ask the readers: when work gives you more than you signed up for

It’s our next “ask the readers” question! And this reader really needs some help. He writes:

William Shakespeare once said in his play Twelfth Night “Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, others become great and some have greatness thrust upon them.” I’m hoping that line applies to me — but it’s hard to see it that way right now. I’m 22, and I just recently started working (almost 4 weeks) at my current job in a trade association. I plan to go to law school in August, but I got this job to earn me money until then.

The problem is that although I originally signed up for a simple office assistant job, I now find myself running the trade association. The office manager, from here on known as Kevin, left the job and no one was left at the office to fill it in. I have been delegated all of his previous responsibilities and although I’ve received training, it comes nowhere near what I need to run the place.

It’s not just clerical duties, but also organizing very large events, business expos, inbound foreign trade missions, organizing business seminars. This is in addition to managing the website, which is very complicated — you need to understand HTML and several other online applications which I’ve never seen. I’ve always thought that type of work was a job in itself. My background is Poli Sci and Int’l Relations, not business, so I’ve had to pick up and learn many things by scratch.

My boss is an impatient micromanager who has scared almost everyone away from the place, to the point where all the duties fell on Kevin. He was up for the job since he knew the place and had worked there for over a year and was familiar with everything. But I still know very little and I am being asked to perform under high pressure and do many things I am unfamiliar with.

I don’t know whether to take this as an opportunity to grow. It’s hard to see it that way when the boss is dogging me and expecting me to do everything the way the previous manager did. I just got here and I have no management experience — I think too much is being asked. What can I do? How should I weather this storm? I’m dreading work, but I need the pay — jobs are few and far between for recent college graduates like me. Please help!

What do you say?

{ 52 comments… read them below }

  1. Anonymous*

    My whole career has been like this (I am 27). Job titles are tied to pay. Job titles are not necessarily tied to what the person spend their day doing or how important their work is. In this economy, people get lame job titles and lame pay, and lots of work. They want to call you an assistant because they want to pay you like an assistant. They are not looking for a manager replacement because they already have one–you. Know that at many, many places, as soon as you demonstrate yourself to be competent and willing to work, people put a lot of work your way, many times until things become unbalanced.

    You’re right, it is kind of rotten. But, this happens many, many places.

    If you
    1) need to build your resume AND
    2) these tasks are related to your ambitions enough to be a resume builder
    then stick it out.

    Whatever you decide: don’t waste your one and only youth doing something you hate. If you are working hard for little money or recognition, at least have it be for something you believe in or something that inspires you. If that is not that case here find something that does.

    1. Laurie*

      Agree. Good advice. I would say that an experience this challenging will give you skills on so many levels that you will find yourself drawing on these skills throughout your life. It may not fit into a neat narrative on your resume (since it’s a general manager role, and not specializing in a particular field), but you will have a wealth of stories to tell during your interviews. If you feel like you can eventually come out on top in this job without feeling like it is sucking the life out of you, AND you are able to get an excellent collection of references from this job, it is worth keeping at it.

  2. moe*

    I’d probably have different advice if you weren’t going to law school in the fall. But you’re only looking at five more months of this. And as difficult as it sounds, you *do* have the opportunity to build up some accomplishments on your resume that most law students really lack.

    I would definitely try to open up the lines of communication with your manager in the meantime. How does he think you’re doing, and what you can do differently? When you phrase complaints as requests for advice (something I learned here!), it’s nearly impossible for managers to get defensive about it, even crazy ones. They also get some buy-in into your success, since people always like to see their advice work.

    I would consider the following things in the meantime: Is your job title reflective of your duties? Will this manager be a good reference/be willing to write a good letter of recommendation (which you’ll need for 1L internships)? What kind of connections are you making?

    Good luck!

  3. Flo*

    You’ll be stressed out for a while but once you get the hang of it, the new skills and experiences you acquire will be worth it. Be honest with your manager about where your skills lie and where you could use help, and ask for advice from other people in the office on how to perform the tasks if he still expects you to know everything.

