After jumping through hoops to land a job offer, it can be devastating to discover your new position is a dud. Looking back, you might even remember early warning signs that the hiring manager was overselling the job or downplaying workplace issues. Instead of surrendering to a bad career move, keep your eyes open for these not-so-subtle hints that it's time to restart your job search.
1. Disgruntled Coworkers
The attitudes of veteran coworkers are usually a reflection of the company culture. A team of unhappy, unmotivated workers is a warning sign that the company has questionable policies or poor management. Be prepared to move on if your coworkers don't care about getting along and never seem enthusiastic about their jobs.
2. Uncoordinated Welcome Wagon
A first day of work is nerve-wracking under the best circumstances, so being ignored, passed around or treated like a burden is a recipe for resentment. Smart managers plan a smooth onboarding process to avoid scaring away new hires. If your new employer was clearly unprepared for your arrival, stay alert to other warning signs that the management team is disjointed and disorganized.
3. Lack of Direction
Bosses and employees who are never on the same page about company goals are a common warning sign of poor direction. Company leaders are responsible for giving employees a shared sense of purpose, and the team can't produce strong results if everyone works blindly without clear objectives. Do your best to understand your role in the big picture — but only to polish up your resume and land your next job.
4. Hazy Job Description
Like a mirage, your job description seemed lucid and exciting during the hiring process and suddenly became unclear once you accepted the position. The real job may focus heavily on duties that were secondary in the original description or any task your teammates don't want to handle. In either case, learn whatever you can from your position, and use your time wisely to find a better job offer.
5. Misleading Interviewers
Asking good interview questions doesn't guarantee truthful answers. Dishonest interviewers might exaggerate company perks or policies in hopes of wooing strong candidates, selling you a false picture of the company culture. Casually verify an interviewer's claims by talking to coworkers and being mindful of negative or tight-lipped responses.
6. Lax Leadership
The hiring manager seemed friendly, proactive and efficient when you interviewed, but miraculously perfected his disappearing act the moment you started working. Evasive, uncommunicative managers are difficult to overcome and make everyone's job harder by refusing to solve problems. Acknowledge the warning signs if hiring managers don't want you to speak to other employees or ask about their leadership methods.
7. Perpetual Dread
While everyone has bad days at work, you shouldn't have a perpetual feeling of dread whenever you think about your job. If you have to accept an unattractive position for financial reasons, keep your job search going until you find the right employer. As unfair as it seems, being employed may help you land another position faster, and lousy experiences make you better at weeding out bad job opportunities.
Warning signs are easy to overlook if you don't have clear job-search priorities. Know what you want from an employer to avoid settling for the wrong position.
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