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AIBU to expect to be able to stay in a job I am not qualified for

33 replies

Runningmouse · 14/10/2022 21:52

I applied for a job I was (and am) not fully qualified for in the spring of 2021. Basically I really wanted the job, and I thought I could do it despite not having all the required diplomas (I'm smart, and I have held a similar position in an adjacent field).

Because of staff shortages and a lack of qualified applicants, I was hired on a temporary contract, which makes sense. Anyway, it turns out I was right and I've been doing well according to feedback from colleagues and clients. My colleagues now really want me to stay because we get along, work well together, and it is quite a complex role so it would be months before any new person (however qualified they may be) would feel comfortable and settled.

Unfortunately all this time my manager has been kind of holding out for a fully qualified person to come along. No one has so far, but he keeps indicating my time there is limited and he does not expect I'll be there longterm, bla bla. Meanwhile, I've invested lots of extra unpaid hours to learn about the field, master new skills etc, and I am starting to feel like an idiot for doing so. I'd definitely be willing to go back to school & take the required courses in order to become fully qualified, but I'd have to actually follow a programme which would mean I'd need time off during the day. And I'm not getting that because of staff shortages - they need me all day, every day. I think my employer thinks the shortages will just magically disappear soon and he won't have to invest in me at all, and meanwhile I'll do the work and keep the company afloat.

AIBU to think that by now I deserve better, and my manager should let me take the course?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

173 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
TheCatsPyjamas1 · 14/10/2022 21:56

I don’t think you’re being U at all. Could you ask if they’ll let you study part-time, so you can work and study at the same time? Get together a strong case (basically what you’ve written on here). It sounds like your manager isn’t the most accommodating person, although I can understand he’s in a difficult position, but go for it and just see what he says - the worst he can do is say no. Perhaps also look for other jobs too, so you have lots of options in case this doesn’t work out. Keeping my fingers crossed for you 😊

DelurkingAJ · 14/10/2022 21:58

If there is HR then I’d go and have an ‘off the record’ chat. It costs money to recruit, after all, and time for anyone new to settle in so there might well be a business case to get you qualified.

maddening · 14/10/2022 22:03

I would discuss getting the required qualifications while in role

Morechocmorechoc · 14/10/2022 22:05

You don't need the qualifications if you can already do the job. Tell your manager you want a perm position or you'll be leaving. That should sort it.

Hawkins001 · 14/10/2022 22:05

Personally put the course idea on hold for now as a temp measure, and from what you said, your doing well so far and learn as you go, so to speak

Runningmouse · 14/10/2022 22:15

I think my manager might also be worried that if I do get the qualifications, I'd be able to leave for a competitor. I mean, he really took a chance on me, and I appreciate that, and not everyone in his position would have done the same, but with experience & diplomas under my belt, I could easily be hired elsewhere. Right now I'm still sort of dependent on this company if I want to stay in this field. But I just really need some job security - I have kids, a house... I want to be able to plan for the future.

OP posts:
gogohmm · 14/10/2022 22:17

Negotiate, study leave in return promise you'll stay 2 further years post qualification?

SD1978 · 14/10/2022 22:27

Can you look around for another job? They are basically dangling this job in front of you, whilst not committing, and refusing to give you stability. You're alright until something better comes along. I don't think I could work long term knowing that I'm only one interview away from being let go. Can you approach with a string plan. How much time off would you need, and when to gain the qualification? Would you pay for it or ask them to? Would you give them a contract that baring illness and unable to work, you'd work for x time post qualification if they funded it?

Runningmouse · 14/10/2022 22:44

gogohmm · 14/10/2022 22:17

Negotiate, study leave in return promise you'll stay 2 further years post qualification?

Yes, I've tried something like that, but got a rather halfhearted response (as in: ah yes, let's look into that, we'll maybe arrange that in the future some time).

Thing is, I love this job. I love this team. I want to stay. I've had a few bad fits in the past, and being happy at work is just so much better than being unhappy. It is making me really hesitant to make any demands, or give any kind of ultimatum, and I think they know that.

Thanks for the replies and votes so far. I was starting to think I was being ridiculous for having any expectations really.

OP posts:
LauraIAm · 14/10/2022 22:56

Would it be possible to offer to do the course and make up the work hours in the evening etc?

do you want them to pay for the course? What’s the cost?

is it a big or small company? Is there a formal appraisal / development process?

Unexpecteddrivinginstructor · 14/10/2022 23:01

Can you do all the research into the options and put together three possible scenarios to present to him. Say scenario 1 is they fund you and release you one day a week or whatever in return for three years service, option 2 etc. Factor in the costs of recruitment etc. Show him that you are serious about this. Another option would be to put in a flexible working request and reduce your hours, self fund then consider whether you want to stay there. Have you looked into distance learning which may be more flexible and self-paced?