    1. JPT*

      I agree with this. In positions I’ve had where more has been asked of me than what I thought was in the job description, I basically said, “I can already do X. I have no idea how to do Z. I will need training or assistance if Z is going to be part of my job.”

      I understand the frustration of having to do something you don’t think is part of your job, but the absolute worst thing you can do is just refuse to do it or say something like, “that’s not my job.” I’ve worked with people who don’t have a team-minded attitude when it comes to work, and even if they’re doing nothing but playing Farmville they’ll fight to the death to not have to do something that isn’t explicitly their job, even if they already know how to do it.

      If you feel overworked and don’t feel that you have the time to complete all the tasks you’re supposed to in a timely fashion, that’s a different conversation and may require asking for help. But, if you have plenty of time to do everything they’re asking, but just don’t have the experience required, why not let them train you? Learning HTML/Web programs would be an asset to pretty much any career… it is 2012, after all. When it comes to the event stuff, it’s common for this to be the job of an assistant-type person because it’s mostly logistics, making phone calls, setting things up, etc. This IS clerical work, to some extent, and I don’t see a problem with an assistant being asked to manage these tasks.

      1. KayDay*

        I think the OP’s problem is not that s/he doesn’t want to do these things, it’s that insufficient training has been provided/offered. Most of my jobs have involved these sorts of situations, and often, at small organizations, training isn’t available. It can be really frustrating to be criticized for not doing very well at, for example, web design, when you have no knowledge of how to do it and never claimed that you did.

        1. Juni*

          … or, like lots of Millennials, he doesn’t want to do these things BECAUSE he hasn’t been trained, so can see himself failing. It is really really hard to think (or be certain) that you’re not going to succeed at a task through no fault of your own.

      2. Anonymous*

        @ JPT ~ I cannot stand to hear anyone I work with say “that’s not my job”. What makes it even worse is when someone says it to you and it actually IS their job. Yep, that happened. LOL

  4. K*

    OP how many people work in the office? How many people have left due to the impatient micromanager? Is the boss dogging you because you’re unable to get tasks completed by their time?

    Set a time to have a discussion with the manager about your discomfort with certain tasks (such as Web site management) and that you need some guidance. I do agree on some level with the above posters that what you may possibly learn in the meantime will be helpful for the future.

    Ask your manager if there is a system that she/he can set up for you in order to handle the work flow. Perhaps you can set up your own task schedule in order to handle the non-clerical duties at a certain hour and/or day of the week. It sounds like a lot of multi-tasking is involved and at most workplaces being a multitasker is a great asset!

    Don’t give up just yet. Talk to the boss and do the best that you can. There’s plenty of resources out there that can help you with HTML learning. Try or check out the book Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML. Good luck!

  5. Christine*

    Use this opportunity to see what your limits are. You have an out in just a few months. How much can you pick up and figure out? Plenty of people I interview claim to be quick to learn, quick to master new information. In reality, most people are not, no matter how committed. If I interviewed someone who could tell me about figuring out the challenges that have come your way in a short time, (insert imaginary all caps here) I’d be extremely interested, even if they had only moderate experience in the area I was hiring for. (/imaginary all caps).

    If you can figure this stuff out, you can figure anything out. August is really close. Law school is not easy, and neither is this job. Get an edge on your competition, and stay.

    (I read this feedback to boyfriend/lawyer, and he almost fell off the couch nodding his head in agreement.) You can do it!

    1. The Other Dawn*

      I totally agree with this. You will be that much more valuable to a future employer for the experience you’re gaining now. Yes, it’s painful, but it will be over before you know it.

    1. Meredith*

      Hahaha, right? That was the first thing I thought when I read this. OP, I’m about to graduate from law school. Trust me, you’re getting a great intro to time and stress management right here!

  6. Mike C.*

    Since you have law school coming up, let me offer a contrarian and most likely flawed view.

