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  #1  
Old 30.06.2008, 18:48
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New job in Geneva, hating the experience so far..

Hey,

So I started with a company here 3 months ago as an IT Consultant (Im a developer with a software eng. degree, several Java Certifications, and almost 3 years experience).

To start off with I had applied for a Senior J2EE Consultant, which would mostly be development, design, etc.

To my disappointment I've been
- Working as a Business Analyst
- In Microsoft Technologies

I realise its good to broaden my experience, but this is really going in the wrong career path for me, I would rather follow a technical architect route (in java/open source technologies).

On top of this I am struggling to deal with the management sytle.
So from its very authoritative & highly micro-managed. I feel like I am a kid in school most of the time. It got to the point today where I was told not to use green marker on the flipchart, but instead to use black as some people may be colorblind (Okay, fair enough in a large audience maybe, but we had a meeting with two people..), they cant trust me to use the right color marker apparently...

Everything is like this. I feel like im completely wasting my time. Im asked for example to write up some document, with some say use case diagrams, then my "manager" will oversee i.e "completely change" it, to the smallest detail. There is no trust, delegation of responsibilities, flexibility, or creativeness allowed.

We're 3 of this project right now, and because of the management style I feel like the productivity is that of one person, simply because the manager cannot trust or delegate properly.

Due to all this screwing around, and constantly changing everything after its done means that we get nothing done, which means the guys stay till very often till 9pm or later. I continued to join them out of guilt for a long time but now I promptly leave at 6:15. I dont feel I should be punished due to one man being a control freak.

Apparently I "challanged" my manager in a meeting with the client today which I was completely unaware of this when it was brought to my attention with a very high-school principals attitude, he almost scorned me. Ive never experience this kind of telling off in the workspace, it was very humiliating and embarrassing.

Im very much used to a modern tyle of having the freedom to use your initiative and take responsibilities, make educated decisions yourself.

I have already sounded the first alarm so to speak to my "mentor" a week ago to move to a more technical role which I had intended to be in, so Ill see how that pans out.

But everyday I feel like quitting. Im dedicated to sticking out 6 months, while contacting HR about changing my role etc.

How is it in other companies?

I spent some time studying in france while in university , and I found the same problems with the structure there as I do in this company. This makes me think that its a "french" style.. does this make any sense?

How are things over on the German side?

Ive already gone through the process of finding an apartment, buying furniture etc, and my girlfriend has just started a new job, so im hoping things smooth out or at least find a better company to work for in geneva.

Interested in hearing your thoughts and finding out if this is a Swiss style in general or just a problem with the particular people Im working with.

Cheers,
Alan
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  #2  
Old 30.06.2008, 19:23
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Re: New job in Geneva, hating the experience so far..

It could well just be that they are trying to see how much you can take.

I have found managers in the UK and the US who are similar control freaks.

For years I too have been given the freedom to use my initiative, to question everything and make my own decisions. It's part of the daily workings of some organisations.

I too found it hard to start working for a new organisation. I actually quit because I quickly realised that although I had been led to believe I was there to help improve processes and standards etc. In fact I was only there to reduce the stress on the current team members. Amongst other things. I soon realised that nothing was ever going to change as they actually liked their stress and I was going to be fighting a losing battle all the way.

I would try talking to your boss and explain how you feel and see what he says. It might all be a test or maybe just a personality clash or clash of styles. See where you can find some common ground and work from there. If it does not work try going higher in the company if that is possible.

I have had some difficult managers in the past. One drove me to put in a resignation letter (boy I must sound like a quitter). My senior manager came to see me and the following week I had a new manager. There had apparently been a string of complaints by former team members about said manager and I was the last straw. My replacement manager was in fact one of the best managers I have ever had and it was his first management position.

Otherwise, it's take a look at your contract and see what your terms are and whether you have a trial period etc. Then start looking around for what you really want.

Good luck
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Old 30.06.2008, 20:54
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Re: New job in Geneva, hating the experience so far..

