What Do I Do When I’m Moved to a Job I Don't Want Because It's Seen as a 'Development' Opportunity?

Industry experts weigh in on how to handle this predicament
Industry Matters Newsletter
Andrea Alexander
Andrea Alexander, Technical Service & Development Manager, Shin-Etsu Silicones of America

I chuckle at this question because I was definitely put in several situations such as this…and sadly, lost out on valuable growth opportunities at the time. It is IMPERATIVE that you step out of what you think you need and try to see it from the perspective of the person who has offered this role. Arrogance often stunts growth, so please try to open yourself up to what is being laid before you. It is ok to feel whatever emotions you experience but work through it and don’t allow it to take hold. True opportunity is revealed when you are able to overcome your worst enemy (yourself) and realize doors are not being shut, but rays of sunshine are peeking through doors waiting to be opened. 

Norton Peet
Norton Peet, ACS Career Consultant

Do your best to good-naturedly move through this assignment. Make sure that the experience is duly and specifically noted as a "development opportunity" on your resume and make reference to this completed assignment to management.  

Natalie Lafranzo
Natalie LaFranzo, Vice President - Market Development, Cofactor Genomics

There are two options in this scenario - the first is to find the silver lining and learn what you can from the opportunity. Embrace the new skills, new colleagues, and new challenges as opportunities for growth. If you’ve tried this, and it’s not fulfilling, then start the job search! It’s always easier to find a job when you have one - so keep up the effort until you find your next step.  

This article has been edited for length and clarity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of their employer or the American Chemical Society.

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