    It’s time for a heart to heart meeting with this manager. Before bringing it up, you need to do the following –

    1. Get a copy of the job description you were hired on for.
    2. Have a current job description which includes all of your new duties.
    3. A list of the training you feel you need to do these tasks correctly.
    4. A concrete list of how long these tasks take on a given week. Say, you spend X hours organizing this, Y hours listening to your manager get in your face, er “in meetings”, etc.

    Then you strongly urge him to sit down and listen to what you have to say. You tell him that you were hired on to do one thing, but now he’s made you responsible for running the whole trade organization. Get it through his head how crazy this is given that in the best of circumstances you will be gone in five months. But for now, you’ll take on the additional challenges, and this means you need his full support.

    This support needs to take the form of training and advice in the areas where you are uncomfortable, and the trust to do the job right in the areas you are comfortable. Because if you’re going to be running the place, you need the trust and respect to do so, or it’s never going to work. I don’t know the trade you’re in, but this may also mean a title change and pay raise to reflect the craziness going on.

    Look, the point here is that if you’re really running the place, and you’re the only one left, your manager is going to have to take you seriously. If not, he’ll have to do everything. This isn’t meant to be disrespectful or threatening, but frank honest discussion. You need to set boundaries, tell him what you need, deliver concrete evidence for those needs and give him the chance to deliver. Use lots of “I” statements, that sort of thing.

    Because otherwise I just don’t see someone in your position doing anything but getting burned out trying to “rise to the challenge” or whatever crap the business books are selling these days. It’s certainly a chance for growth, but no person is an island and you’re going to need real support.

    1. Brightwanderer*

      Definitely seconded. “I am absolutely willing to do this work, but I need X, Y, and Z to do it” is a tactic I’ve been having success with recently in a different situation (coworker dumping his workload on me).

      1. Claudia*

        I absolutely do this in my current job. I enjoy my job but have had to learn ALOT of things that I didn’t think I’d be doing. I learn about 90% of the new things I’m asked to take on.

        If it’s something I can’t do like programming (I’m NOT an IT person although I know the basics) – I get it outsourced and oversee the function. My boss is more than happy with that. So long as the task gets done and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

        Oh and my job has nothing to do with IT but as a personal assistant it’s me that does any and everything that needs doing. It’s been a fantastic learning curve.

    2. Joey*

      I’ll add to what mike said. It’s important for both you and your boss to understand and accept that you’ll make mistakes, a lot of them. Although micromanaging can be good in a situation like this it’s important that you get a clear picture of what the end results should be. If he truly is a micromanager he needs to understand that as long as you hit key milestones and the end result is there the specific steps don’t necessarily need to be micromanaged. This should give you enough freedom to make some decisions without having him standing over your shoulder.

      And a little secret-in these types of situations bosses are generally very open to giving you what you think you’ll need to get the job done. Some are actually overly generous.

    3. LibKae*


      I’ve got nothing substantive to add except to say that as odd as it sounds I’ve found it very useful to have one truly awful job under my belt (also my first out of college). You’ll find less than ideal working conditions in other jobs and for me it’s been helpful to be able to ask myself after a bad day (or series of them) “was it worse than X?” No? Ok, well, I survived three years there, so this manageable. Yes? Time to look for another job (the awful first job also taught me that my time and my sanity are worth an awful lot and not to put up with a job that threatens the latter)

      1. JPT*

        This is so true… I’ve had a couple jobs where I was desperate to get out of there, and it really makes you appreciate better jobs even more on rough days. Also, I find myself always bringing up those worst jobs in interviews when asked about specific types of situations. I can say here’s a problem I had at work, here’s how I dealt with it, and this was the outcome. More stories to add to your arsenal!

