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is this a normal job role or I am being stupid staying?

(95 Posts)
bipbapbomp Mon 27-Jan-20 10:14:13

I finished my degree in December last year, and struggled to find a job relevant to it - I took a job in a supermarket over Christmas to make sure I didn't go too far into my overdraft, and it did tied me over! Luckily, on the 3rd January I was approached by someone on LinkedIn who offered me a job interview for a assistant project manager role. The interview was informal, and he said CV speaks for itself etc etc - and I got offered the job on the day. I started the week after.

At the interview, it was made clear that I would be supported ("micromanaged") by the manager. The role is part time (3 days a week), and as I am completing a second Masters now, these are on specific days, agreed with management: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

As the location is remote, I am based in an office on my own in a city centre location.

So quick summary!
working as an assistant project manager, 3 days a week, first role as this and was told I would get a lot of support, and in a location on my own, where I don't have support from anyone else in the business.

The CEO I am working for is really lovely and says I am doing a good job, but I'm not sure...

So here's my problem:

- I am totally unsure of what my role is. I do not have a job description. I don't even have a contract.

- I am forwarded emails to reply to, without context or understanding of what is needed with the reply.

- I am not given tasks, targets or ANYTHING to achieve that would stretch the 3 days. Arranging training is something I have been given; but doesn't take a great deal of time. I know there's an element of you have to create your own workload, but because of the sector this is, it would be impossible to create a new project etc.

- On most days I am twiddling my thumbs. This is made worse because I am in an office on my own - it stresses me out as I don't have anyone checking if I even came in! I could easily (and would never actually do this) not come in. Also, there's not a lot of support if I need it.

- On the days I am not meant to be working, I will get emails asking me to email/send an update to someone; and on the business Whatsapp they will ask me to do this - even when I am in Uni on my "days off". At the moment this is obviously fine, as I am struggling to find work to stretch the 3 days I do work. But, I am worry that there will be an expectation that I would "as and when" for the money I get - emails come in at like 11pm to reply to.

I am feeling deflated. Does this sound dodgy/rubbish or is it me being an inexperienced idiot?

I am getting really anxious that I am missing something, not doing the job properly or I am going to make a mistake. I have spoken to management prior to this and they've said I'm doing well, just carry on. But with what??

AIBU or is this job not a good option?

Ragwort Mon 27-Jan-20 10:19:24

Sounds very dodgy, have you been paid? Does the company have an online profile, what is the actual function of the company? Is it sales? MLM?

Why not ask for an urgent review with the CEO and ask for a clear role/job description.

I had a temp job like that years ago, fortunately only for one day, but I just had no clear idea of what I was meant to be doing - it was utterly bizarre - and I have no idea how companies can pay people for these 'non jobs'.

HulksPurplePanties Mon 27-Jan-20 10:20:16

Are you sure you're not just a money laundering front?

slipperywhensparticus Mon 27-Jan-20 10:21:22

Are you being paid? Set up an out of office on your email when your not working

bipbapbomp Mon 27-Jan-20 10:31:17

He paid me a month in hand (!) - which I've never heard of before.

It's a charity role, which makes me feel even worse because I feel like I'm doing nothing and taking a wage from charity for it.

* it was utterly bizarre - and I have no idea how companies can pay people for these 'non jobs'*

Neither do I! I feel like I have lots of skills to give, but I am not using them here. But, is it too soon? I don't want to just walk and be unemployed, but it feels horrible to be so purposeless.

user163578742 Mon 27-Jan-20 10:37:12

Have you looked the charity up on the Charity Commission website?

Have you received a pay slip showing tax and NI have been deducted?

Even if this was legit it doesn't sound a good place to be. I'd be looking for something else as a matter of urgency.

HulksPurplePanties Mon 27-Jan-20 10:38:45

He paid me a month in hand

He paid you cash in hand?

Yeah. You're money laundering.

