Ten Signs You’ll Hate The Job If You Take It

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Nearly everyone has been in the situation where they’re anxiously waiting for a job offer to arrive — but they’re also dimly aware that if they get the job, they won’t like it.

They want the job offer anyway. They can’t afford to think about whether or not they’ll like the job. They need the money!

The problem with this kind of decision-making is that it nearly always backfires.

When your trusty gut is screaming “Run away — this place and these people are toxic!” your trusty gut is not being fussy. Your gut’s standards are not unreasonably high!

Your trusty instinct evolved over millennia to keep you safe, and that’s why your gut screams at you in the middle of the night while you’re wondering why it’s taking so long for the company to check your references and make you an offer.

You already know why it’s taking so long. They are careless about making job offers because snagging talent is one of their lowest priorities. Two different people inside the company have already told you “This process may take a while.”

They did not apologize for the bureaucracy and/or incompetence that makes their recruiting system so painful to deal with.

They are used to interacting with people whose self-esteem is low. They themselves are defeated. They are slogging their way through to retirement.

If there was ever any juice, spark or good feeling in the company, it disappeared a long time ago.

Here are ten signs to think carefully before you walk into a new job that could crush your mojo and make it harder for you to job-hunt again when the brutal reality hits you, three to six months from now:

  1. During the recruiting process the company’s attitude has been “You need to do whatever we ask you to do, and fast! As for us, we can take as long as we need to get back to you.” You are nothing to them — just a first name, a last name and a resume.


  1. You have filled out questionnaires, taken online tests, submitted work samples and talked to an endless string of interviewers — but you still aren’t sure where the endpoint to their recruiting pipeline is.


  1. The people who interviewed you didn’t seem to understand the role you were interviewing for, or have any insights to share with you.


  1. Your hiring manager comes across as embattled and overwhelmed. You try to picture him or her creating a vision and strategy for the department and valiantly leading the charge, but you can’t.


  1. The company recruiter assigned to work with you cannot spell or pronounce your name to save their life, even though you and they have been interacting for weeks.


  1. Every tiny step forward in the company’s sluggish recruiting engine is followed by weeks of silence.


  1. Not one of the employees or managers you’ve met seemed excited, motivated or happy to have their job.


  1. Even after so many interviews, you still don’t totally understand what the job is all about.


  1. The company’s Glassdoor reviews range from lukewarm to scathing.
  2. Every time you deal with a company representative, it sets your teeth on edge and gives you a headache. You try not to think “These are the most boxed-in, bureaucratic people I have ever met.” You look at the pile of unpaid bills on the table instead, and think “Hang in there, pile of bills! You’ll all get paid as soon as I get this job!”

When we feel desperate for money and/or desperate to be working again, we think that nothing could be as bad as another month of unemployment. If we take a job in a toxic workplace to get money coming in, we learn the truth.

Working among people who hate their jobs and hate themselves for having those jobs is a special kind of punishment.

Don’t inflict that punishment on yourself! Keep the job search going, take a side job or two to pay the most urgent bills and remember: only the people who get you, deserve you.