Job description/being given inappropriate tasks question

Home Forum Chat Forum Job description/being given inappropriate tasks question

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • Job description/being given inappropriate tasks question
  • brooess

    I’m contracting in an organisation which is well-known to be dysfunctional in many ways. We have new chief exec who clearly has a mandate and the attitude to sort all the madness out. I suspect he’ll succeed but it’s going to be painful. Lots of fearful game-playing people will resist the change…

    Either way, after 17 years in marketing, as a communications planner and a very good track record of delivering good quality strategic work, my latest role has me doing financial admin – filling in forms and getting them signed so we can pay someone some money.

    it’s neither appropriate for my skill set, experience or in the job description. I’ll look like a really weak candidate for my next role if that’s what I tell them I acheived in this role.

    The line manager who insists I do this has had all her direct reports leave her and is known to be useless at dealing with anything which requires her to make a decision which requires any kind of pushing back at more senior people. But like lots of big corps, this very obvious problem’s not being dealt with.

    In 3 weeks time, a big re-org comes through so with luck I’ll get a more appropriate role, but I’m not betting on it. If I’m asked to continue with the budget admin I want to refuse on the basis it’s not appropriate for my experience or skill set and is effectively a misuse of company money as they pay me a rate which is appropriate for my 17 years and proven ability as a marketing planner.

    Question is, how to best argue this with HR. I suspect they’ll go for the easy option and say like it or lump it. In which case I’m off.

    But I like working here most of the time and the change we’re going through should give me the opportunity to do some interesting stuff – so I’d rather stay…

    How best to get HR to be adult about this, listen to my valid concerns and help me find an appropriate role?


    How did you end up in that job, did you object to it when you got it? Arguably if they were moving you into it for the first time you could opt for redundancy instead if your original role was being denied to you, however you may be on a hiding to nothing if you have been doing it for months.

    I find the best start is to have an honest conversation with HR or your manager about it and see where you go with that; sometimes people are quite surprised that things can be relatively civilised.

    HR should at least listen to you though. If they give you short shrift (note, that’s not the same as listening and saying “tough”) then take it higher as they have a duty to deal with your complaint rather than ignore it.


    I’m contracting

    You’re a contractor?


    I am confused as well

    1. Are you an external supplier? In which case why are you talking to HR?

    2. You work for them – how /why were you redeployed and what does your contract say?


    I’m contracting in-house. I look and sound like a perm person but am not PAYE with the end client.
    No-one stays in the role for more than a few months because there’s no focus to it and it’s so badly managed. I’m third in the role in a year – I doubt they could make it perm – it would cost too much to recruit perm people every 6 months!

    Contract says 7 months in this role and the job description is a bit vague but certainly doesn’t state financial admin is part of it.

    I will have to make my feelings known to her first, but expect I’ll have to go to HR as I’ve no faith the line manage rwill take my request seriously – it’ll be easier for her to try and fob me off/refuse to listen, than to give me appropriate work…

    Premier Icon davetrave

    Does the financial responsibility require you to have any specialist knowledge/training to deal with it or is it really simple, billy basics maths? If the former, and you’re not trained the argument should be based on that and the risk of financial impropriety from having somebody untrained dealing with finances…

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth

    Easy answer: buff up your CV and head off elsewhere.

    Harder answer: be proactive about changing things. Start with your boss and work out how you can help her get into the right place.


    I am a contractor and I would.

    a) Do the work best I can.
    b) Finish the 7 months
    c) Leave on good terms and not burn my bridges.
    d) Only ever go back if I had nothing else to go to !!!

    At the end of a day your a business and the idea of a business is to make money. If you want a career be a permie 🙂



    I would say it depends on whether the admin is related to marketing spend, and whether it takes up a significant proportion of your time. The firm’s view may be that they want someone with experience to do the sign off on marketing spend, and have decided that that’s you. In many organisations I’ve seen, an element of admin (be it financial, HR, H&S etc) falls to someone in the middle of the organisational structure: the junior people are too inexperienced / unqualified to be trusted with it, while the senior people dodge it by only doing more “strategic” stuff, or simply because they can. Having to do admin is a complaint of many in the middle.

    If you are _only_ doing admin rather than anything more creative / productive, then that’s a different matter.


    If you are _only_ doing admin rather than anything more creative / productive, then that’s a different matter.

    Not only, but mainly. This part of the role has no authority. I fill in the forms for someone else to sign…

    I have no problem doing the admin for something I’m overall responsible for e.g. when I was in ad agencies I had no problem managing the invoicing and I have no problem managing status reports and status meetings when I’m responsible for delivering a project – it’s being given admin for no real reason, which then takes up time I could be spending on adding proper value commensurate with my abilities and experience…


    Are you working through your own limited company either direct or via an agency? If so bazzer’s response is the best way to go.

    If you’re not (are you fixed-term permie?) talk to HR.

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes

    Go permie or go home!

    Alternatively, since the financial admin is beneath you, pay a cheaper contractor to do it for you, pocket the difference and go get another contract.


    You’re a contractor and you’re complaining about the work that you’re being asked to do because it’s beneath (not in the snobbish sense) your role as I understand it.

    I’d be interested to understand the law here but given that you have a contractual relationship with the company rather than as an employee, would you have any rights on that? I’d have thought that your contract only states that they’re paying you to provide certain skills rather than to help further your career or provide work on the level that you’re happy with.

    Sounds to me like you should do what many/most contractors do and take the cash and not worry or alternatively, find a new contract. Or go permanent.


    You’re a contractor, suck it up. If you want career progression then get off the gravy train and go permie 😉


    You’re a contractor, so you are just there to provide a temporary resource to cover a short term issue, unless you have some kind of specialist skill which is in short supply.

    This short term issue sounds like they need someone to do this admin role and for one reason or another you’ve ended up there. If you dont like it you only have two options

    1) Suck it up until you find another role and/or things change within the business
    2) Leave and pursue options which you feel are appropriate to your skillset.

    HR wont care as you’re not an employee, and your manager will probably feel the same as she has an admin role that needs to be filled, whether thats done by you or someone else probably makes no odds.

    If you worked for me an raised these concerns i’d either see if there was any roles in the business you could do (assuming you are good at what you do), or say thanks but maybe you should leave.

    Depends what option you want to take?

    Premier Icon Cougar

    Easy answer here:

    1: Do you like the money you make?
    2: Is there alternative employment you can easily get to make the same for the same effort?

    If your answers are anything other than “yno” for a: and “yes” for b: then pipe down and accept it.

    My role as a sales manager also seems to have had some “mission creep” as the market/role/company evolves out of the recession but I deal with it.

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)

The topic ‘Job description/being given inappropriate tasks question’ is closed to new replies.