Professional Puppy Love
The career searching marathon has begun for all second semester senior college kids. I know I have gotten desperate and applied for positions I am no way qualified for or ones I am not entirely interested in. But these habits need to change.
This week I left a position I spent two months dedicated to getting. I wanted it so bad I didn't mind that it took the company over a month to get back to me with an official offer. I ignored the bad reviews on Glassdoor, which should have been enough to put the process to a jolting halt, but it didn't. I still wanted this position and I was determined to get it no matter what.
Side note: check out an employer on glassdoor.com before you get in too deep like I did.
It was no surprise, at least looking back, that they were not prepared for me my first day.My supervisor didn't show up until two hours after I'd arrived and hadn't even come to greet me until an hour after that.
I then discovered my department head was in Austin and was only able to communicate through Skype. After only two weeks, with little to no direction or objectives along with extremely limited communication I was done. I couldn't stand working for a company I was not excited to work for or at least be passionate about the mission.
Discovery #1: All my interviews were over Skype, I was never brought into the actual offices to meet my potential employer. I can understand for initial interview purposes, and it did happen over Thanksgiving week, but still. Even my second interview was virtual.
If your interviewer does not initiate an in-office visit, do it yourself. You can see how the employees behave around the office, how the employer behaves, see how the employer-employee relationship functions, and determine if it's the right professional environment for you.
Discovery #2: Down time is not cool. At a former employment, I had no time to surf the internet or even check my personal email. I had tasks to do every single moment of my work day, which I'm not complaining about at all. I would prefer to be busy than to be bored. At this position I recently left, I had excessive down time - probably due to the fact they were so unprepared for me. How can you not prepare for a new hire you so desperately asked to join your team?
I wasn't the only one searching around something do - all other employees had this same excessive down time. One even admitted to watching Netflix if they got bored enough. How is that possible? What employer would hire so many people with not enough work to delegate? I may or may not have even written a blog post while there because I truly, absolutely had nothing to do.
Discovery #3: If you've never physically met your boss or department head or whoever you report to, leave. The most frustrating part of my two week employment was only speaking to my supervisor probably a total of two hours over Skype. I never felt like I left our discussions with clear direction or objectives or even training on company standards and goals. I would begin a project and be told "Our client won't allow that because x, y, and z", only making my job harder. On top of it, each time we spoke they only talked about all the things they still needed to get done in order for me to begin my work, which leads me to my last discovery...
Discovery #4: Employers who are not prepared for you your first day, will not be prepared for you the duration of your employment. I had a gut feeling my first day I would not enjoy working for this company because they were so clearly unprepared. From the waiting around I mentioned before, to never even receiving a company specific email, this employer did not know what to do with me.
You get so excited to find your next job or even the job that you go for anything and disregard the red flags, or maybe slightly yellow flags, because you want it but you don’t know what it is. Don't fall for the shiny new position that offers better than normal pay and is the most conveniently located. Don't even take it for the pay because if you work hard enough and show your commitment, it's more than likely you'll get a raise after your first year.
Do research into the company you're applying to, see what they've produced, look at their clients - anything you can do to better understand their mission and company culture. You should know by the time you are offered a position if you could see yourself working there or not, based on your interview and research combined.
Ultimately, you will choose an employer who you feel is your best fit. Don't rush, consider your options, and be smart. Finding a new job is nerve-wracking and exciting all at the same time. Make the decision that you know will work for you.
What professional nightmares have you had? Comment and share below!