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Changing job description

Changing job description

Old Apr 9th 2008, 12:12 pm
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Default Changing job description

Each day in my job seems to be bringing 'issues' to the fore.

Today, I found out that they want to change my job description to include even more responsibility for the same salary. They know I am trapped as my work permit is linked to the company and they are saying that have to take on these new tasks in addition to my existing tasks and responsibilities. Trouble is, my role is quite limited and there are not that many companies I could work for unless I diversify and get more qualifications or specialise in something particular. I don't have spare cash or time to take on other qualifications at the moment.

Can I refuse to accept a changed job description?

I've gone from being really happy and on a 'high' last week for my personal achievement, to feeling quite down and trapped this week.
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Old Apr 9th 2008, 7:43 pm
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Default Re: Changing job description

Originally Posted by cappuccino View Post
Today, I found out that they want to change my job description to include even more responsibility........ my role is quite limited and there are not that many companies

....diversify and get more qualifications or specialise in something particular.
You as yourself have said are in a "weak" negotiating position. Therefore you have to look at where you want to be and use your current situation to get there.

Taking on more work for no extra cash does seem harsh for you at the moment but where does this put you in a few months time???

Having been there myself my advice is to suck it up, soak up as much extra work you can that will increase your marketability. Don't make a rash decision when you know your in a weaker bargaining/negotiating position - wait until you are stronger and then strike out.

Remember revenge is best eaten cold.
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Old Apr 9th 2008, 10:12 pm
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Default Re: Changing job description

The sods. It sounds like they're really taking advantage
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Old Apr 9th 2008, 11:16 pm
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Default Re: Changing job description

I don't know much about NZ employment law but when I was working in the UK as a HR Manager whenever a persons role needed to be changed I always asked........is it a reasonable request? For example does this change fit with an overall strategy, is part of a business reorganisation etc? In any event changes to an employees 'terms and conditions' should be negotiated wherever possible.

I think they have got you over a barrel because of your immigration status.

My brother in law just got made redundant after being in Auckland for six months......because he didn't kick up a fuss and accepted the situation the company went out of their way to help him find another job. They may be some value in 'being a model employee' and biding your time. You never know when your compliance might be useful as a bargaining tool later on.

It really annoys me when companies do this because it is very short sighted. In the long term you are more likely to look elsewhere when you are able and they will have wasted time and effort in securing an overseas candidate. You'd be less likely to recommend them to anyone else too and as you work in a specialist field word can spread quite quickly.

Sorry I can't be of more help. I'd sit tight at the moment.
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 8:54 am
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Default Re: Changing job description

Originally Posted by Geelong Gent View Post
You as yourself have said are in a "weak" negotiating position. Therefore you have to look at where you want to be and use your current situation to get there.

Taking on more work for no extra cash does seem harsh for you at the moment but where does this put you in a few months time???

Having been there myself my advice is to suck it up, soak up as much extra work you can that will increase your marketability. Don't make a rash decision when you know your in a weaker bargaining/negotiating position - wait until you are stronger and then strike out.

Remember revenge is best eaten cold.

I would agree with most of that, however I do feel in principal it is wrong just roll over and accept everything they ask without some kind of justification. If you are not happy with what they are asking, it needs to be said. I don't envy your position much, having suffered plenty of this crap in NZ myself. When you are new, you don't have much to negotiate with and you don't want to be sounding like a stroppy stereo-typical whinging pom - it's very hard to say what is the best approach.

Many of us new immigrants have put up with shit, that we would never put up with at home, for the sake of some 'precious' kiwi experience for the CV and fear of jeopardising future NZ careers. So if you can bear it, stick with it for a while, bide your time and see how it goes and then you can tell them to shove it, when you are in a stronger position.

I still hate working in this country, it is so culturally different to anything I ever experienced before and I have yet to make sense of it. I'm not sure I ever will and much to my distaste have pretty much given in, I find myself standing back and letting it flow over the top - there's no point even trying to be good at your job, stepping-up etc when nobody else could give a stuff.
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 9:05 am
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Default Re: Changing job description

Just needed to add that of all the people I have personally known emigrate to NZ, not one of them is in the same job that they started with. A wide range of people in a whole range of different jobs, have all moved on after doing their 'probation' and putting up with some downright dirty tricks and rotten crap in their first job. Apparently Poms have a reputation for not sticking with jobs, and they wonder why.

It's also not so hard to get your work permit amended to another employer.
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 10:41 am
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Default Re: Changing job description

Thanks for all your support and advice. I am still working through my plan of action - I am a strong person and wont let these bullies get the better of me.
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 11:15 am
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Default Re: Changing job description

</lurk mode>

Hiya friend

<devil's advocate>

If they want to change your job description, ask for a new job title.

Then see how they react when you inform them that you have to have a new work permit to continue working for them... and tell them that if they want to change that, and negotiate a pay increase, they'll also have to pay for your new work permit.

</devil's advocate>



<lurk mode>
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 9:31 pm
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Default Re: Changing job description

Maybe there is a lot more to this that you haven't written, because my natural thought when I read your post was that hey, heres an opportunity to prove yourself to your employer and the rewards will come later. Most of us have been in that position, haven't we?

And isn't taking on more responsibility is a positive thing? You become more valuable to the firm, your skills and experience increase, and its all adding to the value of your human capital, even if you don't get paid more from day 1.

