GUEST COMMENT: On the first day of my new job, I was informed a better candidate had replaced me

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Musical chairs

Musical chairs

This site recently published an article about how to leave your job properly.

Sometimes, however, when you leave is not in your control.

I was recently laid off due to a downsizing exercise at a bank. But in reality, my job was eliminated before I even started two years ago. On my first day, I was informed that I’d been assigned to a role in a completely different group to the one I’d expected to join, and in an area in which I had no experience.

I was told this had happened because they’d found a ‘better’ candidate for the role I was expecting to fill. Unfortunately, I’d changed jobs quite a few times and was in no position to turn them down.

Changing the job specifications of a new hire seems to be a trend in financial services. Since then, the same thing has happened to me several times. As a new joiner, it always leaves me in a difficult position with my new manager: if I prove to be better than the person who displaced me, it makes the manager look stupid. If I don’t prove to be better, it vindicates their decision and makes it look like they did the right thing.

Does anyone else have experience of this? How would you suggest dealing with it?