Have you ever started a new job and immediately regretted your decision?
Craig Bryant, founder of KinHR.com, an HR tool that helps small businesses manage their workforce operations, says people end up in the “wrong job” all the time.
“This happens so often because of the perceived state of the economy,” he explains. “College grads and seasoned careerists alike are anxious about being left out in the cold. The prior has college loan debt to worry about; the latter is concerned about stretching their income far enough for retirement.” So, he says, they take the first job offer that comes their way.
“Perhaps one silver lining is that with this kind of misstep comes a lesson,” says Bryant. “Finding yourself in a bad job should hopefully help educate and steer you toward a better-fitting company in the future.”
Here are four ways to avoid ending up in a job you hate:
1. Do thorough research on social media sites. Of course you should closely read the company’s website and talk to as many people internally as possible. But to get a genuine, unbiased perspective, you’ll need to dig deeper.
Bryant suggests you use social media sites like LinkedIn to “not only do general research — but to also delve deeper into employee history and information.” Find out how long current employees have been at the company and whether or not they seem to get promotions and/or new responsibilities. “No career growth and high turnover? Red flag,” he says.
2. Figure out whether they offer or support opportunities to learn and grow. Look beyond salary and benefits and find out what types of learning opportunities the company offers. “Ask the people you interview with how they will help you achieve your career goals,” Bryant says. “Find out if the company provides tuition reimbursement or lets you attend networking events or conferences in your subject area. These aren’t must-haves, but it may indicate how well they nurture their employees’ advancement.”
3. Closely examine the job description. Are there clear job objectives and expectations for the position? If not, it could be a red flag, Bryant says. “A list of required skills and responsibilities is great, but it indicates that the employer hasn’t connected the dots on how you’ll advance professionally and how your contributions will help advance the company.”
4. Determine whether it’s a good match culturally. When interviewing, ask to spend some time with the peers you’ll be working with. “It’s important that you identify common ground with them,” says Bryant. “After all, you’ll be spending most of your waking hours with them.” It’s equally important, though, that they speak positively about the work environment and that they convey a positive sense of ownership and pride in the work they do, he says.
“There’s a saying in the employer world that goes: ‘Hire slow, fire fast.’ The same goes for employees,” Bryant says. “Do your homework in order to find a company at which you think you can progress. But don’t put all your eggs in one basket and don’t linger too long in the ‘wrong’ job; get out of there and start marketing yourself as soon as possible. Life’s too short for terrible jobs,” he concludes.
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