more-arw search

Q&A Forum

Have you Ever Started a New Position and Realized you were Totally Wrong for It?

Took the wrong job - what do do now?Any suggestions for how to handle such a situation?


(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

Yes - the downside is that you have to spend time explaining to future recruiters why there is a Gap on your resume if you decide not to put that position on your resume.

It is the company's fault from my experience,

-Whether it was their overstatement or understatement of the problem they hired you to solve that caused the wrong fit, or

-Their discovery that you don't fit quite their culture, or

-Because your values don't align with those of the executives.

Employees should not be burdened with the responsibility for the bad hire. If you find out you are the wrong person for whatever reason, it was the company that did not do its job during the hiring process.

If you are not willing to stick it out through the 3 years it will take to put a reasonable block of time on your resume before jumping ship, you will be explaining that one for quite some time to come.

Be sure you get a reference in writing. You can try to negotiate a severance on your way out. Have a good story for the next round of interviews.

Bob Reuss
Title: VP Business Development
Company: Vaco Raleigh llc
(VP Business Development, Vaco Raleigh llc) |

I have had this happen twice in a long career of senior executive positions. I was hired as CFO of a well funded internet service portal, in retrospect as "window dressing" for an IPO (I had been CFO in two prior IPO's). Withing a few months I uncovered financial misdealings on the part of the CEO and his brother and I immediately resigned. He later was indicted, convicted and sent to federal prison. If anything it was a plus in my career as demonstrating character and integrity.

The other time was entirely my fault in not having done enough personal due diligence to understand what was really expected of me. This emerged within my first week in the position and I met with the CEO and we parted on a friendly basis after one week. I do not list either of these on my resume as the gaps were short and I found another position in short order following both incidents. I do discuss them openly however if the situation merits.

Diane McAllister
Title: Partner
Company: Brown Welch McAllister, LLP
(Partner, Brown Welch McAllister, LLP) |

I've also had this happen. I was hired for a COO position of a Foundation for which I had expertise and experience. However within a month of starting, I was reassigned to a different position within the large organization for which I had no experience. Word of caution ... be extremely careful when there is a change of top leadership (CEO, President, etc.) coming. They may have a different plan for the position you just filled.

Josh Grotstein
Title: COO
(COO, |

This sort of situation is one of the reasons to try to get a "Good Reason" cause built into your employment agreement. That way if your role, title, or reporting structure were to be changed without your approval you could claim "constructive termination" and trigger the clauses in your agreement (e.g., severance, etc.) IF the changes weren't consistent with what you had originally expected. It also helps the parties work through what's to be expected of the role before you come on board.

m phillips-rickey
Title: Director Member Education
Company: Institute of Chartered Accountants of Al..
(Director Member Education , Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta) |

OMG yes and hopefully only once. I started at a position that looked like a great fit. After three days I went to the HR person who was in the office and asked why she had not told me about the real working conditions. She said "how could I both my boss and the boss' boss were in the interview. I updated my resume. When I had my three month review they asked me how it was going and I said. 'awful'. We parted as friends. But I VOW that if i have that pit in my stomach about a job I will take longer to make the decision. I went on to be CEO of a company that I loved right after that.
How I have handled it? I have been totally honest with this short period of employment. It is an indication of resiliance and learning that you can make something good out of it. I am also much more diligent in evaluating a company I consider.

Thomas cherian
Title: Corporate Controller
Company: Rediclinic
LinkedIn Profile
(Corporate Controller, Rediclinic) |

I thought I was the only one in this situation. I have been openly lied to about company and its financial is very hard to explain such a situation without looking like a fool


Get Free Membership

By signing up, you will receive emails from Proformative regarding Proformative programs, events, community news and activity. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact Us.

Business Exchange

Browse the Business Exchange to find information, resources and peer reviews to help you select the right solution for your business.

Learn more

Contribute to Community

If you’re interested in learning more about contributing to your Proformative community, we have many ways for you to get involved. Please email [email protected] to learn more about becoming a speaker or contributing to the blogs/Q&A Forum.