TimeFlysWhenYoureHavingRum · 14/10/2022 23:34

Yanbu. Any company worth its salt should be investing in good staff, upskilling and training them and yes - financing and allowing paid time off to do courses and qualifications (albeit with reasonable tie in agreements). Our company does this and they make more money as a result as well as having a talented and loyal team. It should be a win-win.

MarmiteCoriander · 14/10/2022 23:35

Without knowing the vague industry/field, its hard to advise?

A lot of jobs allow EITHER a certain course/diploma or work experience. Unless of course the requirement is say to be a qualified Dr, registered nurse, lawyer etc. Again, without know the job or sector, its hard to know how hard lined this is for your own job?

Your boss sounds like a twat though! I confused why the boss wants a fully qualified person? Can they do/provide more than yourself? Sorry, its hard to work it out without knowing more details?

You have clearly demonstrated you have prior experience in the role, and demonstrated it since starting there! Would having the 'diploma' mean the role would earn you more than you are on now?

Shinyandnew1 · 14/10/2022 23:39

It’s very hard to advise without knowing more detail. Are there ‘clients’ who are paying for your expertise? Do they know you are unqualified? How long would it take you to gain these qualifications whilst working part time for the company-and what would they cost?

OnTheBrinkOfChange · 14/10/2022 23:44

How important is the qualification? It sounds as though it's more than just being able to do the job. Is there a legal requirement that someone has that qualification?

Lunar270 · 15/10/2022 00:13

Yes YABU to expect anything. Possibly an unpopular opinion but as difficult as it is, you shouldn't be expecting them to commit to you.

It sounds like you've done brilliantly but you accepted a temporary contract, due to your lack of qualifications. It's possible that you don't need them (qualifications), given you've been doing the job, but your hiring manager is the one that gave you a chance, based on your CV etc. and sees you as a stop gap. Whether anyone actually comes along (and is better than you) is another thing and it doesn't sound like it. But sadly you were aware of the circumstances under which you were contracted and it doesn't sound like it's going to change.

You're definitely not unreasonable to push and try to keep your job but expecting to keep it is another thing.

CrochetIsCool · 15/10/2022 00:42

It is difficult to give a definitive answer without knowing your role and type of organisation and whether the qualifications are 'required' for the role or 'desirable'. Does your company have a Workforce/Learning and Development strategy that sets training opportunities? If so, this might be helpful.
In the organisation I worked for we would not have been able to offer funding to undertake a qualification to someone on a temporary contract. However in shortage areas developmental roles were created and successful applicants were funded to undertake specific qualifications within agreed timescales and also required a commitment to remain for a minimum of two years post qualification or repay course fees.
As suggested by previous posters, setting out a business case with costed options may help progress the discussion with your manager as an alternative to waiting for a suitably qualified person to turn up. Otherwise you will need to explore self funding the required qualifications which I appreciate is not easy.

Shinyandnew1 · 15/10/2022 08:46

What are the qualifications?

PuppyMonkey · 15/10/2022 08:52

Yes I’m struggling without knowing more detail about the role. You could be an unqualified brain surgeon for all we know.Grin

LickThis · 15/10/2022 09:01

Is it a legal qualification or a desired one ? If its the later I'd join a union pronto

Shinyandnew1 · 15/10/2022 09:10

Can’t you ‘follow the program’ and do the diploma in the evenings/weekends and find it yourself?

Ricardothesnowman · 15/10/2022 09:11

I'd suggest you look into other ways to get the qualification.
From what you behave said I'm guessing the course you want to do is an apprenticeship, but how about looking at evening classes?
This is similar in my industry, we can have unqualified staff, but need a certain number of qualified to operate legally, and training full time unqualified people to get thier qualifications is tricky as the need 20% time out for college work.
We have someone get round this by studying at evening classes, we let him leave early once a week to get to the lesson on time.

Heartsofstone · 15/10/2022 09:16

What’s the job! Is the qualification a legal requirement?

CurlyhairedAssassin · 15/10/2022 09:26

Sounds like accountancy or something?

It could be just that your manager hasn’t taken to you like your colleagues have? You sound like a very confident and self-assured person and I think some managers are put off by that, thinking you’ll demand all sorts. I bet they think that once you’re qualified you’ll demand higher pay (which would be entirely reasonable), and while you’re doing the job well now without the qualification why should they pay you more?

are you really “keeping the company afloat” though? In my experience, if a company needs you that much they don’t fob you off. It’s the opposite, they would do anything to keep you.

it’s quite hard to give advice based on just your opinion of what’s going on.

Shinyandnew1 · 15/10/2022 10:16

it’s quite hard to give advice based on just your opinion of what’s going on

Exactly. Are you actually coming back, @Runningmouse ?!

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