Hi !

I also work in IT and it is an attitude I've also seen in many French or Swiss-French companies. Of course there are exceptions, but what I'm doing in a similar situation is just avoid them and work for companies with a strong international or American culture. Even if you have a French speaking manager there, chances are that he will be more open :-)

Alain

PS : An interesting reference about inter cultural management : http://www.amazon.com/Riding-Waves-C.../dp/0786311258

Last edited by alaind; 30.06.2008 at 21:07.
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Old 30.06.2008, 21:08
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Re: New job in Geneva, hating the experience so far..

Don't quit just yet, the Chinese have a proverb that says something to effect 'ride a horse to find a horse'. You've got a job, you don't like it, it probably won't turn into the job you want, so use it while you find the kind of job you do want.

It certainly sounds like you could have your choice of jobs, so don't despair, just plan your exit.
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Old 30.06.2008, 21:10
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Re: New job in Geneva, hating the experience so far..

It looks like you are stuck in Geneva if your girlfriend has a job
there.

my company is constantly looking for Java programmers. It
is a German speaking company though.
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  #6  
Old 30.06.2008, 21:20
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Re: New job in Geneva, hating the experience so far..

not necessarily a french thing...had the same situation in my previous company and must admit seem to be heading that way again, you have my complete sympathy! btw the new manager is also french but not a native french speaker...
don't quit out of frustration, go for lonely lunches to keep your exposure down and take up a violent sport like squash (imagine the head as you smash it) and find another job...
you've outlined your irritations very clearly, you've thought about this alot. plan a weekend away and focus on your new country while you riffle through the wanted ads.
ps. friends are leaving tomorrow after just 3 months here due to more or less the same situation. it really drives me nuts that they would go to such lengths to interview and employ somebody, import them and then treat them like dirt.
good luck
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Old 01.07.2008, 08:16
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Re: New job in Geneva, hating the experience so far..

Very helpfull posts guys.

Its nice to hear that other people have at least experienced the same challanges.

Also thats good advice "use a horse to find a horse..", thats pretty much my plan. So stay with this company untill I can find a better alternative.

In any case its good life experience to struggle through a difficult situation, and avoid quitting!

Thanks again for your replies.
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Old 01.07.2008, 08:24
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Re: New job in Geneva, hating the experience so far..

Exactly! If you do not have the bad experiences then how do you know the good ones.
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Old 01.07.2008, 11:00
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Re: New job in Geneva, hating the experience so far..

I don't want to be alarmist, but: it's not a great idea to post things like this using something that resembles your real name - You may have the decision of whether to quit or not taken out of your hands.

Anyway stick with the company and try to change roles - most companies hate recruiting and would prefer to change your role than lose you.
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Old 01.07.2008, 11:05
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Re: New job in Geneva, hating the experience so far..

True point,

But all of the above I would be more than happy to express to HR...

And may well do at some point in the future..

Its good to rant a little to just resolve some of the frustration before making any concrete steps.

Alan
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Old 01.07.2008, 11:14
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Re: New job in Geneva, hating the experience so far..

Hmm...sounds like the company pulled the old switcheroo on you: they interview describing cool sounding position A, then they give you a job to do in unglamorous, boring, career-killing position B.

The company lied to you. Get out of there as soon as you can.
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Old 01.07.2008, 11:18
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Re: New job in Geneva, hating the experience so far..

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Hmm...sounds like the company pulled the old switcheroo on you: they interview describing cool sounding position A, then they give you a job to do in unglamorous, boring, career-killing position B.

The company lied to you. Get out of there as soon as you can.
I'd second that opinion, life is way too short to waste your time trying to change them. There should be plenty of IT job opportunities in Geneva.
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Old 01.07.2008, 11:24
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Re: New job in Geneva, hating the experience so far..

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Hmm...sounds like the company pulled the old switcheroo on you: they interview describing cool sounding position A, then they give you a job to do in unglamorous, boring, career-killing position B.

