So, why did you leave your last job?
January 28, 2007 8:03 PM Subscribe
My very first post-college job has little resemblance to the one for which I interviewed. In a couple of weeks, my trial period is up. I do not intend to take the option for employment. How do I spin this in future interviews?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (27 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When I was offered this job as a Java programmer with a year-old startup, I negotiated a salary based on information in the interview. They described a relaxed work environment. It was described as a "full time job" when I asked about the approximate number of hours I'd be expected in the office, and in discussion of salary the phrase "40 hours" was mentioned. Furthermore, I interviewed for a position that existed to develop a new product from the ground up on a platform with which I had a great deal of experience.
In reality, the work environment is anything but relaxed. I expected to work hard, but I hadn't expected to be ordered about on an hourly basis responding to the arbitrary whims of my superiors. Schedules are prepared by my superiors (who have no technical background whatsoever) with little or no input from engineering, and the two of us engineers are expected to complete them "on time" by working overtime (unpaid, of course, since we're salaried). This can amount to 60-hour weeks for weeks on a stretch.
Recently, the comfortable 10-6 schedule I was enjoying so much was dessimated by a decree that we should arrive no later than 9.30. No other information on this new policy was given. When I arrived half an hour late, in the middle of the eternal "crunch time", I was sent home and my pay was docked.
The generally non-relaxed atmosphere, the below-median salary, and the nearly non-existant benefits have lead me to decide that I cannot continue my employ with this company.
I hear constantly in all advice about interviews, not to be negative about previous employers. Likewise, these people are not going to provide a good reference; in their eyes, I'm sure I underperformed. So when asked why I left, I'm going to have a hard time explaining this positively. Likewise, I'm going to need to qualify the report they might get from my previous manager.
However, I don't just want to leave these folks off my resume. The development was smack dab in my field, and I learned more there in the three months than I did in a year of university. The knowledge I have is an asset that I don't wish to deny.
My entire trial period is 1099, so can I spin this as a contract-to-hire gig that I just didn't take the hire option on?