If you are a desperate job seeker you’ll probably feel like you should accept any job offer, but should you really? These are ten signs you shouldn’t.
Getting a job can be quite hard no matter how dedicated you are to your job search. Competition can be ferocious in this day and age, and it can be extremely hard to get yourself noticed by hiring managers and recruiters. Many qualified jobseekers remain without a job for a long time which can make even the most patient jobseeker restless and drive them to accept job offers they normally wouldn't.
But, no matter how desperate you are, you should think twice before accepting a questionable job offer. A bad career choice can destroy your professional future. If you are interested in making a name for yourself in your industry make sure that you target companies with a strong company culture and concrete growth strategies for their employees.
To avoid positions that could hurt your career make sure that you actively look for warning signs during a job interview. Focus on impressing the hiring manager, but also ensure that you get the information you need to make an informed decision.
After all, you don’t want to commit to a company that is going nowhere. Learn which signs you need to look out for so that you can ensure the success of your career.
1. Everyone in the Office Is New
This warning sign only applies to companies that have been around for quite some time but have not retained any old employees, it most definitely does not apply to new companies where by definition everyone needs to be new.
A lot can be said about a company that’s unable to retain its employees since most people are looking for some kind of stability in their work environment and not everyone wants to hop from job to job. So if the company you’ve applied to only has new employees it could mean that something is going on there.
Whether it’s bad management, lack of growth opportunities, perks, or a bad company culture, you definitely don’t want to get involved with this company so make sure that you don’t accept this job offer.
Of course, you won’t be able to know whether everyone is new or not unless someone mentions it, but even if they don’t, you can always ask how long the oldest employee has been with the company.
2. Current Employees Are Bad-Mouthed
An employer should always stand by their employees, especially in front of strangers, as this shows his or her support towards his or her team, as well as their approach toward management. So if the current employees are bad-mouthed during the interview, it is a big red stay away sign.
To grow in a professional environment you need the support of your manager, and if the manager isn’t supportive from the start, this could mean bad things for your future. Not only will you end up miserable because being second guessed at work always results in anxiety and stress, but also because you won’t be able to grow into the professional you want.
3. The Company Does Not Seem to Have a Specific Goal
Setting up a company is no easy task, and it requires vast amounts of resources which is why people who start companies have a clear idea of what they want to achieve in the industry. This clear vision is a sign of professionalism and good management, and you should always get behind companies that know where they are headed.
If you have just received a job offer from a company that seems lost, and you have no idea where it’s going, or if its goals keep changing and shifting from one target to the next, it could mean that the company is run by people who have no entrepreneurial spirit in them. Working for a company like that could hurt your chances of being someone that matters in the industry.
4. They Are Trying to Convince You That This Is Your Dream Job
If you sense that the hiring manager is trying to oversell the job, that’s probably because they are. If they promise you that there will be no limit to what you can do and that you’ll be your own boss you should start worrying.
Even if you are applying for a managerial position and have vast experience, this attitude is not justified as everyone requires time to adapt and a good boss knows that no one can start from the top.
Moreover, you should be the one trying to convince them that you are what they are looking for. If it’s the other way round you should always be suspicious, and you shouldn’t accept a job offer before spending some time shadowing other people in the company.
5. The Job Has Been Advertised for a While
It’s probably happened to you as it’s happened to all of us. You go through job boards on a daily basis, and there’s one job post that keeps being advertised. At some point, and after much disappointment from other job applications, you decide to apply for that position and get called in for an interview.
It’s key that you remain mindful of this position and that you ask all the important questions during this job interview as you need to uncover why the job has remained vacant for so long before you accept the job offer.
Some job posts are recurring because the jobs are too demanding, and the company has been unable to find someone who can take over the work duties, or maybe it’s because the company is scrutinising every employee looking for someone who fulfils all the requirements. Whatever the case, it’s important that you know what you are getting yourself into before you start.
6. There Isn’t a Clear Progression Path
Serious companies see their employees as an investment; they are interested in helping them grow as they know that this will benefit the company as well. So, they have plans for their employees to become experienced, grow professionally and help the company move forward.
And this is why you should try to get a job with a company that fits this description. Companies who are not interested in helping their employees grow usually see their employees as expendable equipment that can be replaced and fail to understand how a good employee can help the company push forward, which means that in a company such as this you’ll be deprived of any growth opportunities.
To ensure that the company has plans for you ask them where they see the person they are going to hire in five years. If they don’t have a clear path or seem to be completely indifferent to this question you can rest assured that this company does not see their employees as an investment.
7. The Hiring Manager Does Not Seem Happy With the Company
Keep in mind that you can learn a lot from the hiring manager’s attitude towards the company. If they seem happy and excited, there’s a good chance that their job satisfaction levels are high and that they enjoy working for this company.
If on the other hand, the hiring manager seems bored or miserable, it could be that their job or the company contributes nothing to their professional happiness and if you are interested in making a career out of your work you should probably avoid this company.
If you are not sure how the hiring manager feels about their position you can ask them blatantly about it. Ask them what they love and what they hate the most about the company and if there’s no boss present, there’s a good chance that the hiring manager will be honest with you which could help you make a decision.
8. They Ask You For Money
No serious company would ever dream of asking their employees to pay for anything, and this includes paying to have your background checked out or to be trained. In fact, most serious companies will even pay you during your training so if you are asked to give money for anything during the interviewing process be warned that it may be a scam and avoid it like the plague.
9. The Boss Is a Micromanager
Although having a micromanager as a boss may seem preferable to being unemployed, the reality is that a micromanaging boss could hurt your career in ways you can’t even imagine. An employee needs their space to grow professionally and if your boss likes to control everything this could impede your efforts to grow, so make sure that you think twice before accepting a job offer from a company with a micromanaging boss.
To understand if the boss is a micromanager ensure that you observe closely how people react when the boss is mentioned or is around. For example, do people grunt when the boss’s name gets mentioned or do they roll their eyes? Do they avoid looking directly at him or her when he or she enters a room or does the room become dead quiet whenever the boss gets into the room? All these could help indicate the employees’ attitude towards their boss, and it could help you make a more informed decision. Also, if you are applying with a company of no more than fifteen people and the boss accompanies the hiring manager during the preliminary interview it could be a good indication as to whether the boss is a micromanager or not.
10. The People In the Office Seem Miserable
It’s important to select an office with high energy and enthusiastic employees because in an office like that you can grow professionally and be happy. So if you are interviewing for a company where people pass you by without even so much as glancing at you, you should think twice before accepting the job offer.
If you are not sure what to make of the company culture, ask the hiring manager if you can get a tour of the office. This will allow you to observe employees, and it will help you figure out what it’s like to spend a day in that office. So if for example, it’s dead quiet and people are not greeting each other with enthusiasm, it could be that the company culture is lacking and that you should probably reject the job offer.
Would you rather be in a dead end job than continue your job search a bit longer? Are there are any other warning signs that I missed let us know in the comment section below...