    4. Kimberlee*

      I disagree on this. The manager, who has already proven to be less than awesome, has shown no inclimation to be reasonable about anything, and they’re not going to want to invest a lot of time training you for you to leave in 5 months. I bet the plan is for you to hold the line for 5 months, and then they’ll hire a new manager once you leave…. trying to get into all this shite is a waste of time. Do the best you can, knowing that you won’t be able to learn how to manage the office, run events, and code the website in 5 months. They know this too. Do the best you can but focus on being helpful… if you know you’re not interested in committing more than a total of 6 months to the position, don’t expect them to spend tons of (clearly limited) resources on you. It sucks, learning your job from scratch. But it will be good for you in the end.

      1. Malissa*

        So true. If this were me I’d be reminding the boss that I’m leaving in a few short months and he really needs to hire someone to handle this stuff long term.

      2. Mike C.*

        And if the manager continues to be a jerk, then the whole trade organization fails and the OP gets nothing but a drinking story out of the deal.

        I see me idea as a last ditch effort to shock the manager into coming to his senses and being serious about the monumental task at hand. Success in situations like these require direct and open action, not a mellow call towards “making the best of it” or “being helpful”.

      3. The Other Dawn*

        I agree. I’d learn what I can, try to document procedures for the next poor soul who replaces you, and keep reminding the manager that your time with the company is limited. If you’re going to be there longer than 6 months, they I’d have the discussion with the manager and try to organize training and such.

  7. KayDay*

    I’ve always felt the best way to advance (in small orgs where I have worked, that don’t have any formalized promotion structure) is to take over after someone leaves. You won’t be there very long, so I would focus on trying to gain as many “accomplishments” as possible for your resume. If you are truely over burdened and not able to get everything assigned to you done, I would suggest using Mike C.’s recommendations for those specific things.

    Since you are the defacto office manager now, you can probably assert a bit more authority than you are doing now…for example, with the website, suggest that you hire a consultant or get a new program that doesn’t require HTML (Dreamweaver or Contribute).

  8. Sasha*

    This is exactly what happened to me and it was the best learning experience I could have asked for.
    One month after being hired as a receptionist, the office manager took tow weeks of annual leave and I had to fill in on all sorts of things I had never done before. It was petrifying and I messed up along the way, but I earned the respect and trust of my coworkers and eventually got her job a year later. And yeah, I had a pretty scary, inefficient manager too
    I know you have no interest in this job beyond the summer but think about all the skills you are learning, not just ordering supplies and organizing functions, but working under pressure, juggling workload and managing your boss. Your letter makes it sound like you are pretty indispensable to the office – own it. Your manager realizes that if you jump ship there will be no one there to do the vital day to day work you are handling and is dealing with it badly. Asking for training when you know you will be gone in six months is not going to work, and it’s far more satisfying to find your own way anyway.

  9. Anonymous*

    It must be incredibly stressful, because you always want to do your best and are comparing yourself to an experienced manager. It’s unfair of this situation to arise.

    However think of how good this experience looks on your CV. I don’t know how legal recruitment works in the US, or if you already have a job with a law firm lined up for when you finish law school, You have a wealth of situations to call upon in interviews. Have you ever had a position of responsibility? Yup. Have you ever had to overcome a challenge? Yup. Have you ever had to persuade someone? Yup. Have you ever had to deal with a high-pressure situation. Yup. Have you any experience of dealing with clients? Yup. Have you any experience of international business? Yup.

    You will do so much better than law school grads whose hardest challenge was three essays that were due in at the same time.

    1. littlemoose*

      Thank you. This is exactly what I came here to say.

      OP, I really do not want to rain on your parade, but please be 110% sure about law school and the practice of law before you go. The job market for lawyers is still pretty awful, and law school enrollment has been untenably high for several years. I graduated from a decent law school in 2008 with good grades and work experience, and passed the bar exam on the first try. It still took me 18 months to find a legal job, and I had to relocate for the one I got. I worked retail and lived in my parents’ basement during that time, and it sucked, frankly. I do really love the job I have now, and I believe law is the right profession for me. Still, it was a tough time. Several of my classmates have said they would not have gone to law school if they knew then what they know now. Starting salaries are not nearly as high as people think, and the debt is onerous. Please just be sure that law is what you want to do, and don’t just go because you can’t think of anything else to do. Again, I don’t mean to be discouraging; I just want you to have your eyes wide open and to be certain about this path. The link Betty posted is great. See also this one from the ABA Journal:

      Good luck!

