Advice on issue at first job

I thought I’d put out my situation to ask for perspective before I try to deal with this problem.

I am a junior dev, self-taught, in my first job. WIthout totally bad-mouthing myself I will admit I am not the best programmer around. However I was still able to get a job. This is saying something.

After a slogging year long job search I finally got this job. Part of the reason I got it I believe was because I was willing to do anything, and this included moving to a small town where I didn’t want to move. Where other programmers would not move. After only 3 months on the job I got hurt at work and so was off on sickness benefits for 2 months. This was not a great way to solidify our early working relationship, work place injury or not.

Over those first first three months while I was working, I was perpetually disappointed with the training, and I felt I was being given useless tasks that didn’t contribute at all to the team. I was also not really learning anything. I brought my dissapointment up twice, very diplomatically I do believe, but nothing changed. I feel that I’ve pushed back as far as I can. But this is all backstory, and not the point of my writing.

This is: after returning to work from my injury I have been moved from programmer to copy editor. I was hired as web developer. My contract says web developer and I moved here to learn web development. I’ve made it clear in the most easy-going way possible that I am not okay with this. And yet I am not now copyediting and will be for the foreseeable future. Maybe not forever, but for minimum of 2-3 months.

I can’t quit because of the difficulty of finding a new job at my level, that being average and new. Taking 3 months off programming at this stage in my career, when I need to be spending 40+ a week to get better, with only the possibility of being reinstated as a developer is a huge stressor for me.

Still, copyeditor is better than nothing. I can’t quit as I know hard it was to find a job as a junior dev. Also being in a small town makes interviewing and such harder.
So, is there anyway I can strong arm my employer into treating me better, but do so in such a way as it does not comes across as demanding or standoffish? I also don’t want to get fired for not being a so-call team player. The team is the reason I was given for being moved in the first place - it’s what the team needed.

If you feel unhappy with your current job, it’s possible you could start job searching again, keeping your current job so you still have an income, and once you find and accept a new one, to resign from your current one.

Granted, I don’t have any experience with what you’re describing, but I would worry more about the opposite. You don’t want to be a doormat who gets rolled over just because your boss doesn’t want to bother finding a new copy editor. Perhaps have a frank discussion with your manager about why you were put in a different position and what they feel your future at the company is like. If there is an issue with your performance, then come up with an actionable plan to shore up those weak points so you can go back to contributing code. If they bring up your sick leave, document everything you can and think about finding a lawyer. If they don’t want to discuss anything with you, then chances are you’ll have to find a new job sooner or later, so you should start now.

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Yeah, that’s a good thought. They should hire a copy editor. This has really hurt my confidence and I don’t know if it’s because I am not cutting it or whatever, and this is why this has happened.

I’ll need to sit down and tell them that I am happy to try and help out the company, but this doesn’t mean helping out for 3 solid months in a role I don’t fit the qualifications for. If they say too bad then at least I know where I stand.

I don’t think the delivery is as important as I thought. The message is the message and I am thinking they will either respect my demands, or they won’t.

Thanks for the thoughts!