3

I accepted a job at a large financial services firm and was very excited about starting there. However, after two months I realised it was not at all what I was expecting. Instead of writing code, I spend most of my day proofreading code other teams have written. I enjoy the challenge of writing code, so I'm very bored and disappointed. I noticed that no internal applicants ever apply to work in my team, so it's clearly not considered a highly desirable team internally (in terms of the work we do).

I checked the internal jobs board and there are always interesting jobs advertised for my skillset. Also, the job market supply for the programming language I use is a bit slim and it's hard to recruit people with degrees in both finance and tech. So should I apply internally, or will I look like a complete high maintenance jerk for looking for something else after only a few months because the current job is boring? Can I tell an internal interviewer that proofreading other people's code is not what I'm looking for in a job, in other words, the job just wasn't what I expected and I'm more excited about the job they're offering?

  • 4
    Have you talked to your manager about this, like wha are his plans for you on the next months ? Maybe they make you start like that for some time before writing code ? – Walfrat Oct 2 '20 at 7:25
  • 1
    No, I have 10 years experience already so it's not designed to bring employees up to speed - it's just the nature of the job (hence why internal employees don't want it). I did try to speak to the manager, who didn't want to discuss it for the first week or two, but is now coming around and saying they'll consider signing off on an internal transfer elsewhere if I can persuade the new hiring manager to offer me a job. It's a huge company with new jobs appearing every week. – Shaken_not_stirred. Oct 2 '20 at 8:18
  • 1
    Also, the manager did a bit of a reverse psychology maneuver by saying there are hundreds of people wanting jobs like mine because so many people are unemployed due to Covid. I left that conversation scratching my head wondering what that was all about. Presumably that I'm ungrateful. So now I feel guilty. – Shaken_not_stirred. Oct 2 '20 at 8:27
  • 1
    @Shaken_not_stirred. "Also, the manager did a bit of a reverse psychology maneuver by saying there are hundreds of people wanting jobs like mine because so many people are unemployed due to Covid." - this is a threat and it means that you are lucky to be here and if you are not there is a door and a long line of people who can replace you in no time. At the best it is a bluff and a power play. Even if it was framed as a joke keep in mind that it wasn't. – AlexanderM Oct 2 '20 at 22:30
  • 1
    @AlexanderM. That's what I thought. The city the current job is based in is undesirable (bad weather, no nice parks or beaches) so they always have a hard time attracting programmers to this location. I checked with other programmers I know in the area and all agreed this area has a shortage of that skillset, not a surplus. The manager framed the comment jovially, so he's clearly pretty good at this game :) – Shaken_not_stirred. Oct 3 '20 at 0:01
4

Well, there are a few points that I want to address here:

  1. A good tip for the future is to research a position in depth, ask questions in the interviews, ask future colleagues, look up information on the internet. This may prevent a similar situation in future. Research any internal positions you're interested in, so this would not happen again.
  2. Like Walfrat mentioned, a good idea may be talking with your manager and seeing his opinion about this, the future plans for you and the position/team. But be careful, this may send some signals that you are looking elsewhere, so waiting a bit maybe a good idea.
  3. If you're willing to let this job go and seek opportunities elsewhere, by any means apply to the internal position, since you don't like your job already and you're probably already looking into other companies.
  4. If you have to keep your current job, either for bills or etc, be very careful with this move, since you're a newcomer and this may be seen as job-hopping. A talk with the manager may clarify things on this regard.
  • I completely agree with point 1. It does make me look as if I didn't properly research the job and ask the right questions. That's what I'm feeling sheepish and worried the managers in the other teams will doubt my decision making skills. – Shaken_not_stirred. Oct 2 '20 at 8:00
  • 1
    Well, that's why you need to research the internal roles, and this will be prevented, if you know what you want before going in. – Gintas Oct 2 '20 at 8:03
  • Sorry, I pressed enter by accident halfway between writing. I was going to add on my first comment that the job description was extremely brief and generic, and proofreading code was never once mentioned in the three interviews. The job was heavily oversold to me as I have 10 years of experience in a job that is hard to recruit for. I feel a bit misled, but I would only consider applying for internal jobs as I think it is a great company (just the wrong job). – Shaken_not_stirred. Oct 2 '20 at 8:10
  • 1
    So, still, do a good homework on the internal roles, or do you they'll be the same - heavily oversold with generic descriptions? You could now ask colleagues in the teams you want to join to gather knowledge. – Gintas Oct 2 '20 at 8:18
  • 1
    Well, in your case doing what is best for you I think is priority. – Gintas Oct 2 '20 at 8:37
4

I have been in a similar situation in the past. I made an internal transfer and then regretted in a few months later, and started looking for another position within the company

  1. First thing you have to do is to quietly investigate the procedure for applying for internal positions. I have worked for companies that required an employee to stay in a position for 6 months or even a year. Check the intranet for an employee handbook, check the things you were given on the first day. You could also start to try and apply for a position to see if it stops you, but don't complete the request. One place I worked for would block your attempt in the job posting system to apply until you has met the minimum time in position after being hired or transferred.

  2. Check your paperwork to see if even a transfer would jeopardize any hiring bonus, or moving expenses reimbursement or if you would have to pay them back for training you received. If your current position is hard to fill a bonus might have been used to attract candidates, and they don't want to shell out money every few months.

  3. Since you are new hire check to see if there is a probationary period. If you are in that period, then applying for another position could make your current boss decide to exercise his right to terminate you employment.

So should I apply internally, or will I look like a complete high maintenance jerk for looking for something else after only a few months because the current job is boring?

So assuming you can apply, and there is no risk in applying, and you won't owe the company money if you transfer, there is still one problem. Many projects would be reluctant to hire you.

If you are still in a probationary period, they may believe that your manager is trying to get rid of a poor employee without having to fire you. One manager at a place I worked made it clear that they would never even interview a current employee trying to transfer who was switching jobs after less than a year. They felt that they were looking at either a person who couldn't commit or somebody that wasn't a good employee.

Can I tell an internal interviewer that proofreading other people's code is not what I'm looking for in a job, in other words, the job just wasn't what I expected and I'm more excited about the job they're offering?

Yes. If you get to any of the interview stages (phone, in person/video...) expect they will ask why you are switching. Just remember how they weigh your answer and your honesty is unknown. They can decide that you will be bored with their job, and reject you; or they could say good answer and keep you in the process.

So should I apply internally?

But also apply externally. Because once your current manager is told you are looking elsewhere your days on their project could be numbered.

  • Thank you, this is very informative. We were told all bonuses have been cut due to Covid (profits are less than forecasted this year). So no Xmas bonus and no hiring bonus, plus they won't pay for my professional certificates that I'm studying towards outside work that are directly related to the job. So we get nothing but our regular salary. The internal cyber crime jobs I'm interested in pay lower than my current job, but money doesn't bother me as I just want a job I'm excited about. – Shaken_not_stirred. Oct 2 '20 at 20:03
  • Could you please tell me why you regretted your internal transfer a few months later? – Shaken_not_stirred. Oct 2 '20 at 21:22
  • "they will ask why you are switching" and I believe, here, they deserve an honest answer: @Shaken_not_stirred. needs to assert the new job will provide the influx of challenges and tasks s/he desires. If s/he's rejected, it's going to be mutually beneficial. – Ramon Melo Oct 3 '20 at 7:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .