Pay attention to these warning signs!
Finding a new job is a daunting task, and sometimes desperation kicks in causing people to accept positions that may not be a great fit. When you are interviewing for a new job, pay attention to your surroundings and ask questions to make sure it is the right place for you. The following are some ideas for things to look for and ask about:
- Employee handbook: Make sure there is an employee handbook available for after you are hired to help answer questions you may not think to ask. This is a great indicator of the company’s organizational tendencies as well.
- Employee benefits: Always a plus, and in many cases, the law. At least for the time being, companies with a certain number of employees must offer insurance so do your research and make sure the company is doing the right thing.
- No organizational chart in place: It’s important to know who you are reporting to. If a company tells you that “everyone is the captain of their own ship,” that may sound great in theory. No boss! Hooray! But ultimately, if you don’t have one person guiding the ship, you will be pulled in many different directions and not much will get accomplished.
- No infrastructure in place: If a company feels it’s OK to purchase a used, $50 computer for their employees and expects great things to come from it, it’s probably not the company for you. Because chances are, they will end up having to replace that computer with many, many more computers every time it breaks down. Make sure that the company you are looking to work for has everything you need to successfully get your job done.
- Are focused purely on making money: You don’t want to work for a company without a social conscience. Money is great, it’s why you work, but at the end of the day it’s also important to feel good about yourself and how you are spending your days.
- Accountability: This is related to the org chart mentioned above. It is so important for companies to hold their employees accountable for their actions. If you have a coworker that constantly rolls in at 10:30, while you’ve been there since 8:00, chances are you won’t be able to accomplish much together. It is not your job as an employee to call your coworkers and wake them up; that is up to management, and if they are not doing their job that is a big red flag.
- Cleanliness of the building: Most office settings these days hire someone to clean for them, so this is usually something that you would not even notice. But if you do see that the bathrooms look a little gnarly and the carpet is loaded with bits of paper and dust, chances are this company does not have someone cleaning on the weekends. Which means A) you will be working in an unsanitary environment or B) you will be asked to assist with the cleaning. Either way, ask about this at the interview before you find yourself cleaning toilets instead of getting your work done.
- Attitude of the owners/ executive team: What time does the boss get into the office? What time do they leave? If the owner of the company is putting in as many if not more hours than their employees, that’s a great sign. It shows they are invested in the company and their employees. If the owner has decided that they want to hand the reigns over to an under-qualified employee in order to spend more time at the lake, you probably want to look elsewhere.
- Longevity of staff: What is the turnaround? Look for a company with employees who have been around for many years and only leave to retire.
- Longevity of clients: If the company does indeed have clients, how long have they worked together? If the clients hang around for many years, then it’s probably a great company to work with and therefore a great company to work for.
- Look for reviews: Facebook, Yelp, Google +, Glassdoor, and any industry specific forums all have a section for reviews. You may encounter upset former employees who want to go down with all guns blazing, but you should be able to get a good idea of the company given the comments that you read.
Hopefully this helps as you are searching for the perfect job. Remember, just because they offer does not mean you have to accept! Find something you will enjoy getting out of bed for in the morning, as this will have a direct effect on your happiness and well-being.