The company lied to you. Get out of there as soon as you can.
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I'd second that opinion, life is way too short to waste your time trying to change them. There should be plenty of IT job opportunities in Geneva.
very easy sentiment guys, but as any fule know, it takes a long time to secure a position in the Swiss market, regardless of how employable you are. *

Ride a horse to find a horse is definitely the best option.

*based on my personal experience over the last 4 months
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Old 01.07.2008, 11:24
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Re: New job in Geneva, hating the experience so far..

...and in true blueshrimp stylee: don't question the methods of those in authority. But you could try and get them to create a post especially for you and then turn it down and tell everyone about it until it falls through.

Micromanagement is generally practised by new managers who lack confidence. Take opportunites to demonstrate and tell how you have tackled similar problems in the past, and how you can happily cover the task. Then once you have demonstrated your ability, such behaviour should ease.

Or you can do nothing ; let them choose the pen colours for you; let the resentment build and watch your stress levels rise until it affects your home life...

dave


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Hmm...sounds like the company pulled the old switcheroo on you: they interview describing cool sounding position A, then they give you a job to do in unglamorous, boring, career-killing position B.

The company lied to you. Get out of there as soon as you can.
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Old 01.07.2008, 11:30
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Re: New job in Geneva, hating the experience so far..

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Micromanagement is generally practised by new managers who lack confidence. Take opportunites to demonstrate and tell how you have tackled similar problems in the past, and how you can happily cover the task. Then once you have demonstrated your ability, such behaviour should ease.

dave
"should", but does it?

I have seen people fired for trying to "work with" an idiot manager like you describe!

Don't waste your time. Good IT people (and engineers) are in high demand (there is a 3,000 IT worker shortage in Switzerland alone!). Why sit around and take bad treatment, when you can be treated with respect and grow in a company that recognizes and appreciates your talents?

"Educate" an idiot manager indeed!

Last edited by blueshrimp; 01.07.2008 at 11:31. Reason: bracket missing
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Old 01.07.2008, 11:32
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Re: New job in Geneva, hating the experience so far..

See what they can offer you elsewhere in the company and if it doesn't look like it's going to happen then move on. You could just leave but you might find exactly the same issues in the next company.

Although job descriptions leave a little to interpretation, you'd be doing well to get a role as a "Senior J2EE Consultant" with less than 3 years experience*.



*Unless you are Blueshrimp, of course
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Old 01.07.2008, 11:32
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Re: New job in Geneva, hating the experience so far..

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very easy sentiment guys, but as any fule know, it takes a long time to secure a position in the Swiss market, regardless of how employable you are. *

Ride a horse to find a horse is definitely the best option.

*based on my personal experience over the last 4 months

I would agree with that.. I'm a few months further down the line than Polorise on that one. In the UK I could have had a job months ago, but things are much slower here and the companies more picky.
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Old 01.07.2008, 11:35
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Re: New job in Geneva, hating the experience so far..

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Don't waste your time. Good IT people (and engineers) are in high demand (there is a 3,000 IT worker shortage in Switzerland alone!).
That's interesting, where did you get that figure from?

Does that mean there is 3,000 IT positions open right now or is it 9,000 (to account for the positions companies create for you on the spot)?
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Old 01.07.2008, 11:40
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Re: New job in Geneva, hating the experience so far..

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I think we would all appreciate some consistency in your wisdom.

dave

And a bit of honesty in yours as well. The second quote is not mine. Don't put words in my mouth, it just shows how weak your arguments are.

Last edited by blueshrimp; 01.07.2008 at 11:46. Reason: typo
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Old 01.07.2008, 11:44
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Re: New job in Geneva, hating the experience so far..

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That's interesting, where did you get that figure from?

Does that mean there is 3,000 IT positions open right now or is it 9,000 (to account for the positions companies create for you on the spot)?

For the more ignorant among us:

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/search/R...st&sid=9271219
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