Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Employment  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 14.12.2011, 17:25
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Nyon
Posts: 28
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 10 Times in 5 Posts
IwantToLiveInGeneva! has earned some respectIwantToLiveInGeneva! has earned some respect
new contract without job description?

So, basically I have been working in the same company for 1 year (started with a 6 month contract, then renewed for other 6 months) as project assistant..my current contract is finishing at the end of December..
from the first of December I have taken over the job of the project manager which has resigned.

I have been offered a permanent contract (although this project is going to finish in maximum 3-4 months..strange!) but my title and salary have not changed at all although I am now performing different tasks and there is not a project manager anymore.
I have asked why and the answer was "well, that was not really a project manager position..so you are still an assistant" (...)

And what is even worse is that no new job description has been written as it was not considered necessary because all the tasks are written in the previous project manager's handover.....

What should I do?
I am not really in the position of not accepting the job (not so easy to find another one, and even if formally my title is still the same, i like this new role and having more responsibilities) but I don't feel that this situation is 100% fair.

Plus even if it's a permanent contract I am so sure I am going to be fired after the project will be finished (which is just in a few months). How easy is it in Switzerland to fire someone with a permanent contract?

What should I do? Do you think I could negotiate in any way?

Should I demand a specific job description?

Thanks for your help.

D.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 14.12.2011, 17:38
Helm's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Zürich<->St.Gallen
Posts: 2,209
Groaned at 13 Times in 13 Posts
Thanked 4,136 Times in 1,371 Posts
Helm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond repute
Re: new contract without job description?

Do you have to go through another tryout time when you accept this permanent contract?

When you change from external to internal ususally you have to go through a probezeit, no matter how many years you worked in the company before. This usually means the possibility of getting fired after 1-3 months after signing, depending on the contract. It would be a pretty dick move though.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Helm for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 14.12.2011, 18:29
lucy_sg's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Zurich
Posts: 677
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 339 Times in 199 Posts
lucy_sg has a reputation beyond reputelucy_sg has a reputation beyond reputelucy_sg has a reputation beyond reputelucy_sg has a reputation beyond repute
Re: new contract without job description?

Quote:
View Post
So, basically I have been working in the same company for 1 year (started with a 6 month contract, then renewed for other 6 months) as project assistant..my current contract is finishing at the end of December..
from the first of December I have taken over the job of the project manager which has resigned.

I have been offered a permanent contract (although this project is going to finish in maximum 3-4 months..strange!) but my title and salary have not changed at all although I am now performing different tasks and there is not a project manager anymore.
I have asked why and the answer was "well, that was not really a project manager position..so you are still an assistant" (...)

And what is even worse is that no new job description has been written as it was not considered necessary because all the tasks are written in the previous project manager's handover.....

What should I do?
I am not really in the position of not accepting the job (not so easy to find another one, and even if formally my title is still the same, i like this new role and having more responsibilities) but I don't feel that this situation is 100% fair.

Plus even if it's a permanent contract I am so sure I am going to be fired after the project will be finished (which is just in a few months). How easy is it in Switzerland to fire someone with a permanent contract?

What should I do? Do you think I could negotiate in any way?

Should I demand a specific job description?

Thanks for your help.

D.
You are right - it is not fair. But, we live very strange days and if you want the job you will have to adapt and accept the things you cannot change. From what you told us, I believe they like your work and need you to finish the project. Otherwise, they would be recruiting someone. So, you might have some leverage to negotiate.

Project manager responsibilities can be very different from industry to industry and company to company. Normally, what makes or breaks a project manager position is the budgetary and team responsibilities. Can you allocate negotiate budget? Can you hire and fire the project team? Or, are just making sure people do what they are supposed to deliver on time and controlling the budget? I would check what other PMs are doing in your comapny and what is the scope of their job. Your employer might be on the right by saying that you have is not really a "proper" PM job. Also, they might just feel you are too junior to hold the full blown tittle as of now.

It is a tough one, but I would suggest that you formalize the hand over list. You can even put it on a e-mail, and state that those are the tasks you have agreed to do. Just take a good look into what you are supposed to do now and see how different it is from the assistant position you were doing. You might not need to have a new one - maybe just tweaking it and adding new stuff.