Motoko Mon 27-Jan-20 10:46:05

It definitely sounds dodgy as fuck. No contract, being paid in advance, was it in cash, or through the bank?

milliefiori Mon 27-Jan-20 10:46:26

How do people know this is money laundering? I'm intrigued how this would be set up.

OP, for now, if the pay is useful to you, just take your MA coursework into the office and do it during quiet periods, then compensate for this by answering emails on your non-work days at three specific times of day, say at lunchtime, early evening after college and just before bed, keeping tabs on how much time you spend doing this. Don;t do them as and when, or you'll go mad. Do what you can in the time you allott each day and anything left over gets carried over to your next email-check-in slot the following day. Make sure that the hours you spend on your off days are not more than the hours you spend doing your own wokr when you are in the office.

Try to see it as a positive. An office of your own to get your MA thesis researched and written. As they say, so long as you do the work and they are happy, and you keep a note of hours to prove you are not taking the mickey if they do check up, then it's quite normal. Some jobs require you to be present in case you are needed rather than to actually do something specific each day.

SmileCheese Mon 27-Jan-20 10:47:05

He paid me a month in hand

Did that not raise huge alarm bells? It sounds like a front for money laundering to me and honestly I would leave and find something else.

Also a top tip for the future, don't start work until you have seen and signed a contract otherwise you have no recourse or protection.

bipbapbomp Mon 27-Jan-20 10:47:49

Not cash in hand - a month in hand/advance. So he paid me 5th Jan for 4 weeks work that I had yet to do.

Rinoachicken Mon 27-Jan-20 10:50:52

I’d leave. Sooner rather than later. Otherwise you’ll have to have this job on your CV and when asked about what you did in the role it will look weak and be a negative

Fere Mon 27-Jan-20 10:51:23

How can you work if don't have a contract?

bipbapbomp Mon 27-Jan-20 10:53:20

this is my first "relevant" job to my degree, so maybe I have been an idiot accepting it sad

TheMobileSiteMadeMeSignup Mon 27-Jan-20 10:56:33

Sign up to an agency, get a properly vetted job through them. This all sounds dodgy. The lack of contract, the advance pay, the saying you're doing great when you're doing nothing...just leave.

MrsStrangerThing Mon 27-Jan-20 11:00:34

OP, did you get a payslip that showed you paid NI and tax? Are you in an occupational pension scheme? Is this a well known charity?

MayFayner Mon 27-Jan-20 11:01:46

He paid you a month in advance, not “in hand”.

Payment a month in hand is an old-fashioned way of saying a month in arrears, which is the normal way to get paid.

MayFayner Mon 27-Jan-20 11:02:34

It’s not the same as “cash in hand”.

bipbapbomp Mon 27-Jan-20 11:03:45


It's how he worded it. He paid it directly to my bank on the day I accepted the job.

Fere Mon 27-Jan-20 11:06:40

Did you get a payslip? What is happening if you are asking about your contract?
How would you know your salary, notice period and anything else without a contract?

user163578742 Mon 27-Jan-20 11:07:46

You gave him your bank details? Just like that?

TheSparklyPussycat Mon 27-Jan-20 11:08:08

A month in hand means being paid in advance, not in arrears. It was quite normal at one time, but that was decades ago.

InOtterNews Mon 27-Jan-20 11:09:08

Check them out on the Charity Commission website - you only need to enter the name or charity number to see their accounts etc.

I work for a charity (have done for 20 years) - and whilst I am still waiting for job description I have never been without a contract. Also, I've never heard of anyone being paid in advance

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Mon 27-Jan-20 11:09:20

Have you even met this person?

Do you have a wage slip showing tax and NI contributions?

Have you asked for a contract?

Can you write down all of our concerns and email them to... anyone?

Have you googled the charity and name of the person who employed you?

It does all sounds strange and a bit dodgy to be honest.

MoonlightBonnet Mon 27-Jan-20 11:10:14

Have you actually been to the offices of the charity? What is his supposed role in the charity? It all sounds enormously dodgy. But there’s still a chance it’s well meaning people who just don’t have a clue.

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