Not the Position You Bargained For
Don't get stuck in a job you didn't agree to take
(MONEY Magazine) – You thought you'd landed your dream job. But a few weeks in, you realize you were, well, dreaming. Your duties better suit an assistant than an assistant v.p.; you're routinely pulling late nights when you were promised a nine-to-five gig. Either way, you're the victim of a workplace bait and switch. It happens all the time. The way out of this career crisis is not to fall into it in the first place. Here's how.
• Interview the interviewer. Before you accept a new job, probe for details about the position and culture. According to business coach Maria Marsala, the most common employee complaints are lack of work/life balance, personality conflicts and no opportunities for growth. So hit on all three: How are the hours? What's your management style? Has anyone been promoted out of this job? Don't forget this often revealing biggie: Why is the position open?
• Request references. Ask to speak with a few potential colleagues about their experiences. "A smart employer will look favorably on this because it shows that you're serious about the job," says Barbara Moses, author of What Next? The Complete Guide to Taking Control of Your Working Life.
• If you're already stuck, speak up. Explain to your boss that the job is taking an unexpected direction. Ask where it's headed, then seek a compromise. If you're overloaded, for instance, maybe he can help you set priorities.
• Plot your exit. If nothing changes after a few months, start sending out résumés. You'll have to explain your short stint to potential employers, but that beats staying in a job that makes you miserable.