Regarding the job tittle, instead of asking to be a "manager", you might suggest them to call you a "project coordinator". Your coworkers, suppliers and clients need to know you have a different job and a different role within the project. I know where you are coming from - but "manager" as a different connotations and it might be a lost battle.
__________________
First cycle of The 30 day challenge is now over.
My blogs: Food and Zurich 1200 Fountains
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank lucy_sg for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 14.12.2011, 19:54
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Nyon
Posts: 28
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 10 Times in 5 Posts
IwantToLiveInGeneva! has earned some respectIwantToLiveInGeneva! has earned some respect
Re: new contract without job description?

No, it the contract it is stated I have no probation period..but still, I am so scary to get fired in a few months after the project will end..so it's a permanent contract, but I don't really feel like it is..I still feel very temporary!

I perfectly agree on the "manager" title...I have been really fair and didn't really asked to get the PM title admitting I def have less experience than the previous one (plus I am something like 8-9 years younger than him, so of course despite my ambition, I understand I can't stand at the same level)..but still, I think that asking for a junior project coordinator title was more than fair..but apparently I was wrong.

I mean before I was assisting one PM and one project coord. in two different projects...now I am taking over the role of the PM and focusing on only one project...but formally nothing has changed...

I might try to negotiate a bit on the salary, as this is absolutely unfair keeping the same (low) one as before and having more responsibilities and having to work a lot of extra hours...but I am not so good in negotiating salaries..for some strange reason I feel uncomfortable.

Absolutely agree on the fact that these are strange days and that I should adapt...and trust me..I have been adapting a lot in the last months!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 14.12.2011, 20:12
Wallabies's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Winterthur
Posts: 3,219
Groaned at 311 Times in 176 Posts
Thanked 3,314 Times in 1,577 Posts
Wallabies has a reputation beyond reputeWallabies has a reputation beyond reputeWallabies has a reputation beyond reputeWallabies has a reputation beyond repute
Re: new contract without job description?

You should focus more on proofing that you are a project manager and not worry about the job title or description. Switzerland is a location where titles matter less and delivering the results is what matters.

By raising the subject of the job title isn't right and I need a proper job description you will only raise the question of whether it actually needs that sort of person. The result could very well be we don't need a project manager or if we do then we should recruit an actual project manager.

So use the situation as an opportunity and build your reputation to a point that they realise they absolutely need you. Then you should appply the pressure via you stakeholders and others. You will get more respect and let the culture of the people work for you not appear as a foreigner who is only interested in titles and the like.

One of the best lessons I had early on here was when I heard a swiss gentlemen throw a phone down after he had just got a voice message for someone in the US who a job title the length of the bible. His comment was rather pointed at the fact that a fancy title doesn't proof you can deliver.

I am likely to start a real interesting thread on this posting but it siummarises what I have seen and learnt in my short few years here
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 15.12.2011, 00:41
miniMia's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: romandie
Posts: 9,971
Groaned at 101 Times in 92 Posts
Thanked 9,106 Times in 4,522 Posts
miniMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond repute
Re: new contract without job description?

Quote:
View Post
No, it the contract it is stated I have no probation period..but still, I am so scary to get fired in a few months after the project will end..so it's a permanent contract, but I don't really feel like it is..I still feel very temporary!

I perfectly agree on the "manager" title...I have been really fair and didn't really asked to get the PM title admitting I def have less experience than the previous one (plus I am something like 8-9 years younger than him, so of course despite my ambition, I understand I can't stand at the same level)..but still, I think that asking for a junior project coordinator title was more than fair..but apparently I was wrong.

I mean before I was assisting one PM and one project coord. in two different projects...now I am taking over the role of the PM and focusing on only one project...but formally nothing has changed...

I might try to negotiate a bit on the salary, as this is absolutely unfair keeping the same (low) one as before and having more responsibilities and having to work a lot of extra hours...but I am not so good in negotiating salaries..for some strange reason I feel uncomfortable.

Absolutely agree on the fact that these are strange days and that I should adapt...and trust me..I have been adapting a lot in the last months!
You can always get fired for no reason at all even on a permanent contract. Clearly they don't want to give you the title of PM as you don't have enough experience. You are now like "assistant level 2".

If I were you I'd take the job, prove myself and when the project is over they will see that I do have the skills to do the work and they will keep me on. In the meantime, I would keep looking for another job.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 15.12.2011, 05:58
Treverus's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Work in ZH, live in SZ
Posts: 12,352
Groaned at 363 Times in 293 Posts
Thanked 23,675 Times in 8,568 Posts
Treverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond repute
Re: new contract without job description?

Quote:
View Post
No, it the contract it is stated I have no probation period..but still, I am so scary to get fired in a few months after the project will end..so it's a permanent contract, but I don't really feel like it is..I still feel very temporary!
Trust your gut - just view it as a temporary job with the chance to be extended... but on the other hand has every coin two sides: You are treated unfairly, but on the upside are you then probably the cheapest PM they have by far. So if they have to fire somebody it might very well be somebody else then.

On the "how do I negotiate" part: Negotiations are somewhere between an art and a strategy game. Your chances are better if you have more options. As soon as your boss knows that you a) cannot afford to be unemployed and b) don't have any other offers... he knows that he can dictate the rules.
Easy solution: Look for other jobs. Not necessarily to leave the job you have, but to improve your position to negotiate. Imagine you get an offer as "junior PM" or similar. You can then go to your boss again and simply say "Look, I got a job offer and am considering if I should leave or stay here. Do you want to keep me? Then make me not only work as a project manager but also give me the title, role description and at least a raise of x"...
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 15.12.2011, 07:30
KeinFranzösisch's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 2,198
Groaned at 63 Times in 38 Posts
Thanked 2,549 Times in 1,115 Posts
KeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond repute
Re: new contract without job description?

Quote:
View Post
plus I am something like 8-9 years younger than him,
...this is where the American in me is going to show...

AGE has NOTHING to do with ABILITY or QUALIFICATION. Don't let it be a reason to undermine yourself.

If I were in your shoes, being given a PM function without the appropriate title and compensation, I would throw a fit. They need to be transparent with you if this is what they are doing, and why they are doing it this way. You're being asked to step into a sort of leadership role but not get paid as one. Why should you cooperate?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 15.12.2011, 13:49
miniMia's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: romandie
Posts: 9,971
Groaned at 101 Times in 92 Posts
Thanked 9,106 Times in 4,522 Posts
miniMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond repute
Re: new contract without job description?

Quote:
View Post
...this is where the American in me is going to show...

AGE has NOTHING to do with ABILITY or QUALIFICATION. Don't let it be a reason to undermine yourself.

If I were in your shoes, being given a PM function without the appropriate title and compensation, I would throw a fit. They need to be transparent with you if this is what they are doing, and why they are doing it this way. You're being asked to step into a sort of leadership role but not get paid as one. Why should you cooperate?
Although I agree with you in principal. I'd bet the guy doesn't have the same qualifications as the PM. Sounds like the company has found themselves without a PM for a 4 month project and they don't want to hire another PM for just 4 months so they are throwing this kid in there to see if he can get through the end of the project.

Sometimes getting the experience without the title is a also very good thing.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank miniMia for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 16.12.2011, 23:11
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Nyon
Posts: 28
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 10 Times in 5 Posts
IwantToLiveInGeneva! has earned some respectIwantToLiveInGeneva! has earned some respect
Re: new contract without job description?

Quote:
View Post
...this is where the American in me is going to show...

AGE has NOTHING to do with ABILITY or QUALIFICATION. Don't let it be a reason to undermine yourself.
I agree with you...but this is Switzerland..if you look at job descriptions most of the times they asks between 5-10 year experience for assistant positions (why would you want to hire someone that after 10 years is still willing to work as assistant?)...so yes, I think that here a young age is definitely an issue!

anyway..my manager is really giving me a hard time..he keeps saying this project is not important, is easy to manage etc etc..he's making me feel completely useless, but then..why did he decide to keep me? and why with a permanent contract? he could have extended it for other 3-4 months..ah, people are really strange.

on top of that he has even told me (completely out of the blue) that in his opinion i am not really interested in working for this company and that the only thing i want is some stability (which in any case I think it is in the human nature) and this is the only reason why I want to stay there...

probably i should really be brave and leave the company...but I like the project I am working on (and all the other people involved in it)...well, anyway..I could keep writing for ever, but I don't really like acting like a victim...let's see how it goes!

thanks all for your replies!
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Looking for information [Job description definition] BuggedSee Employment 3 31.10.2010 20:24
Salary - Job description negotiations Wasted Employment 9 30.07.2010 10:28
Change in Job Description - rights? moongoddess Employment 4 07.05.2010 20:17
Test is different than job description?!? kutyafal Employment 12 23.05.2007 15:01


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 11:23.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0