interviewer told me I’m being wasted in my current job

A reader writes:

I interviewed recently for an internal (lateral) transfer. The interview went extremely well. However, I knew that another internal employee (with far more years at this organization) was also interviewing for the position.

I thought I had mentally prepared myself for not getting the position – indeed, I found out this morning that I hadn’t gotten it. However, it was the hiring manager’s feedback that ended up depressing me. She’s a lovely person and told me that it was a very difficult decision to make. She then went on to say that she really felt I was being “wasted” in my current job, that I had so much more potential than the role I’m currently in, etc. I thanked her, but I’m secretly really bummed out about the idea that I’m apparently “brimming” with potential, but stuck in a role with very limited mobility. The kicker is, I really like the organization, and would hate to leave.

You’re letting this one person have far too much power over your thinking!

Did you feel you were being wasted in your current job previously? Do you see real merit to her assessment? You should certainly think over what she said, but this is something you decide for yourself; it’s not something to let other people dictate for you.

Additionally, she might have meant this very differently than how you took it. This is the type of thing people will sometimes say when they really mean, “I think you’re great, and I feel bad that we weren’t able to hire you, and I think you have a promising future.” It probably doesn’t mean, “Ack, what are you doing in your current dead-end job? Get out immediately!”

So I would take this with many, many grains of salt. But regardless, if you’re feeling antsy in your role, there’s no reason that you can’t talk to your manager about what your future growth might look like with your current organization, and what you can do now to start better positioning yourself for that.

And if you weren’t feeling antsy before this person’s comment? I’d just let it go. You’re the judge of your own happiness, not someone else.

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