career and job

Rabu, 11 Agustus 2010

5 Reasons to Run from a Job Opportunity

by Liz Ryan

The job market is daunting, and it's easy for job seekers to get sucked into the vortex of a recruiting process that could only lead to a bad job offer. Maybe the leadership is inept, unethical, or both. Maybe the working conditions are ghastly. Maybe it's the kind of place where employees are mistreated so routinely that only the most self-esteem-challenged people can get through the day without quitting in disgust. In the worst case, you'd start out hating the job--and end up hating yourself for working there.

Don't fall into the pit! Check out our list of these reasons to run from a job opportunity:

"We are the deciders, and you are dogmeat."
If the interview process is so them-focused that you don't get to ask any questions of your own, beware. Employers who broadcast "the point of this conversation is strictly to decide whether you meet our standards" aren't worth your talents.

"No, we can't tell you that."
If you ask for a copy of the employee handbook--or the sales compensation plan or some other document would govern your employment relationship--it should be handed to you at once. If they stall and make it difficult for you to get what you're after (or refuse your request entirely), that's your cue to bolt. Ask yourself, "If they won't let me read the documents that will dictate the terms of my employment here, what are they trying to hide?"

"I'm sorry; everyone on the team is busy."
If you're interviewing for a purchasing job, you should be able to speak to a vendor or two during the process. If you're looking at a sales job, you should have the opportunity to speak with a few customers. For any job, you should meet some of your prospective team members before accepting a job offer. If the employer won't let you talk with the people who are doing the job now, that's a huge red flag. Do they have them locked up in cages, or what?

"We'll need proof of your salary."
As a corporate HR person, I gauged a candidate's salary level by talking with him or her and by understanding current salary levels in the market. That's what competent HR folks and hiring managers do. If a company asks you to submit proof of your past salary in the form of a W-2, get out of Dodge. Who cares what some other employer paid you? It's not relevant, and it's your personal financial info. Tell them to take a hike.

"Where is the love?"
When you're swirling around in the vortex, your judgment is impaired. It's easy to think, "They like me! At last, an employer likes me!"--and forget to listen to your sturdy gut. When a company is preparing to make you an offer, you should feel the love. If they don't love you then, believe me, they never will. If they're not returning your calls, if they leave you sitting for weeks in radio silence, or if they meet your attempt at salary-and-benefits negotiation with a stony "take it or leave it" attitude, run away. Don't feel bad if you do--you've dodged a bullet. Better to stay unemployed a bit longer than to go to work for the Red Queen or Dr. Evil.

Liz Ryan is a 25-year HR veteran, a former Fortune 500 VP, and an internationally recognized expert on careers and the new-millennium workplace. Connect with her at (The opinions expressed in this column are solely the author's.)

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