      1. Blue Dog*

        Also, be absolutely certain that you want to be a lawyer. Law school teaches you to think differently. And you become a miserable person for the next several years. Many friends of mine had a marriage or relationship fail during law school because of the stress and the fact that you will be miserable for 3 years. Do you know that artistic side of you? It will wither and die when exposed to the harsh sunlight of the billable hour. Also, unless you are planning on going to a top 10 law school, the chances of getting a job that will allow you to be able to pay back your students loans is remote.

        Now, if you are POSITIVE that you want to be a lawyer, I suppose you cannot be dissuaded. But if it one of several options you are entertaining, think long and hard about it. Although an attorney theoretically can work in other fields, with the crushing debt you will incur, that is just not reasonable (or responsible).

  10. Scott Woode*

    It doesn’t take a great leap of logic to realize that learning both the hard and soft skills would prove to be a great asset, especially given your aspirations for a J.D.. You certainly will; for me “trial by fire” has always been the best method of learning new material and this certainly sounds like that. I would recommend that, much like previous posters have said, that you sit down with your manager, clearly delineating where you are, where he/she needs you to be given your current experiences with your hybrid role, and what support you need to get there (i.e. training, more time on projects, “open door” policy on his end for questions that may come up, etc.) Do your best to frame your statements in a positive light and I’m sure you’ll receive some response (it may not be what you want to hear, but it will be what is possible).

    For daily motivation to get up in the morning I recommend this speech from Henry V, Act 3 Scene 1:
    Most particularly these lines…
    “show us here / the mettle of your pasture; let us swear / that you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not; / for there is none of you so mean and base / that hath not noble lustre in your eyes.”

  11. Angela*

    This is one of those times where you have to treat it as a learning experience. Know that you’re just one person and that while it seems like a bigger deal, this is a very tiny portion of your life. It’s only 5 more months and it will really put you in a good place for law school.

    Having been to law school myself, I have to echo Betty’s sentiment. I wasn’t able to finish due to family requirements and now I’m stuck paying back $120,000 in school loans for a degree I don’t have. I’m not saying that you won’t get the degree – I’m just saying that it’s so expensive.

    Yesterday, I found out that one of the voice talents I use in the e-Learning courses I write is now making $750/hour due to being a Screen Actor’s Guild member. And I wonder why I didn’t do that instead of going to law school!

    Best of luck to you!

  12. L*

    I was in your position about a year and a half ago – asked to do something completely outside my job description/abilities with absurdly inadequate training. It was frustrating, but I figured it out as I went along. Now I’m interviewing for a job that would have taken me five to ten years to qualify for if I hadn’t had this opportunity. There’s a clear end date to your position, so that should help you avoid getting too stressed out. Just do the very best you can, and think of all the contacts and networking opportunities you are developing (assuming this trade organization is related to your eventual career path). I’m willing to bet that in a few years you will look back on this time and be grateful for the experience and the doors it opens for you.

  13. Suzanne*

    This one hit home for me. I was laid off (well, everyone was as the place closed its doors) and took the first job I could find. The people seemed nice, but once I started work, it was made quite clear to me that I was brought in so they could get rid of someone that had been there for 10+ years and that no one liked. I had no real job description, no training, no direction just start working. It was a constant stream of “Why isn’t this being done?” and “Oh, didn’t anyone tell you that is your responsibility?” or “We didn’t tell you that you were supposed to be keeping statistics on these 5 things…for the past year???” I ended up quitting, which, for someone over 50, is pretty much career suicide, but it was either that or the straight jacket.
    The OP is in a much different position knowing that she will be leaving soon. I’d agree with many of the other posters that her best bet is to stick it out, make the best of it, start counting down the days, and vow to treat those in her charge much better than she is being treated.
    Unfortunately, this is the modern workplace at least in my experience. Do more with less, don’t expect any training, and count your blessings if you can get someone to even show you how the copier works, or where the supply cabinet is, how the main database that you use everyday is supposed to function, or who to call if the roof is caving in.

