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I started a new junior level job in the IT industry. I have a few years of experience related to the job.

In my resume, I mentioned that I had skills in the field of B,C,D in my job. In the interview, I added that I had worked on E briefly. I would need to learn a lot more to do E related work on the job. Moreover, E was optional in the job requirement and no interview questions were based on E. Now, my manager gave me work related to D and told me to learn a new skill E1 in the field of E, so that I can quickly start working on an app that is based on E.

The problem - My manager recently emailed me to ask me if I had skill E3 in the field E. He was puzzled when I told him the facts. He also said that he thinks that I am fairly skilled at E, because my hiring manager told him so. I don't know how this confusion happened. Now, I am not sure that they will let me continue learning and working on E. But, I don't know if they will actually do that. How do approach my manager about this and convince him to let me continue working on E ?

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In this case, honestly is the best policy. You hired in as a Junior developer, so I would let your manager know the truth and not worry about it. (Eventually it will be discovered anyway.)

In terms on of continuing on working towards proficiency in E, I would suggest you express a strong interest in doing so when you talk to your manager, and offer up your own time in pursuit of this goal.

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    I am not sure if I expressed my problem correctly. I gave them the facts and never any wrong impression. So, I am not sure why they misunderstood. I only want to continue learning E. Not sure what to say to my manager to make it happen. Maybe they are not going to remove me from E. Maybe they will. – StrongMan Jan 27 '17 at 19:17
  • You were clear. You just need to set the record straight with your manager regarding your skill set. As a JR developer I don't think there is much to worry about and they may let you continue on E. – Mister Positive Jan 27 '17 at 19:19
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    Yeah...the last point. I could tell him that I have been spending some time on the weekends learning about E, which I actually have. Maybe that will help. Is there anything else I could do to bolster my case ? – StrongMan Jan 27 '17 at 19:28
  • @StrongMan Just show your enthusiasm to learn more about E and being able to contribute more in that area, and then it's up to them. It's about matching immediate needs to both employee skills and interests for growth, and no one wants you to be in a situation where you are forced to perform beyond your actual ability; but if they are clear you are new to E and working on it, if that works for them then they'll let you at it. If if won't work for them, it won't help you to force it. – BrianH Jan 27 '17 at 21:56
  • It seems like the OP never claimed to know tech E other than he worked with it "briefly". He shouldn't have to spend his own time to learn a technology work wants him to learn. The company needs to eat that on their own time, not his. – 8protons Jan 31 '17 at 17:03
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How do approach my manager about this and convince him to let me continue working on E ?

I am not sure convincing the manager to let you work on E is necessarily the way to go, even if it is your current desire. Your manager should determine what you should be working on.

"Convincing" may be tricky because it borders on arguing, or may be perceived as such.

From your manager's standpoint, he is telling you to work on D and not to worry about E, but you are resisting his direction and instead giving all sorts of reasons to let you work on E, when he already determined this is not what he wants to do.

As @MisterPositive noted, you may express an interest in learning E and in this particular project which uses E. However, I would advise to separate your interest in working with E from whether or not you should actually get to work on E on this given project. In other words you may pursue learning E in your spare time and maybe later get some tasks in E once your proficiency improves and you can make a better case for it.

As things stand, you should make it clear to the manager that you are happy to work on whatever you are assigned, and only indicate as an "FYI" that you are actually interested in learning and getting more experience with E. Make it clear that you trust his/her judgment in whatever assignment you actually end up receiving.

This will send the message that although you are motivated to pursue certain technologies, you are also flexible and are not going to cause 'problems' when asked to do things that are not perfectly aligned with your current interests. Good luck!

  • @StrongMan Glad to help! That's what it's all about...thanks for the good feedback ;) Have a great weekend and take it easy. – A.S Jan 27 '17 at 20:16

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