Company pulled a HUGE bait and switch. What next?
October 27, 2021 2:08 PM   Subscribe

I was so excited for this gig! My first job at the executive level but three days in, I knew it was a mistake. A month later, I'm trying to figure out what to say to future employers as I search. Can you help?

This has been a crazy job market. I turned down one offer to take this role because the title and the money were so much better (even though it is in a related but still new-to-me industry).

During the interview process, I was told that the role I applied for is a new one and that they want me to build the function from scratch. On my first day, I was introduced to the person who currently has the job that is allegedly new! After probing with my boss, I learned that this person is being pushed out and the role is being elevated (so that's how they got away with calling it "new"). So now I'm stuck training with someone who has a lower title than mine and who is really unhappy because she's been asked to leave at the end of the year (and is a wholly unpleasant person to begin with, which is why she's being pushed out, among other reasons). I've been assured that she's fine with the arrangement and ready to leave but not feeling good about that.
Two days after I started, my boss (yes, the person who hired me) submitted her resignation. It's now been a month and I have further realized that the role they hired me for? Not at all what I'm doing and it is, in fact, a step back for me. I was in my last industry for many years and still have great contacts. My plan is to start reaching out. The company is a mess and my gut says "run". Can any of you savvy folks help me with the right wording as I reach out to contacts? I don't want to sound like a flake (I was at the last job for four years and had long tenures at other places as well). Thank you.
posted by simonelikenina to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you even need to mention this job to anybody?

If you must, simply say the position was not at all what was discussed in the interview process and leave it at that. This happens all the time - even if everyone hasn't had it happen to them personally, they've seen it happen and had interviews where it seemed highly likely, so it's not going to be an unfamiliar concept. What matters is your attitude about it - don't be gossipy or pissy about it, just be matter of fact that it happened and it wasn't a situation you were going to be able to fix and so onwards and upwards.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:16 PM on October 27, 2021 [6 favorites]

I think this is actually very easy if you're leaving after a month; where it might become harder is at 6-9 months. Any reasonable hiring manager knows that it's impossible to truly know what a job is like before you accept it, so they will understand if you say that it turned out to not be what you expected, and not the right fit. Personally I'd consider it a red flag if anyone questions that or pushes back on it.

I've interviewed TONS of people who have left jobs in the first month or two, and it has never been an issue. (I suppose if they had been fired after a month, that would be a different story, but I've never encountered that.)
posted by primethyme at 2:16 PM on October 27, 2021 [5 favorites]

it happens all the time. Reach out to your contacts (you might also consider the folks who extended the offer you had recently) and just say something like "there's been a tremendous amount of change here since I accepted my offer" or "the job's parameters are not what was represented; I want to move quickly to get my own career back on track and also let them find the candidate who's level-appropriate for this job."

Some people will advise you to say this was just a temporary role but I wouldn't advise it.
posted by fingersandtoes at 2:16 PM on October 27, 2021 [4 favorites]

If I were in your shoes, I would just drop the role from my job history altogether.
posted by whisk(e)y neat at 4:29 PM on October 27, 2021 [2 favorites]

I'd just tell the truth, "The job wasn't what I was hired for and it wasn't a good fit for me". It happened to me once and I left as soon a I could get another job and have always been upfront about the situation when asked.
posted by octothorpe at 5:30 PM on October 27, 2021 [2 favorites]

Simply say you are looking for/open to opportunities.

Don’t put it on CV or LinkedIn but do mention it during the interview and to HR when you’re asked to talk about your current position. Don’t dwell on it. Focus on previous work exp. Unless you’ve previous short stints it might not be an issue.

When a recruiter engages with you and you’re asked why you’re leaving this soon only then mention that you were provided very incorrect information about the company/role/etc. Basically tell them you were “lied to” without using the word. Keep it short. Just inform as if it’s a matter of fact, you don’t have to come across as explaining.

And to jobs after your next job, maybe ignore this stint completely unless there’s a background verification and in that you’re legally obligated to mention it.
posted by amar at 8:41 PM on October 27, 2021

I'd leave it as a gap on your resume. Most people won't notice, and if they did you can say that you took a job that didn't work out, and didn't feel it was worth mentioning on your resume.
posted by kaefer at 8:47 AM on October 28, 2021

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