  14. H*

    Oh man OP, you described almost word for word the situation I found myself in when I was 22 (about 18 months ago)…different type of job, same kind of over-the-top responsibility. The 6 months I spent doing a job that was completely out of my league were so stressful, but I learned a lot and it really bumped up my resume. Since your main reason for this job is to save money, see if you can get a pay increase, or at least a job title increase. It’s ridiculous for you to be doing this work while being paid like an assistant. And also give yourself a break – to be totally practical about it, think about how likely it is that you will be fired from this job if you don’t do a great job. Highly unlikely, probably, because they really need you to fill in for Kevin. So do your absolute best, but at the end of the day leave the stress at work and try your best to let your “failures” go. This isn’t a fair situation, and you’re being set up to fail. So don’t beat yourself up.

    1. Joey*

      I don’t agree that hes being set up to fail. It’s sort of like Jeremy Lin before linsanity. Do you think the Knicks expected him to carry the team on his first start? Same thing.

  15. Sarah*

    My first job out of college was very much like this. If you’re getting what support is available – even if that’s not much – I’d stick it out till August.

    I stuck mine out and cried all the way to work and all the way home for the first six months. After that, the structure changed, I got amazing senior support and supervisors, and I absolutely loved the rest of my time there. Now, looking back, it taught me more than I ever could have learned otherwise.

    I can’t speak to whether or not you should go to law school.

    But my one recommendation is to look to support groups for young professionals in this field. I found one, it did a great deal to help me through the experience, and 10 years later, some of the people I met through it are some of my best friends.

    Best of luck!

  16. Anonymous*

    Don’t underestimate your abilities! Don’t be hard on yourself, but don’t give up the chance to learn and grow. AND make sure you are being compensated what you deserve for the work you are doing!

  17. Rachel B*

    I think that you have a great opportunity to build your real work place skill set. Several of my friends finished law school and struggled to find work. Those who had internships and not-so-great jobs in office management and data management had an easier time charting new or blended law/business careers after school. Keep detailed notes of your accomplishments. One day soon, a hiring manager may be very impressed that you were able to reduce reporting time or maintain a website, even if you feel that you were just mediocre at completing those tasks.

    Most importantly, hold your head high and try to keep your cool in the office. You may not be able to charm your manager, but you can use this opportunity to build lasting connections with your co-workers and outside contacts that may help you down the road.

  18. Nancypie*

    I didn’t see where the OP said that the employer knows he’s leaving for law school in a few months, and I’m wondering if he’s planning in surprising them with 2 weeks notice in a few months. Which I think is fine, however, will leave the organization in the lurch Again.

    My advice to the OP is to muddle through, however, create a detailed job manual as you go. That way you will be the awesome person who got us organized, instead of the jerk who was given this awesome growth opportunity and bailed. The perception of the OP by the people who follow him can swing either way…and if the point of this job is resume building instead of just money, how you’re talked about after you leave is important.

    1. Suzanne*

      Creating a detailed job manual is great advice although I tried to do that in the position I referenced above and didn’t get very far. Why? Because no one would give me all the pieces to the puzzle of the job, and it sounds like the OP is having the same issue. It’s hard to document what the position involves when you aren’t sure yourself and my guess is that her predecessor didn’t leave much documentation and her supervisor is clueless.

  19. Editor*

    For the event planning, can you get a mentor from one of the facilities you use as a vendor, perhaps an experienced member of the sales staff, and when you’re setting up the event ask them about all possible problems and contingencies they think you need to be aware of?

    Also, is there someone in the trade association (not your boss) who, because you have frequent contact, could give you advice?

