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I have been in my current role for 4 months (working remotely), and am currently on a 6-month probation. The role involves far more web development than I was expecting, rather than the other areas I was interested in when I read the job description.

I have recently brought this up with my manager and discussed where my strengths and passions are, but he explained that web development is the core focus of the role. For me to succeed in the role, I will need to devote a large amount of work time to learning front-end development, which I really don't enjoy and is not my strength. The team I work in is very supportive of me learning this, and are providing me support and resources. However, I'm stressed and unhappy as I'm not heading in the career direction I was expecting.

I've met my team in person a couple of times, and I really enjoy working with them. I also really value their support and would ideally like to stay within the team.

Could I resign from this role during my probation? As my strengths directly relate to the needs of the team, how could I ask if I could be better suited to another role?

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  • so this 4 months have been probation? Mind including your location for consideration? – DarkCygnus Jan 7 at 3:58
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    The total length of the probation is 6 months. I'm in Australia. – Striving Jan 7 at 4:00
  • thanks for clarifying, writing an answer. Welcome to The Workplace BTW :) please take the tour and read the help center to get to know your ways better around here. – DarkCygnus Jan 7 at 4:02
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Yes, you can resign during your probation period. In doing so you can also ask if there is another suitable role you could fill. You can always ask - the worst case scenario is they say "no".

If you decide to go this route, word your resignation to highlight how it is with great regret you feel compelled to resign, how you greatly admire the company, it's product, processes, culture etc, explain your reason for resigning (i.e. your current role is not aligned with your desired career path) and finally mention that if a suitable role existed or was available you would be delighted to stay with the organisation.

However, by resigning, you risk your manager questioning if you have the resilience, commitment and work ethic required. More importantly, if there is a role available, they may be reluctant to take a chance on you if it means the will be recruiting for the same role 6 months down the road.

Rather than resigning, why not request a 1-to-1 with your manager where you can highlight your career goals (again) and ask about the possibility of a change of role. If nothing is forthcoming start job hunting and, when you've found a suitable position resign.

This highlights why it's important to treat the interview process as a 2-way thing. While they are trying to determine if you are suitable for the role, you should be trying to satisfy yourself the role is right for you. Take the opportunities typically afforded to candidates at the end of an interview to ask questions about the company and role.

  • What would a typical day look like if I was in this role?
  • What percentage of the job is X?
  • What would be the most important thing for me to get a handle on in the first 6 months?
  • What are the biggest challenges facing the department in the next year?
  • What 1 thing could you (as a company/department) do better?

You should also consider how such a short spell at this company will look on your CV. This is not always a huge deal and can be spun to highlight a positive character trait. The problem is, you need to actually get into the building or on to the zoom call to do that spinning. That could be tricky if you are early in your career and can't show spells or 2+ years somewhere else.

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Could I resign from this role during my probation?

Yes you can, you are free to resign or quit whenever you want if you feel it's the best thing.

If you are on probation then that would be ideal time to quit rather than wait more time and quit when on a more permanent position. This is one of the main purposes of probation periods, so you and the company can get to better know each other and see if you are good fit.

Seems that the job description didn't match the actual role you received, so you are in all your right to get what you signed for or leave.

As my strengths directly relate to the needs of the team, how could I ask if I could be better suited to another role?

This would be something you should bring to your manager. Research and decide which roles you think you would be better fit than your current one before asking, and why you think you are a better fit there.

You can also check if the company has any vacancies available that seem more appealing to your strengths and experience, so you have some ideas of possible roles that you could fill in.

Keep in mind that your manager may well answer "no", so be prepared for what you want to do if the answer you get is no (resign I guess?).

As a final comment, whatever you do, start job-hunting ASAP so you have a job lined up before and if you decide to quit. (Personally, I would already be searching for other jobs if I were not happy and it didn't match my expectations and job description).

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