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5 Warning Signs That You Should Turn Down That Job

5 Warning Signs That You Should Turn Down That Job

Your job is one of the most important elements in your life. While not everyone can get a job which they are overjoyed with, you do want a job where you don’t cry constantly and daydream of punching small animals.

So when you start analyzing a company for how it can support you, there are a few key things which any job seeker should look for as warning signs. If you see any of these signs, get up, leave, and don’t look back.

1. They will take anyone

I once applied for a job which advertised sales of some kind. The company called me a few hours later and asked when I would be available for an interview. Everything seemed fine – until I walked into the office.

There must have been 20 other job applicants in that office, and the woman at the front desk office was calling non-stop. She would call someone, quickly talk with them about their resume, and invited them to an interview. Every single one. And if that was not bad enough, the interviewees would head into a back office and just walk out a few minutes later as the man inside called for the next person.

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I walked out the door, not even bothering to do the interview. If a company is willing to hire anyone, it can mean one of several bad things. Either turnover is so terrible that they cannot keep anyone long-term (which often says that no one wants to work there) or it is a dead-end job with no hope of moving up.

Almost any job will require some qualifications. Those that do not are clearly looking for the bottom of the barrel, and stay away from any job like that.

2. The parking lot is full during lunch

Credit to Fortune and Mike Collins for this interesting tip for a bad job among others. Collins, who runs the Wealthy Turtle personal finance blog, says that prospective job seekers should check a company’s parking lot at lunch time. If it is full, that’s a bad sign.

Why? According to Collins, it means that the company does not let its employees take time off for lunch or the employers are too busy to do so. Either way, it is a sign that the company does not look out for the best interests of its employees.

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3. The employer asks money from you

The point of a job is to get paid, not to pay. But sometimes, you will have an interview where the company asks for you to cover the costs of training, a background check, and other things. They may even offer you personal loans in return for the guarantee of a job. That is, as long as you pay.

If the company asks for this, the best-case scenario is that the company is in such dire financial straits that it’s demanding money from you to keep going for a little while longer.

The worst case (and more likely) scenario is that the job is an outright scam. It can either be an outright scam where the company will take your money and run, or it can be a multi-level marketing (MLM) firm which can run dangerously close to being a pyramid scheme. Either way, do not deal with any job which demands payment.

4. The company has a bad reputation

Any company worth its salt has a website or has people talking about it online. Glassdoor is a good website where individuals post reviews of what it is like to work for a company, what the interview process is like, and how much they pay. Even if your company is not on Glassdoor, a quick Google search will help you.

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Now, you should not stay away just because a company has a largely negative reputation. It is possible that the things which other employees do not like about the company are things which you can adapt to. But having that additional information can let yourself know in advance that a company may not be everything it claims to be.

5. They oversell themselves

As Entrepreneur points out, “Overselling a job means that it is usually too good to be true.”

There is no such thing as a free lunch, but if a company is offering a three-course meal for fifty cents, that should be just as suspicious. Check the salary which a company offers you in comparison to the same position with a similar company, and listen carefully towards what they suggest about career advancement.

If a company’s salary is much higher than its competitors, then there is usually a catch. Maybe there is something they leave out that they expect you to do. I have seen instances where a company mistakenly advertised for an entry-level job seeker when they really wanted someone with several years’ experience.

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If you want to trap an animal, you set out good bait for it. Don’t be trapped by the bait of an incredible job offer, only to be stuck in a miserable position.

Featured photo credit: Kal Chal Vong via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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