Little boy upset or hurting toothacheI had an interesting conversation this weekend about being “duped” in the workplace. A new friend was explaining the trouble she was experiencing at her job.

Back in November 2013, she accepted a role for what she believed would be a marketing position. Yet, after accepting the position and moving out of state, my friend soon realized that her manager’s requests drastically differed from the listed duties in the position’s job description. In fact, they weren’t related to marketing at all.

Although she was hired for a marketing position, her manager was requiring her to act like a recruiter. She was given a boatload of resumes to sift through and find the best possible matches for an open IT position. Then, she was tasked with contacting the applicants to setup interviews.

This was very unsettling for my friend. She was not a recruiter nor a hiring manager, and she did not have a background in IT. Therefore, given the task of the selecting one’s “fate”—if you will—on whether or not he or she would receive a callback for an interview seemed unfair in her eyes—not only for herself but for the applicants involved.

Has anyone ever encountered this situation? Being thrust into a position that was nothing like you expected? This can be a frustrating and challenging scenario.

To help navigate these rough waters, below are five ways you can approach a situation that leaves you thinking, this is not the job I applied for.

Review Job Description

A first step to take is to review the job description and/or job listing (if still available). Make sure you didn’t miss anything and that your manager’s seemingly foreign demands aren’t actually listed in the job ad. The last thing you want to do is confront your boss about doing work that wasn’t listed at the initial job offer only to find out you are the one who overlooked the details.

Accept the Challenge

If the on-the-job duties do differ from what you were led to believe (and even if they really are in the job ad), a way to approach this situation is to step up to the plate and accept this as a challenge, rather than a setback.

What skills will you need to effectively handle these responsibilities and how can you learn them? Is there an online/free course you can take? Can anyone offer you light training and/or insight to accomplish the tasks? If you can find ways to teach yourself how to handle these duties, that will only show your manager just how great of a new hire you really are—and multifaceted too. If the requested duties are just beyond your skill level (and acquiring those skills aren’t within your means), the next step will suit you much better.

Setup Meeting with Supervisor

Schedule a time to meet with your supervisor and explain your concerns with the current work versus the expected/promised work. Show him or her the original job listing, explaining why the duties appealed to you and led you to apply for the position. Do not say “I can’t do this” when explaining the differing duties, but rather focus on how you were anticipating fulfilling the listed requirements. It’s important to note your own expectations of a job at this point.

Offer Solutions

Offer your manager a few feasible solutions to remedy the problem and be open to possible solutions from him or her. Use this time to collaborate and brainstorm ideas that will benefit both you and the company. You don’t just want be content with a solution of you not doing the extra work; try to come up with ways for your manager’s needs—i.e. the unlisted requirements—to be met as well.

Negotiate compensation

More and/or different responsibilities may require a higher compensation. After all, those with higher skill sets and more years of experience are typically paid larger salaries because they are required to perform more extensive duties. If you are capable of performing your manager’s “unlisted duties,” discussing the compensation that should mirror these extra demands may not be a bad idea. Salary negotiations may also help your manager stay with the job description’s requirements the next time he or she assigns a task.



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