5 Tips For Job Searching: Red Flags, Self-Worth And You
Written By: Robyn Shulman
Finding a job!
Scams, incompetence and flat out lying is taking place all over the employment world. As people are looming into financial crisis, almost any job begins to looks attractive. However, there are certain red flags to watch for, and it is imperative to pay attention to these flags to avoid wasting precious time, energy and money.
In a tough economy, finding a job is not easy. More and more companies, public school districts, and higher education institutions are offering freelance and consultant roles for various reasons. However, if you are in search of a job, don’t forget about your dignity, your self-worth and your unique talents. As employers are hiring less qualified applicants to save money, your new job may not turn out to be the next best thing.
Here are some job related red flags to watch for:
1. Start-ups: Many new entrepreneurial companies are popping up all over. As great as this is for the economy, it is not always so great for a potential employee. If a job is listed with a new start up, make sure there is really a job available! Many companies will gather a pool of applicants, request interviews, presentations, etc.; all the while the job does not exist. Make sure to ask if there is an actual paid opportunity at the end of the pearly white interview gates. Decide how much time and energy you want to put into this potential future company now. If they are lying in a ‘job posting’, they will most likely be lying to you in the future.
2. Asking you to ‘show your stuff’: Be aware of companies that ask you to provide them with a long presentation in any given format. They may be trying to steal your valuable knowledge (yes, your gold). If they are asking you to share too much before a job offer, it is very possible they are gathering information for a project; especially if you have expertise in the field. Decide how much time and how much of your knowledge you want to give away. Don’t let someone steal your goods. You are worth too much.
3. Incompetence: If your potential employer does not have answers for you, beware. If they have to constantly ‘find out’ the answer, there is a possible disconnect along the chain of command and/or this person is simply incompetent. Will this person be your boss? Do they know what they are doing? Working for an unorganized and unstable company can be very stressful; take note of the signs immediately. For example, if you ask whether you will be paid for training, and they say something along the line of: “I don’t know, we are still deciding,” take that as an immediate red flag. They may truly not know or they don’t want to pay you (most likely the latter). You deserve to work in a stable environment and get paid!
4. The job description: Many times jobs don’t turn out to be what you signed up for. If the job description is written in shades of grey, than anything goes. Be very aware of what you are getting yourself into. Research the company, talk to employees (if possible), and be alert for any of the other red flags (as listed above). You don’t want to end up in a job that has nothing to do with the job in which you were hired. Do your homework!
5. Investing money : If a company is hiring you, they should be paying you! Watch out for scams! If anyone asks you to provide him or her with money for a job, run!
Bonus Job Tip: Insist on speaking to the department head during the interview process to ensure that a consistent message is communicated. Perfect example: After undertaking what seems to be a perfect opportunity, the role may not turn out to be what was described both during the interview process and while training. After insisting to speak with the department head and explaining the situation, a possible result may be complete misalignment between all parties.
Always remember who you are, where you came from, and the potential talent you can bring to a company. Take care of YOU.
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