We’ve all heard it by now. “No one wants to work.”
Except, that isn’t true.
The most laughable article I came across recently was a politician saying no one wants to work because they’re flush with the stimulus received 2 years ago. There might be some merit to people having more savings now, but that is because Covid-19 altered the spending habits of almost everyone.
But then, to swing the pendulum the other way, the cost of living has gone up exponentially since then, depleting a lot of that savings.
The statement “No one wants to work” is flat out, a lie.
Not only are we wanting to work, but we want to be treated fairly.
Here are 8 red flags that indicate you will not be treated well and you’ll be unhappy if you accept the job offer.
1. Your Instincts Are Saying “NO! BAD IDEA!”
As the idiom goes, trust your gut.
When did you get a bad feeling? Was it during the interview process? Did someone rub you the wrong way for no reason? If you were there in person, how did the other employees seem? Or were you purposefully kept from seeing anyone other than human resources? If the process has all been online, how adept are they at the technology they expect you to be knowledgeable in? What are the Glassdoor, Google, or ZipRecruiter reviews? Reviews from both customers and employees can tell you all you need to know about a business.
Whenever it happened, if your gut told you this is going to be a bad idea, it is probably right and you should decline the offer. There might be absolutely nothing wrong with the company and it has all glowing reviews. But something innately is telling you this isn’t going to be a good fit and that’s okay.
Now, with the job market being so open, you have options and employers need to step up if they want to attract and retain high-quality talent.
2. The Verbal Agreement Isn’t in Line with The Written
This is a sneaky tactic and highly insulting.
I’m here to tell you a comprehensive written offer is a MUST before you accept.
Hiring personnel and job descriptions can give you a base salary for the position and information on benefits the company offers.
What they verbally tell you, or what the hiring post lists, prior to a written offer may be starkly different.
Let’s use a hypothetical situation. The interview has gone great and you have a feeling the hiring manager is going to offer you the job because they begin talking about pay and benefits.
You’re told the pay range for the position is $55,000-$65,000 annually and if you work 35 hours a week you’ll be considered a full-time employee with benefits kicking in after 90 days.
You go home expecting to be closer to the $65,000 range as you have a ton of experience and education behind you. You’re excited at this new prospect as it feels like it will open many doors for you.
Then the offer letter comes in.
The company wants to start you at $50,000 because you haven’t held a title exactly like the one they want you to fill.
Oh, and you’ll be working 32 hours a week. You’ll still get some benefits, at the benevolence of the company since they are not legally required to give part-time employees any benefits at all.
Wait, what?! That is NOT in line with the expectations you were given in the job listing or the verbal information in the interview.
Bad news. Verbal agreements and online job listings don’t mean a whole lot.
When a business pulls a bait and switch like this, it is best to run and not look back. They are untrustworthy from the beginning and will likely continue to make promises without ever delivering.
3. Turnover Rate is Alarming
Turnover happens at every single business. The average rate of total turnover last month was 3.9%.
It is fair, and completely legal, to ask what the turnover rate is during your interview. A roundabout way to ask this question is “Why is this position open?” Did the previous employer get promoted? Did they find a greener pasture? There is a chance it’s a brand-new position.
A good company will give you an honest answer.
A not-so-good company will give you a vague non-answer because they either have no idea, in which case this points to a large disparity between upper management and staff workers, or they don’t want to disclose the information because it’s exceptionally high.
Whatever the case may be, if turnover seems to be above average there is clearly something not going well. This could be from poor management, lack of raises, a stressful work environment, or a whole host of other issues. It might be best to decline the offer here.
4. There is no Career Growth
Depending on where you are at in your career, lack of career growth is NOT always a red flag.
I’ve known plenty of retirees who decided to take on part-time jobs for entertainment more than anything.
If you have plenty of working years ahead of you, before you accept a job you should consider how the new position will help advance your career whether it be through advancement promotions or acquired skills.
Whether you intend to stay at the company long term or not, if there is a clear starting point, promotion stop in a few years, and then stop C later on, that’s good. Even if you have zero plans to follow that path, you know that the company has clear expectations and you can plan accordingly.
If there is no clear A to B, B to C path, then consider what skills you will gain that can be used in better positions in the future.
If you can’t see how the job will propel you further, it’s worth considering declining.
5. You’ll Get Benefits. . . in a While
Good news, you are getting benefits. They offer an almost too good to be true 401k matching plan. Its company-paid health premiums. Maternity leave is 3 months with guaranteed 50% pay.
Bad news, you don’t get them until after 12 months. And you aren’t fully vested for at least 5 years.
Can you really afford to wait that long? You are voluntarily giving up a lot by letting the company go for a year without giving you any benefits. They will also save a lot of money on you during the year that will likely not be invested in you at raise time.
Know exactly what benefits you will be getting and when.
6. It Doesn’t Offer Your “Must-Haves”
Have you listed out what your perfect job would look like? Would it be working remotely for at least half of the week? Would you want flexible hours so you can get kids to and from school? No weekends? No over-time limits? No commission caps?
Take some time to figure out what you absolutely must have in a position versus what you would be willing to trade off. Maybe working one weekend a month is something you’d be willing to compromise. Or maybe the position requires full-time remote work and you decide that’s okay. (Yes, there are plenty of people who like going to work somewhere separate from their homes.)
Also, consider what the position might entail further in the future. They want you remote now but are working to return to the office within 2 years. Will you want to take on a commute?
Get as much information as you can at the start so you can make a fully informed decision.
No matter what it is, if the job you are considering requires too many concessions on your end, it will likely not be a good fit.
7. It’s Kind of a Mystery
There are some really poorly written job listings out there.
I came across one the other day that had the title of the position and absolutely no responsibilities listed. The only other information was “competitive pay and benefits.” It didn’t even say what the pay scale or benefits were!
A bad job listing isn’t necessarily a red flag (yellow for sure).
You might decide to apply anyway, assuming you’ll learn more at the interview.
Except, you don’t. But they actually do offer good pay and benefits (WRITTEN DOWN!).
If you accept the job without knowing what your duties are you could get severely taken advantage of or you’ll be doing work you might not be safe, comfortable with, or qualified to do.
8. The Pay Won’t Work
Ideally, you’ll want to make enough to pay the bills and have a little left for savings and some fun.
This seems to be getting harder to do with the huge difference between the federal minimum wage and the cost of living.
Have you considered wear and tear on your vehicle? Gas for any travel or commute? Will you be making enough to pay for MORE THAN childcare, or are you working to afford it?
When it comes to the salary and paying the bills, remember to work from your net pay. A gross salary of $45,000 is really around $37,917 in net pay in Texas.
After all your bills, what will your discretionary income be?
Consider this information before even applying to a position. Decide what the absolute minimum amount you can accept is. If the salary is going to be below what you need just to have the basic needs of a roof over your head, food on your table, and clothes on your back then it’ll be best to keep searching.
Is the position you’re considering raising too many red flags? Do you need to keep searching for a better option?
Let Resume Assassin help!
Connect on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mary-southern