How to explain leaving a job after four months

I have been working at an organization since mid-Oct. I was hired to a newly created position.  However, since starting in this position I have done nothing I was told I was hired to do (marketing). All I have been doing is admin tasks for my boss.
I have an interview next week, thank god.  I am wondering, what is the right response to the obvious question about why am I job hopping so quickly?   I am 31, so the answer of “I’m trying to find my true passion” doesn’t seem so appropriate anymore. I don’t want them to think I am hard to please because this is a job at a really great organization and I would really like this opportunity.  Any ideas on an appropriate and desired response?
1 reply
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    I know this doesn’t help you now, but you should probably leave the current job off your resume if you’re hunting now. Here’s why. If you leave the job off your resume then all you have to do is talk about what you’ve been doing since your last job. You can say you left your last job because you wanted to take time off to do x, and you have done x, and now you are ready to get a job again. As long as x is interesting and you are engaged when you talk about it, you’re fine. You can talk about anything — surely you do things in your life that are not work. Just talk about one of those. This makes you sound like you are purposeful, you know what you want, and you keep commitments.

    When you put your current job on your resume you run into the problem that there is no good answer for why you are leaving. All the answers will sound like you can’t get along with people or you don’t know yourself or both.

    1. You do look pretty old to not be able to identify a good job when you are interviewing. This makes you look like you don’t understand the workforce and how you fit.

    2. You run the risk of revealing that you took a job at too low a pay rate for your skills. The reason I know you did this is that your boss has you doing admin stuff. If you were at a higher pay rate your boss would feel wasteful having you do admin stuff.

    3. You can’t really complain about how you are being put in an admin job because it makes you look terrible. So then you are left to say you don’t like your boss, or the company, and that is death in an interview. People who can’t get along with one boss are very likely to not get along with another boss.

    Sidenote to all of this: A job description is nota contract. No one does the exact job they were hired for. So stop complaining about this like there is an injustice or something.

    I know this doesn’t help for the immediate interview.

    Here is a script for anyone who is job hopping too early and refuses to take the current job off their resume:

    Say something about how this curreng job is x ( say something that is a higer payscale thing than admin so you dont reveal thar people see you as low level) and you are stronger doing y (make that what this interview job is). This allows you to at least sound like you are getting along with your co-workers and boss.

    Good luck.


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