My Job is Different to the Job Description – What do I do?

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What to do when your job title doesn’t match your actual job?

A new job is always an exciting new beginning that can leave you eager to start. But sometimes things don’t work out as planned and the new position might be nothing like what you believed you applied for. This can be a difficult situation to navigate, so what can you do when a job is different than advertised?

When a job turns out different from the one advertised, you should talk to your manager or HR team to understand why this difference occurred. It’s good to give the new role a chance as the job may turn out better than the one you originally applied for. Remain calm and communicate with the company.

You should remember that you still have options for the way your career goes. Let’s look at the best approaches to handling a job that turns out different than advertised.

There is always a chance that a job differs from its description to some extent. But it is just how different that could impact your approach to resolving the situation. If the new role is a bit different than advertised but involves some of the same work you should give it a chance. Though it might not be the exact position you wanted, it might still be very enjoyable. Plus you could learn a range of new skills to add to your CV. This position might even turn out better than what you had hoped for the original position!

Broadening your work experience and skills range can help you get where you want to be in the future or open new career paths. Maybe you’ll discover a career that you had never considered before. Networking with other employees and your boss can also help you to feel more settled in the new role. It’s important to be open-minded to what you will gain from the job at hand.

But if the job is entirely different to what you applied for you should be speaking to your employer. It can be scary to communicate with your boss, especially when pointing out incorrect work assignments, but it’s important for your career. Evaluate the job description before approaching your manager and keep as calm as possible. Most managers do their best to look after their teams as well as the company and are open to hearing from you. If you’re not happy in your position because it isn’t what you were hired for, you should be able to talk to a manager. In the case where you’re struggling to have a discussion with the manager, you can contact HR.

At the end of the day though, if you are struggling in a job that turned out different than advertised, you should be searching for new work. If you’re concerned about the same situation happening again, approach hiring agencies such as Canberra Labour Hire. These companies work closely with employers and workers to ensure that job descriptions are being met exactly. For example, Canberra Labour Hire sources skilled and general labour workers for employers across Canberra. We also take expressions of interest for labour work from workers to help connect them with the right job. This is an option available for workers in most industries and will help reduce the mix up of work and job descriptions.How to be sure of your job role and responsibilities

If a job turns out different than advertised, you need to find someone within the company who can help you. Firstly, it can be a good idea to talk to other employees in the company. This should not be in a complaining manner at all, but just might help you understand what has happened a bit better. You might find that some people had a similar experience and how they feel about it now.

Don’t be too accusatory of the company yet. You don’t truly know your colleagues having only just started and you don’t want to make a bad impression. Simply, enquire about their recruitment experiences and if they felt the same. If you find it has happened a fair bit, it could be a sign that the company is catfishing employees. But, on the other hand, maybe it’s just a one-off experience and the different position turns out better than expected. You should also factor in how different you may feel after you get better at your job.

Secondly, it’s good to speak to your company’s recruitment officer or HR team to see where things went wrong. Maybe you misread the job description, or the true nature of the role was lost in translation. Either way, it’s important to not just ignore the problem if you think it is causing you distress or as though you’ve been mistreated.

The other person to talk to about your concerns is your new manager. You can send them a message or ask them in person for a meeting to discuss your role. Then, make a list of the things you want to talk about so you can be sure you get all the answers you need. Again, you shouldn’t accuse them or the company of deceiving you and don’t be hostile. If you’re new to the company, you don’t want to create a bad relationship with your boss.

You could ask whether you will have the opportunity to do the tasks you originally wanted to do and express your interest to grow and develop in these areas. Your boss could be delighted that you want to advance in your position. Also, that you have shown initiative to make sure that everyone is on the same page about what you want from your job.

Alternatively, your boss could be dismissive and sharp with you, showing no interest in allowing you to do the tasks you initially signed on to do. If this is the case, it may be better to look for work elsewhere as clearly your manager is not on the same page. Without the understanding or support from your boss, you can feel like your career is stuck and that there is nothing you can do. This is not a workplace you want to be in, so get searching for a new one!Who to talk to when your job isn't what you expected

Why is it important to read the job description?

If you’re experiencing these problems, it’s also vital to check over the job description to see whether you misread it. This could all be a genuine misunderstanding and you simply misjudged or misinterpreted the application forms. If you applied months ago, you may also have forgotten what the job actually entailed.

So, check over each part of the description to see which aspects align with your current role and which ones don’t. This will help you to see the extent to which your new role is the same as the one advertised. It is also something that you can show your boss when discussing your position to help both parties understand what has happened.

What questions should you ask when interviewing for a new job?

To ensure you know your specific job role and responsibilities, you should always read each application before you start your position with a fine-toothed comb. Take every opportunity in interviews to expand your knowledge of what is expected of you. These tactics will allow you to get to grips with your position and what is expected of you, avoiding any future problems.

You could also ask your boss for an updated job description should you decide to stay at the company and accept the different role. This will ensure that you aren’t doing too many tasks outside of your specified position and guarantee that you aren’t being taken advantage of.

While this can be an awkward situation to be in, just know that there are plenty of options for you to take that can help to improve your position. One of the best things you can do is learn everything you can about a job before committing. For example, check out articles like what you need to know about being a receptionist. We have plenty more work and industry advice in our Canberra Labour Hire blog. We cover topics like using the same resumé for multiple jobs and what working autonomously means.