A friend shared a phenomenal article from U.S. News & World Report about warning signs that you are interviewing with a bad company. Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, the author, describes ten pieces of advice that everyone should heed. Some recommended steps were as simple as online research and contacting the Better Business Bureau to more in-depth efforts of speaking with current/former employees and researching industry journals for information on the company.
I especially enjoyed the wisdom of items #4 and #5: warning signs during an interview and asking family and friends about their opinions. The reason I liked these two pieces of advice is they align with my thought of the job search process being similar to dating. In the series of blog posts about dating and the job search, I did not cover warning signs, however Ms. Barrett-Poindexter highlights how to watch out for a bad date/job.
Often when one is in the throes of a new romance, the smitten individual will overlook most or all of the negative aspects of the new partner. The love-struck individual focuses only on the positives.
- I realize she is a slob, but I am sure she will be neater once we are married
- He spends more money than I am comfortable with, but I am sure that will change as he matures
- She was rude to my friends, but she will come around once she spends more time with them
<<buzzers screaming>>Warning, Warning, Warning<<red lights flashing>>
Dating warning signs are present but we often overlook them or believe the other person will change with time. Early in relationships, we often see and hear what we want to see and hear. The same is true of the job search – there are jobs and employers out there where warning signs are evident but which we choose to ignore. We see and hear what we want to see and hear about a job or employer because the excitement of having a job blinds us.
The article details many of these signs and job seekers should step back and take an objective view when evaluating a job prospect. If that is not possible, ask your friends and family about their honest impression of the opportunity or employer. Just as a concerned parent will find it hard to refrain from telling a teenage daughter how they feel about her new boyfriend, family and friends will tell you what concerns them about your new job. One just has to be open to hearing what may be hard to accept.
If you are interviewing for a position and something does not feel right, trust your instincts and ask the interviewer for more information. Ask your friends and family for their opinions. Trust your instincts. Finally, be open to hearing the good and the bad about the job (and date). No job/employer/partner is perfect, we all have issues. Find out about those issues early and decide if you can accept the job/employer/partner and the issues that come along. That way you go into the relationship with your eyes open and your expectations aligned.