When you’re in the thick of your job search, counting down the days until you’ll finally be able to put in your resignation letter, any job offer seems like a good job offer. But, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The last thing you want is to find yourself wondering six weeks into your new job, “Did I make a mistake?”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked someone, “When did you know your current position was no longer a good fit for you?” Only for them to chuckle and say, “About a few weeks in…”
There are always warning signs before you accept a bad job.
To help you avoid this, here are five warning signs you shouldn’t accept the job offer, no matter how much you’re ready to leave your current position:
The responsibilities don’t excite you.
One of the main reasons you’re probably looking for a new role right now is because you’re bored in your current position. The work isn’t as challenging as you’d like and there are no signs of things improving anytime soon.
Likewise, accepting a job that doesn’t excite you will only lead you to experience the same problem, elsewhere. Sure, you may be good at product management, but if product management doesn’t excite you, and that’s the main function of the job, it won’t be very fulfilling. If you don’t feel excited or even nervous about the challenges the new role offers, you probably shouldn’t take it.
The responsibilities are vague.
If you’re the type of person who likes ambiguity, this might not be a problem for you. But, most people like clear expectations and structure. If the company has yet to clearly articulate your responsibilities after several interviews and conversations, it may be in your best interest and sanity to turn the position down.
Accepting a job offer without knowing exactly what you’ll be doing is a recipe for resentment and confusion. It’ll also be incredibly hard to hit the ground running if you don’t know what you should be running towards. A lack of clarity in the hiring process means there will be a lack of clarity on the job. Save yourself the headache.
There’s a lack of career growth.
Career growth is essential to career fulfillment. You should have a clear understanding of how career growth is possible for you before you accept a job offer. This could include learning opportunities, chances for promotions, tuition reimbursement, lateral moves to other teams, or whatever fits your vision for career growth. If the company shows no sign of the type of career growth you desire, you’re accepting a dead-end job. Regardless of how fancy or cool the company or role may be, eventually you’ll feel stagnant and want to look for a new job elsewhere. If stability and growth are important to you, it’s best to turn the role down.
The hiring process is all over the place.
One minute they’re asking you to come in for an interview. The next minute, you don’t hear from them for 8 weeks. Then, next thing you know, they want you to come in for another interview. Then, randomly, 10 days later, they offer you the job. Absolutely not. If they can’t efficiently and effectively tackle the hiring process, that’s a red flag. If they don’t have an organized process for the people they haven’t hired yet, they probably don’t have an organized process for giving raises and promotions to the people they have hired. Run the other way.
Everyone else is leaving.
If it seems like people are constantly in and out of the company based on your research and interviews, you should be concerned. A quick look on LinkedIn will tell you if people tend to leave the organization quickly. If the people who currently work there are looking for an exit, why should you be looking for an entrance?
Similarly, if most people don’t genuinely look happy around the office; if you can hear a pin drop; if the interviewer lacks excitement about their role, the company, and the mission, it’s probably not a place you want to spend most of your days.
Too often, when looking for a new job, you’re focused on the immediate gratification of landing a job offer. But that joyous feeling can only last for so long. Rather than just concentrating on getting any new job, start focusing on the big picture and make sure the job you’re accepting meets your career goals and fits your needs.
Adunola Adeshola coaches high-achievers on how to take their careers to the next level and secure the positions they’ve been chasing. Grab her free guide.
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