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Background:

I began working at a well established company 9 months ago. I was invited to interview by a colleague from a previous company. I was told of some tough points such as potentially longer hours, busy schedules, a large number of inquiries by clients and an old clunky system that was in the process of being replaced.

I live in a foreign country, so there is a language barrier. This was known going in by all parties (I can communicate both written and spoken in the language.. but it is still a second language and I can be described as somewhere around "conversational" or "business" level)

I am a programmer, and the majority of my career has been centered around SaaS systems.

Fast forward:

It has been 9 months since I joined. I have spoken to my manager a few times about lack of motivation. This stems from me struggling with every task assigned. I feel that every thing I do is an uphill battle. I can count the number of times I've felt "Hey, I'm getting this!": once.

My manager (the colleague from another company) is trying to help me out. But my manager being my former colleague, and up until joining this company I considered my friend, makes it difficult for me to speak openly (I am unsure how to approach non task specific topics). I didn't know going in that he would become my manager or that he was the sub manager of the group that I would be joining.

I strongly feel I am not a match for this company and that looking elsewhere is the best path for both me and the company (just typing out this question feels like a relief).

I've discussed switching groups, giving me tasks that are not as time sensitive [so that I can both understand the system and properly complete the task] or take advantage of my stronger skills. We have discussed developing other needed skills, which I am interested in (but the constant struggle leaves me with no time or energy to do so).

question:

  1. How do I approach my boss in a constructive manner to explain the difficulty I am having
  2. How do I approach my boss to say I feel it is better for the company if we parted ways (barring 1 not working)
  3. How do I explain to prospective companies the reason for searching for a new job, especially after a such a short period of time (assuming 2 is the path I end up taking)
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    Is the main reason for the lack of motivation that you don't have enough technical skills to solve technical issues at work ? If yes, then you can ask your manager to provide you with some training or take online courses to see if the situation improves. Apr 21 at 17:40
  • I have the technical skills to solve issues, but I need time to understand the system. I have requested less time constrained tasks, but the culture puts emphasis on speed over everything else. Online courses is a good idea. Apr 22 at 4:23

2 Answers 2

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I strongly feel I am not a match for this company and that looking elsewhere is the best path for both me and the company (just typing out this question feels like a relief).

So find a new company where you feel you will be a match, then quit this one.

How do I approach my boss in a constructive manner to explain the difficulty I am having

There's no need to do this. But if you feel compelled, just find a quiet one-on-one time and be honest about what you are doing and feeling.

How do I approach my boss to say I feel it is better for the company if we parted ways (barring 1 not working)

Just give your notice at the appropriate time. Thank them for the opportunity, even though it didn't work out. No need to do anything special.

How do I explain to prospective companies the reason for searching for a new job, especially after a such a short period of time (assuming 2 is the path I end up taking)

Explain why your current company wasn't a good fit, but why you feel that the new company will be a good fit.

Don't bring up "lack of motivation". That's something about you that you need to fix. Many folks can find motivation in trying to overcome obstacles.

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  1. Be honest and open. Explain how you are feeling and how that is impacting your motivation. You are doing no favors to anyone by keeping it in or hesitating to bring it up with your manager.

  2. This is a little trickier, and depends on the dynamic you have with your boss. Personally, I would keep my desire to leave and my job seeking to myself until I had a signed offer, regardless of how good of terms I am on with my boss, but YMMV.

  3. Don't mention burnout or demotivation as a driving factor. You've said it yourself that you feel like the company is a poor fit for you and your skillset. Stick to that, and above all, be honest. Keep in mind that interviewing is a 2-way street. It's as much an opportunity to set up expectations for workload/work type as it is an opportunity to feel out how well you will fit with the company, and most companies would like to know what they can do to be successful with a new hire. No sense in hiring someone when you know they will be unhappy with the work environment, and you don't want to walk into another situation that makes you feel how you feel now.

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