Don’t be Fooled by Lucrative Job Opportunities and Big Promises

Advice for job seekers before accepting offers

When I graduated college I was one of those unlucky ones who couldn’t find a job in the field of choice. I took a job at a car dealership as an office worker. I won’t lie and say that the opportunities weren’t endless and if I stuck it out long enough I could be making a lot of money, but the work was more routine and not challenging enough for me. Luckily I had a big mentor at that job and she helped hone my career path and looked out for me even if it wasn’t working at the car dealership.

I wanted more than anything to be working a field that I had a degree in or something else that I was more passionate about….I wanted the dream job. I looked long and hard, interviewed anywhere that I thought would be more challenging and put me on path of a promising career. At the time I was blinded by wanting to be paid better, I wanted to be more respected as a professional, at least my definition of the word, and I wanted to be doing something I could see myself doing in 10-15 years.

I was eager. I wanted all my hopes and dreams to come true and wanted them now. In order to fuel my passion I took the first “big kid job” that I could find (and by big kid job, I mean professional type – built off my own professional credentials). When I went in for the initial interview it was everything I wanted, flexible work schedule, a job that breached the 30K mark, and a way to build my professional profile. Despite my network telling me to proceed with caution and that everything isn’t as it seems to be, I went ahead and accepted the offer, leaving a job of a little under 2 years behind.

Advice to Live By

Here are a few tips from a job seeker that should be heeded before taking on your next job that may seem too good to be true.

Seek Out Former Employers: Notice something fishy about the hiring practices or turnover at a job? Contacting former employers will give you one of the best inside stories on what type of boss you’ll be working for, what the job atmosphere is like, or what current employees are like. Accepting this information from your boss about former employees will be distorted and always shined in a light that makes the company look good. That’s just good business right?

Trust your Network: Your network wants you to succeed and if they don’t, remove them from your network. When you’re applying for jobs see what your network has to say about the company, its employees, etc. Most of the time someone in your network will know someone who knows someone. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, but seek out advice from those who want you to prosper.

and finally….the hardest one of all…..

It’s Not All About the Money: That’s right. From someone who loves to be banking in funds, you shouldn’t take a job because they offer you a better salary. There should be a number of things you look at when considering salary. Benefits, flexibility, stability, work environment, among a long list of other things.

So now what?

Sure making over 10K more a year sounds good when you’re only making 24, but what will it take to get there? I’m not an HR practitioner, but would love to hear advice on what job seekers should do to research a company. Where should they look away from their network? Tell me your secrets!

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

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