When you're unemployed, it can be tempting to take the first job offer that comes your way. However, it's important to be careful and avoid accepting a job offer that has too many red flags. The worst thing you can do is accept a job offer that does not fully match your experience, ambition nor match with your professional wants and needs.
In this blog post, we'll discuss six reasons why you should never accept a job offer letter unless you're absolutely sure it's the right decision for you and your career. If you see any of these red flags, don't hesitate to say no and pass on the job offer.
Recommended reading: Why You Need to Write Down Your Career Goals
Recommended reading: How to Invest in Yourself for a Better Future
Here are six reasons why you should never accept a job offer:
1) The company has a bad reputation.
If you've done your research and you know that the company has a bad reputation, it's probably not worth your time to even apply for the job. There are plenty of other companies out there who would be happy to have you as an employee. Should you stumble across company reviews from multiple individuals along the lines of; "Toxic environment with untrustworthy Senior Management", "Hands down the worst company to work for" or "Avoid like the plague". This is a red flag and it's best to simply avoid it at all costs. Websites like Glassdoor offer job seekers a chance to look for jobs and read authentic and transparent reviews from employees currently and formerly employed at a company.
Also, if the company is in a poor financial situation, they may not be able to pay you what you're worth or offer the career growth potential that you're looking for. It's best to steer clear of these types of companies and look for something more stable.
2) There is no career growth potential.
You want to be able to advance in your career and take on new challenges. If the job doesn't offer any short- or long-term career growth potential, it's probably not worth your time. It's important that your potential employer invests in the professional development of their employees. You want to be able to advance in your career, grow and develop your skills set over time as you gain experience. If the job doesn't seem like a good match or your long term career goals, it's probably not worth accepting the offer, as you may be starting your job search again soon.
3) You don't feel comfortable with the team or boss.
It's so important that there is a cultural fit between you your boss and the team or department that you will be working in. In the event you don't feel comfortable with your potential team or boss, it's probably not worth taking the job. You want to be able to work well with the people you'll be spending most of your time with and feel like you have a good relationship with your boss. You want to be happy in your work environment, so make sure the company culture is a good match for you before accepting an offer.
Related: 7 Job Search Hacks to Get You Hired
4) The compensation and benefits package are not competitive.
Make sure you ask what the total compensation package is before going into the job interview process. If the salary and benefits offerings are not competitive, it's not worth taking the job. You want to make sure you're being paid what you're worth and that you have attractive benefits, such as matching pension structure, medical, central and a generous leave policy. If the salary is significantly lower than what you're worth or what you're currently earning, it's probably not worth accepting the job. Make sure you negotiate for a fair salary before accepting any job offer. Know your worth and aim higher.
5) The company has a high turnover rate.
You can learn a lot by asking why a position is vacant, so make sure this is one of your questions to the interviewer. If it seems it’s been tough to retain someone in the job or the department has several open roles they’re replacing, probe deeper. If the company has trouble retaining employees or has several open positions that they are constantly trying to fill, it may be a red flag. You don't want to end up in a job that nobody wants and that you will eventually have to leave.
6) The interview process feels rushed.
You want to make sure you know what you're getting yourself into before accepting a job. Do your research and ask as many questions as needed. Most job seekers complain about how long and drawn out the interview process can be, so if you find the process moving much faster than you anticipated, explore why. Both hiring a candidate and accepting a new position are big decisions and most employers and job seekers want to get as much data as possible to make an informed choice. It's important that you have a good understanding of the role, the responsibilities and the role expectations. If you feel rushed, ask to slow the process down so you can gather more information, and be very wary if this request is ignored.
Related: 5 Books About Interview Techniques