6 Warning Signs that It Is Not the Job for You
[Editor's note: If you recently lost your job, take a look at Wise Bread's collection of tips and resources for the recently laid off.]
You’re scouting around for a decent job. While you realize that great jobs are hard to find, you’re avoiding getting into a position that really stinks. Here are 6 tell-tale characteristics of generally lousy jobs, and why it may be best to cut-and-run.
They run vague ads. While you can’t always expect potential employers to give a detailed bio in a 3 inch ad-space, there are subtle ways to let you know who you may be working for. Classifieds that don’t even let you know what industry you’ll be working for are difficult to prepare for, and worse yet, they can often be bait for MLM, or scams (see more info in my other article). In short, you should at least know if you’ll be working in a restaurant, as compared to filing copies of credit applications. Very different ballgames, indeed.
They accept anyone. I once answered a job ad that replied with an interview appointment the same day. Since it was for a mid-level management position, I showed up in my best “interview suit” and brought extra resumes on linen paper. Looking around the reception area, I saw many other “prospects” for the same job I was interviewing for. Many were wearing sweats, and one guy didn’t even speak English. I should have walked then, as they were obviously not looking for a mid-level manager, but door-to-door salesmen. Tricky.
They have no known address. This one seems obvious, but it took me by surprise. That same job I mentioned earlier with the vague address and a waiting room full of unqualified applicants didn’t show up in my local phone book. The interview took place in an unmarked office building, and there was no corporate branding anywhere inside or out. So I shouldn’t have been shocked to find that it was a front for a door-to-door promotions company. When they told me I was hired, and would I like to see the “operations side” of the manager position, I was taken by company car to the dumpy side of town to try to sell pizza coupons. Yikes!
(For a similar story on this kind of job scam, see this crazy video by Fox6 San Diego News. Link at http://www.fox6.com/mediacenter/local.aspx?videoID=418811)
They run the same job ad week after week. And the week after that. Did you ever notice that some big companies run the exact same ad (with slightly different wording) almost regularly? There may not even be a job opening, but the high rate of turnover at this jobs almost guarantees they’ll be needing someone soon. Keeping a constant supply of new hires in the pipeline secures their chances of having someone trained and ready to work these jobs at any given time – if only for a few months.
A google search turns up trash. I don’t believe everything I read on the web, but I am inclined to seriously reconsider working for any company with their own "this company sucks dot com" website. 150+ similar complaints by previous employees should be a sign that things aren’t on the up-and-up. I also check out Vault.com and RipOffReport to see if I’m going to be working for a product or service that generally makes people mad.
They don’t treat you well at the interview or application appointment. I know that when times are tough, it seems like just about any job should suffice. Take it from me, however, that a hiring manager who can’t give you common courtesy probably won’t be the best person to work for. Rude receptionists, inconsiderately late HR reps, and a general feeling of frustration in a potential workplace are usually signs of an office-wide dilemma. Unless you’re craving workplace drama, it might be best to go with your gut and skip a questionable opportunity.
As much time as most people spend searching, applying, and interviewing during the job hunt, you owe it to yourself to be sure you’re next job is a keeper. If you can’t land that killer opportunity without sacrificing your most basic standards, it may be best to keep looking. (And there are plenty of decent gigs to get you by in the meantime.)