    Event planning is partly a matter of anticipating all possible problems and coming up with ways to deal with the problems. The other part of event planning is doing things in a timely manner, and perhaps a mentor could say, well, you need to line up your speakers by x date because that’s the latest we can guarantee you space, and here’s a timetable for deciding on room setup, menus, changes to the booking, etc. So you’re always looking at when the event is and thinking backward to figure out when things have to be done. Someone who can tell you how far out you have to complete tasks may make the process seem much more manageable.

    Can any other commenter say if Excel or some project management software or something might help both this employee and the micromanager stay on top of details without them driving each other crazy? I got the impression the sheer volume of detail was part of what was intimidating the OP.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Yes! For event planning, in particular, the OP could create a thorough list of all the steps he can think of that will need to be done and when they need to be done by (book space, finalize invite list, have invitations designed, send to printer, due back from printer, mail invitations, book caterer, etc.) and then put them all in a project plan — in Excel, for instance. Then he can show that to his boss and say “What am I missing?” And hopefully the boss can advise. And in fact, if there are past event plans from previous events, those would be good to consult.

  20. Lori*

    Knowing what I know now (I’m almost 35), do what you possibly can to learn from the situation. Really, really learn. A job I held a few years ago also turned out to be what none of us had expected. Once my attitude shifted from “that’s not fair” to “I can fix this,” I learned a ton I would’ve otherwise been blind to. And it paid off. I’m now out of that job, but with the same company (turns out the department was defective, not the company).
    I like the tip of prepping what you can and then having your manager double-check it. Another good thing is to send him an email if you’re unsure about something, but make sure it ends in a yes/no question. It will make it easy for him to email you back an answer without writing a full email. At my company, we often email, “Do you approve?” or “Please approve for signature.” or “Please approve this document.” or whatever. All the receiver has to do is email “approved.”
    But try and stick with it. If you’re going into law school, stress (regardless of its source) will be a constant. Use this situation to learn how to deal with it and remove yourself from it mentally so you can go home relaxed. It’s a skill that, the sooner you develop it, the easier your life will be.

  21. A*

    You should actually read “Twelfth Night”. The quote you mention is part of an elaborate practical joke. So, yeah, the quote definitely applies to you.

    Just a quick re-cap of your post:
    1. You are a “recent college graduate”.
    2. You have been working at this job “almost four weeks”.
    3. During your (less than) 28-day tenure you have: received training, organized very large events, business expos, inbound foreign trade missions, organizing business seminar, and managed the website.
    4. You plan to quit in August (around 30 weeks from now). You just “got this job to earn me money until then”.

    First of all, you have done a lot in 28 days. You are clearly a fast learner.

    You didn’t mention if your employer knows you will be quitting in August. I’ll assume you were upfront about that when you started waaaaaay back in January.

    A lot of responses include advice about communicating with your boss, outlining expectations, requesting training & resources, etc. That might work in future jobs (maybe).

    You are treating this as a temporary job. Why should your employer treat it any differently? Put yourself in your employer’s position. They have an employee who they KNOW is going to quit before football season. It makes absolutely no sense for your employer to allocate money, resources, or time to your “career” development, especially since you are learning so quickly. As you stated: this is a temporary job. They are going to treat you like a temp. They are going to pile on as much work as possible until you say stop. When you say stop, they are going to continue to pile on work until you quit. When you quit, well, “Kevin” and his buddies will have to pick up the slack for a few weeks until they find your replacement (who they are looking for right now, by the way).

    If I’m your employer, I’m thinking, “Man, I hired this temp as an office assistant for next to nothing. Turns out he can also organize all our events AND run our website!”.

    A 9-month office assistant job will (obviously) not be included on your resume when you apply for positions in political science, international relations, or law.

    My best practical advice: Stick it out, don’t piss anyone off, and make sure you leave on good terms. When people ask you to do things that aren’t in your job description, tell them “No”. What are they going to do? Fire you?

    Oh, and good luck in law school! You will be MUCH less busy than you are now LOL.

Comments are closed.