeks notice.

When it comes time to give notice to your current employer, I would second that mentioned by @PagMax.

Do not accuse them of lying, simply explain that there was a simple misunderstanding. Don't actively blame them for anything, just say that "I misunderstood the type of work on offer, and have come to find that the current position does not align with my current interests".

You could also make this fact clear with your current boss (that you would like more work, and more challenging work), but be careful not to do so in the context of "if I don't get more responsibility, I will leave".