How to explain this better in future? short lived job haunting my CV

(13 Posts)
CloudsCanLookLikeSheep Tue 11-Feb-20 16:29:09

About 2 years ago I made one of the worst mistakes of my career and left a stable but stale job for a new role. The new role turned out to be much more junior than I had been led to believe and I was essentially someone's assistant when I should have had my own clients and a lot more responsibility for my level of experience.

I decided to cut my losses and left after 3 months to be able to focus on finding a new role, which I did. However port-in-a-storm and all that, whilst the new role was ok it was not really giving me the progression I wanted and due to where I am located geographically, I cannot hope to progress unless i relocate to the head office which isn't an option. So I have been looking elsewhere.

I have just narrowly missed out on what sounded like a perfect job at final stage, after first stage interview I was in pole position according to the recruitment consultant who was very positive about my chances.

However at second stage I was asked why I left this role, and explained that it was very different to what I was expecting and that I'd decided early on to move on.

This apparently made the recruiting manager fearful that the same would happen again and that it was too risky to take me on.

I don't believe this to be valid as this role was a more senior position than I currently do, so I wouldn't have had the same reasons as before to leave, but clearly he has just seen a short lived job on my CV and got spooked. I'm so disappointed that this one bad job experience has followed me around like a bad penny. How can I explain it better in interview to stop this happening again? Maybe I need to give more detail, but I don't want to be too negative about a former employer as they always caution against that.

OP’s posts: |
Likethebattle Tue 11-Feb-20 17:30:07

I could have written your op and had an interview today (I’m still in the awful
Job) but I said it was a temp contract. They were fine about that and I got the job.

ChicCroissant Tue 11-Feb-20 17:34:02

Make the shorter job into a positive - learnt all you could in a shorter amount of time than anticipated, blah, change of focus for the business, blah.

How long have you been in your current job then, for the remaining part of the 2 years or has it been less (therefore looking like 2 short-term jobs, depending on the industry norms).

PuppyMonkey Tue 11-Feb-20 17:42:19

Miss it out?

CloudsCanLookLikeSheep Tue 11-Feb-20 17:53:31

Hmmm can't miss it out - it's three months on my CV plus then a month to find the next role so four months in total.

I left a 5 year role for it so I don't know if I'd get away with saying it was a temp job.

Is it really so bad to say the role was a lot more junior than i anticipated, so long as I am now going for more senior roles? It looks like I am keen to develop?

If I'd been there a year or so the learned all I could line might work but 3 months is definitely a 'wrong job' type of timescale!

Yes, been in the new role since then and stable roles beforehand so I don't have a history of doing this, it was a (never to be repeated) one off. I thought it wasn't too much of an issue as current employer was not bothered when I explained it at interview, but it's come back to haunt me and in the most horrible way too, as I would have got this job otherwise.

OP’s posts: |
Oblomov20 Tue 11-Feb-20 18:03:00

"different to what I was expecting and that I'd decided early on to move on. "

Maybe you are doing yourself a disservice? That sounds a bit weak, a bit namby pamby?
Could you rephrase it?
To imply that the role was a lot more junior than advertised, and was not the more senior step up that you had been looking for?

Then the interviewer would know you'd been lied to, and that you were looking for more senior?

CloudsCanLookLikeSheep Tue 11-Feb-20 18:16:45

I think you are right @Oblomov20 and I'm kicking myself now for not being a bit more specific. I think they interpreted it as that the industry/culture was different to how I expected, whereas I meant the role. As they are a direct competitor so assume same culture etc. Despite the fact that my current employer is also a direct competitor! (I work in a support role so not all my employers have been competitors/same industry)

Next time I will push the fact that it was too junior to explain why it was wrong.

OP’s posts: |
ChicCroissant Tue 11-Feb-20 19:20:33

Was the feedback definitely that it was that particular role that they were concerned about OP, or is that your feeling from how the interview went?

Could say that the role didn't have the scope/room for growth that you were expecting. Good luck with the interviews OP.

CloudsCanLookLikeSheep Tue 11-Feb-20 19:29:39

It was definitely that role. First stage (with another manager) went swimmingly well, and I was even told there and then that I was being put through to the next stage which no other candidate was.

The manager at the second stage was asked for feedback by the recruiter who was surprised I wasn't offered. He definitely said he was concerned that I'd left (the short lived job) and what if that happened again, as they had similar culture/procedures etc.

I think maybe some people just see a short lived job and get spooked? I know the previous person in that role left because 'it didn't work out' (not sure if they jumped or were pushed) so if they had someone leave after a short time I can see how they'd be very gun shy of the same thing happening again.

OP’s posts: |
Likethebattle Tue 11-Feb-20 19:47:17

You left your permanent role for a temporary contract that you were told would become permanent. When that failed to happen you left 🤷🏻‍♀️ it’s a lie but a worthwhile one.

ChicCroissant Tue 11-Feb-20 20:19:06

as they had similar culture/procedures etc.

As they are competitors they may have an idea of how their cultures match so perhaps that company wouldn't have been a good fit either if they really are similar that does depend on them having some actual inside knowledge and not just their own opinion on their competitor though

CloudsCanLookLikeSheep Tue 11-Feb-20 20:31:23

Cultures possibly do match @ChicChrossaint but I didn't leave the first role because of the culture. I left because I ended up doing a role that was a backwards step, working essentially as an assistant to my manager rather than having my own work/clients/cases.

That's exactly the misunderstanding the manager made so clearly I didn't explain it right to him and need to be more specific in future. Although I was unlucky in that this was a role with a direct competitor, other jobs may not be (but then they'll say I lack sector experience, so I can't win!)

OP’s posts: |
Allington Tue 11-Feb-20 21:02:52

A 3 month position between 5 years and 2 years shouldn't need much explanation - you obviously can commit to the right role in the right place.

I think your explanation was sufficient for most employers, but in your next opportunity perhaps go into what you have learnt from that experience about what you are looking for, and why it doesn't apply to this new job.

E.g. 'did not allow scope for taking responsibility for XYZ', which is important to me. If taking responsibility for XYZ is part of the potential new job that will be a positive, if it isn't then it isn't the right job for you anyway

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