Just my thoughts on the matter.
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Old Apr 11th 2008, 8:25 am
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Default Re: Changing job description

Yup Southerner, very astute of you! I have only written about issues that others might find themselves in. I have left out the personal attacks, the bullying, the threats and the misery that they are causing me. I came to NZ for a better way of life, not to be treated like sh!t and work a 50+hour week for sh!t money and no respect.
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Old Apr 11th 2008, 8:48 am
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Default Re: Changing job description

Originally Posted by southerner View Post
Maybe there is a lot more to this that you haven't written, because my natural thought when I read your post was that hey, heres an opportunity to prove yourself to your employer and the rewards will come later. Most of us have been in that position, haven't we?

And isn't taking on more responsibility is a positive thing? You become more valuable to the firm, your skills and experience increase, and its all adding to the value of your human capital, even if you don't get paid more from day 1.

Just my thoughts on the matter.
This is where I think so many people have problems working here. THAT is the way that Kiwis think. A Kiwi would jump at the chance to gain extra experience. I did leave my first job but it was never something I was interested in and only took it so I could get my work permit. I had a horrendous first year in my present job and it's only come to light recently that it was the fault of my 'very good friend'. Well - she got the sack and I got promoted.

I've always ended up doing much, much more than my job description and it's never done me any harm. Back in 1987 when I first went to London, my English boss had 3 Irish girls working for him and he told me that he preferred them because they were 'grafters'. I suppose we were a bit like the Poles really :-)

Working to rule (which is what sticking rigidly to a job description is) might sound like a great idea in theory but it doesn't give you the satisfaction of gaining your employer's and your colleagues' respect and appreciation. Oh, and I work 7.15am to 5pm every day. I very rarely take a lunch break, as is the case with most of the people in my office, and we're happy as pigs in the proverbial. If we want to take a half day or leave early, we just do. If I'm off sick I get paid, even if I'm not entitled to it and the same with holidays.

I'm not saying that the OP's employers are not devious bastards - they may very well be. But the fact is that in NZ job descriptions are changed regularly and it may not be particularly because of immigration status. It's usually because they think you are capable of doing more. It's a back-handed compliment.

Last edited by Batty; Apr 11th 2008 at 8:51 am.
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Old Apr 11th 2008, 9:01 am
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Default Re: Changing job description

Originally Posted by Batty View Post
This is where I think so many people have problems working here. THAT is the way that Kiwis think. A Kiwi would jump at the chance to gain extra experience. I did leave my first job but it was never something I was interested in and only took it so I could get my work permit. I had a horrendous first year in my present job and it's only come to light recently that it was the fault of my 'very good friend'. Well - she got the sack and I got promoted.

I've always ended up doing much, much more than my job description and it's never done me any harm. Back in 1987 when I first went to London, my English boss had 3 Irish girls working for him and he told me that he preferred them because they were 'grafters'. I suppose we were a bit like the Poles really :-)

Working to rule (which is what sticking rigidly to a job description is) might sound like a great idea in theory but it doesn't give you the satisfaction of gaining your employer's and your colleagues' respect and appreciation. Oh, and I work 7.15am to 5pm every day. I very rarely take a lunch break, as is the case with most of the people in my office, and we're happy as pigs in the proverbial. If we want to take a half day or leave early, we just do. If I'm off sick I get paid, even if I'm not entitled to it and the same with holidays.

I'm not saying that the OP's employers are not devious bastards - they may very well be. But the fact is that in NZ job descriptions are changed regularly and it may not be particularly because of immigration status. It's usually because they think you are capable of doing more. It's a back-handed compliment.
There's thin line though between taking on extra responsbilites and work over and above what your job description and salary dictate and doing everything for sod all and that impact apon what you were initially recruited for. Most people are more than happy do that bit extra to impress and learn and in so doing develop themselves, but not so much that your quality of work begins to suffer due to too much pressure of too much responsibility.
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Old Apr 11th 2008, 9:11 am
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Default Re: Changing job description

Originally Posted by simonmarkellis View Post
There's thin line though between taking on extra responsbilites and work over and above what your job description and salary dictate and doing everything for sod all and that impact apon what you were initially recruited for. Most people are more than happy do that bit extra to impress and learn and in so doing develop themselves, but not so much that your quality of work begins to suffer due to too much pressure of too much responsibility.
Well, I've been there and done that too. I used to work for Molton Brown in London. Started working for the Sales Director, ended up working for 5 people and started having problems breathing. I thought I had emphysema but turned out it was stress - I was only 27 at the time and really thought I could cope. I've never fallen into that trap again and yes, there definitely is a fine line. I just think that if you keep your head down and get on with it you will end up getting what you want and as so many of us know, it's very rarely in the first job.
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Old Apr 11th 2008, 12:50 pm
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Default Re: Changing job description

You're not the first to experience this and am I correct in saying you only have to stick it for three months? I was in a similar situation when I first arrived and spoke to my case officer at NZIS who was very supportive and didn't have a problem with me changing employers as long as I had a similar 'job description.'

However, I stuck at it for three months and quit on the 90th day! It was the best feeling and the boss still phoned me a while later and pleaded with me to return......Of course I didn't.

So maybe have a chat with your case officer at NZIS?

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Old Apr 11th 2008, 2:03 pm
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Default Re: Changing job description

Originally Posted by Geelong Gent View Post
You as yourself have said are in a "weak" negotiating position. Therefore you have to look at where you want to be and use your current situation to get there.

Taking on more work for no extra cash does seem harsh for you at the moment but where does this put you in a few months time???

Having been there myself my advice is to suck it up, soak up as much extra work you can that will increase your marketability. Don't make a rash decision when you know your in a weaker bargaining/negotiating position - wait until you are stronger and then strike out.

Remember revenge is best eaten cold.
what an excellent post.
This is exactly what I'd do.
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