7 Signs You Shouldn’t Take the Job


Job hunting is tough. Many job hunters, especially students, will get impatient with the process or begin to believe they can’t find anything better, and so they accept the first position they are offered. Unfortunately, these people often find that they took a job that will make going to work feel like drilling holes in their eyeballs every morning (or graveyard shift). Here are five signs that you shouldn’t take a job so that you don’t end up making this mistake:


1. Responsibilities Don’t Match the Pay

Before an interview, it is important to read the job listing a few times so that you are prepared to explain how your qualifications will allow you to fulfill these responsibilities. However, if you notice that the list of responsibilities continues to get longer as the interviewer talks about the position, you should view this as a red flag. This is especially true if the expected salary hasn’t increased along with the number of responsibilities. See also Monster’s article “10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary.”


2. Few Learning Opportunities

Ideally, you want a job that will prepare you for future success by providing you with numerous opportunities for learning and development. This is especially true if you are just starting your career. Sometimes, it is better to sacrifice good pay for a job that will provide you with many learning opportunities. If you don’t feel like the company cares about investing in its employees, this is a sign that you shouldn’t take the job.


3. Not Relevant to Your Goals

You should take a job that will help you when it comes to your career goals. While you may not be certain about your career path, there are some signs that can suggest that a job will not help you achieve your goals. In general, you don’t want to take a job that only requires that you “go through the motions,” so to speak.


4. High Turnover Rate

If there is a high turnover rate at the company, this is a huge sign that you shouldn’t take the job. This is especially true if the company has been around for more than a few years. A toxic culture and poor management are both potential causes of a high turnover rate.


5. Company Doesn’t Consider Your Long-Term Career Goals

Chances are, you want to advance as quickly as possible when it comes to your career. Therefore, it is vital to have a long-term plan before you accept a job. Ideally, you want to work with a company that takes your long-term career goals into consideration.


6. Company Looks Like the Operation Was Put Together Yesterday

Imagine a nice set of office suites with marble floors, an ADT lawn sign, a well-dressed receptionist, and a little stack of business cards on the desk. Contrast that with a dumpy old apartment suite hastily subdivided with cheap cubicle walls, employees in anime T-shirts wearing headsets in between the walls, trying not to cry. Now, not all legitimate businesses have a nice suite and not all tiny startups are terrible places to work, but picking up on these cues may save you from feeling trapped in a two-bit telemarketing position.


7. You’re Offered the Job the Day of the Interview

Not a hard and fast rule, but if you can’t make it out of the interview before being asked “when can you start,” it may be a red flag. It may be that you are clearly the perfect fit and that you would clearly thrive in that position, but more likely this business will hire just about anybody, and working at places like that is usually not much fun.

Depending on your circumstances, you may not be able to afford to be picky. Sometimes the bills just need to be paid and you need to take something you don’t want to do. Hopefully, though, this is a means to an end while you cultivate your dream, so that you’re able to make money doing something that speaks to your soul. If you are in a position to be more selective, spend some time dreaming about the direction of your career. Try not to take jobs that don’t lead you in that direction.