It’s estimated that 85% of people are unhappy in their jobs. While a lot can be attributed to employers who continue to treat people like numbers on a balance sheet, you can actually do some homework and use your senses to help you if an opportunity is a step in the wrong direction.
Not too long ago a good friend of mine was interviewing at Hubspot in Cambridge for, what she thought was a good position. I told her to read Dan Lyon’s book on working on Hubspot and to interview the people who were interviewing her. She received an offer, but turned it down and when I asked her why she said “there were too many people there who were drinking the corporate Kool-Aid. She also said that she found some of the people she interviewed with “lacking in maturity” as she interviewed them and asked questions like “how would help a coworker who had too much work?” and “who should take credit for a job well done?”.
When we interview for a new job, it’s always assumed that “we want the job” but that should not be the case. You should interview the interviewers as hard as they interview you because you are going to be spending a good part of your life there. You also need to look around at the offices and observe employees’ desks and work environment. When a colleague of mine interviewed at Athenahealth in Boston her potential future manager sat down and proceeded to answer emails during the interview while those under her said that they often worked to 7PM and were overwhelmed with new projects. Needless to say she ran away as fast as she could… very fast.
So what do you do if your dream job turns out to be a term in hell?
(1) Ask yourself if the job worth a lot of effort to try and turn around? Can you be the difference that starts a new culture and makes it a better place to work?
(2) Admit your error and start looking for another job. When asked why you are looking be honest and admit that the position you took is not a “good fit”. However, don’t bash your employer or manager.
There is nothing worse than taking a new job only to find out you’re in hell. Remember, YOU are in charge if your career and need to take an active role in where you work. It’s not about the money, it’s about being happy where you work.