|What were some “red flags” new hires shouldn't ignore when starting a new job?
All Credit to
Don Sevcik, President of MathCelebrity and Author of 2 books
Updated Jul 4
Let’s discuss 10 red flags to watch for within the first 3 months of your job. 3 months gives you ample time to find. My credentials for this answer: 20+ years in the corporate America cube farm. Fortune 500, mid-level, and start-ups. Ready…Let’s go get it.
1.Has your job, in the first few weeks, suddenly morphed into something different from the job role on your employment contract? And, if you call management out on it, and they use silly phrases like not “being flexible”. Congratulations, you’ve found your first red flag
a.Aside: If you learn nothing else from this post, read this: “Flexible” and “Team Player” mean do more work, but not get paid for it. Learn this quickly. Because the most important thing every morning is waking up, looking in the mirror, and being able to respect yourself.
2.If you work in a job as a “doer”, such as developer, builder of things, etc., do you find yourself booked up in many meetings? Then congratulations, you’ve discovered a red flag. “Doers” should not be in too many meetings. Because gasp…they need time to actually do stuff. If management cannot squash this early so you can do what you do best, you’ve found yourself at a mismanaged company.
3.In the first few weeks of joining a company, do you notice lots of “cliques” and keep running into “unexpected, unspoken rules?” If so, you’ve dug up another red flag.
a.I remember working at a company years back, doing development. In my interview, I was crystal clear…”I don’t like filling out a lot of paperwork to push code. I just want to code, test quickly, and push it out there.” Alas, 3 weeks after getting hired, management “revealed” that every code push needs a 3 page document filled out, a web form filled out, 3 layers of approval, just to get a change in. It’s ridiculous. The more red tape, the bigger the red flag.
4.Does your company push “social-time” off hours and unnecessary get-togethers? Do they push, and I mean push charities, social justice groups, and other hootenanny garbage? Congratulations, you’ve found another red flag. Nowhere in any standard employment contract anywhere, does it state you must be active with charity, social justice causes, and any of that other garbage. Nor should it, because none of that has one iota to do with your job and the company making money. Not one iota. So if it’s pushed on you, run for the hills.
5.Does your company value “in-office” time more than they do accomplishments during your work hours? If so, you’ve found another archaic, and detrimental red-flag. If I get 8 hours of work done in 2 hours, then what I do after that shouldn’t matter. Because, it’s not like corporate will pay you more for additional effort. Great bosses will let you leave early and give flex time when you pump out work quickly.
6.Do scheduled meetings always run over time, or start late, or both? Congratulations, you’ve found another red-flag. Time wasters. Also, meetings, especially corporate meetings, are notorious for posturing and politics. And if you aren't a fan of meetings like me, then this is a HUGE red flag. Meetings should have an agenda, allow no rambling, and get to the point quick. As in, who is doing what, who needs help, and when can we expect things to get done. That’s it. No more.
7.Are you having a hard time finding a document about annual raises and bonuses? As in, you do “x” and “y”, and this is how you advance. And when you ask about it, does your manager hem and haw or avoid the subject. Congratulations, you’ve found another red flag found at 90% or more of corporate jobs.
8.Does the majority of people at or above your level use unnecessary buzz words to describe something? As in, can you find a word from grade 5 to grade 7 on the Flesch-Kincaid reading level to replace their silly buzzword, and not only keep the meaning of what they were trying to say, but enhance it? Congratulations, you’ve found another red flag. The key to communication is simplicity and clarity. And buzzwords violate both those rules. And if we can’t have a simple conversation about “my contract” and not “annual incentive protocol”, then we have a red flag on our hands.
9.Do the dumbest people get promoted, and the superstars get passed over or marginalized? Congratulations young padawan, you’ve uncorked another red flag. And this, like #7, happens at 90% or more of corporate companies. It’s red flag football, and you never score a touchdown.
10.Does your new company change “direction” every 2–4 weeks? Pat yourself on the back detective, you’ve found another red flag. If management cannot figure out what to do, and they get paid large coin to do one job, then you’ve found yourself at an insane asylum. Best to pull the cord and exit stage left.
Heed these 10 rules my friends, they just might save your life down the road.
Quote:Don's linked in Account
To err is human to really mess up you need a computer