In the first half of 2021, more than four million Americans quit their jobs in what has been dubbed “the Great Resignation,” and this surge in resignations has put workers in the driver’s seat for the first time in years.
With a record 9.3 million job vacancies being recorded this April, there’s never been a better time to find that dream job. And with recruiters struggling to find suitable people to fill those vacancies, there’s a strong chance to be rewarded handsomely at the same time But with more positions to choose from. As a job seeker—how do you know whether to accept a job or hold out for a better offer? There are some key red flags to look out for.
There are no remote options
As a result of business closures and localized lockdowns, the COVID-19 pandemic saw a major shift in people working from home. This has led to an increase in the number of companies that offer hybrid working models and flexible options.
So, if in 2021, your job can be done remotely yet your employer insists that you be in the office full time, this is a sign of a rigid, inflexible working culture. It can also show a lack of trust on the employer’s behalf and should be a huge red flag in the current job market.
The package is not competitive
Although lots of businesses might be feeling the pinch right now, there are certain areas they shouldn’t skimp on, and paying their employees a fair and competitive wage is one of them. So don’t lowball yourself or feel like you should be grateful just for the offer.
Instead, do your research and know your worth, and don’t feel like you need to compromise. If you’re reviewing a job offer that is below average salary typical for your role or offers zero benefits, it might be best to look elsewhere.
There are no opportunities for growth
Career growth and development are crucial for career fulfillment. Without it, you might find yourself stressed on Sunday nights and dreading Monday mornings even more. After all, no one wants to feel stuck in a rut.
As such, it’s a good idea to use the job description and interview process to assess what opportunities there are for career progression. If the employer is not offering any chances for training, promotion, learning, or development of any kind, you need to consider whether this job is going to progress your career and make you feel excited to get to work each day. The likelihood is it won’t and, therefore, is not the right role for you.
The company values don’t match your own
As you learn more about the company throughout the hiring process, you’ll come to understand its mission, visions, and values. If these values are at odds with your own, then it’s a warning sign that you shouldn’t accept the job.
For example, if you’re a very eco-conscious person and you believe in the need for sustainability and more intelligent practices, then working for a company that is known to be a large carbon-emitter and polluter is unlikely to sit well with you.
This means that you will not be able to achieve complete job satisfaction, and you won’t be passionate about what you’re doing. So, it’s best for both parties if you don’t accept the offer, during a time when there are likely to be many more round the corner.
The business doesn’t have longevity
We live in a digital age where things change very quickly, and if you’re not reactive, you risk getting left behind. The concept of future-proofing is a key priority for most businesses right now, and this needs to be something that you consider on your job search as well.
You don’t want to join a company whose goods or services are only going to be relevant or useful for a finite period of time. Otherwise, you could quickly find yourself out of a job or working for a company that is scrabbling to stay afloat.
So, before you accept the job, make sure the company is not only offering goods or services you feel passionate about, but that they’re offering something that can stand the test of time, or at the very least, adapt to move with the times.
But be careful not to burn bridges
If you’ve attended an interview but then decided the job isn’t quite right for you, you’re now faced with the task of turning it down. However, you need to make sure that you do so in a polite and professional way that isn’t going to come back and bite you later in your career.
To do this in a way that is beneficial to both you and the employer, you should inform the hiring manager of your decision as soon as possible. Keeping them waiting, only to turn down their job offer could leave them with little time to find a replacement.
What’s more, because lots of time and effort goes into the hiring process, you need to make sure you show your appreciation and gratitude for the opportunity to meet with them and the eventual offer—even if you don’t accept it.
Finally, don’t leave them guessing as to why you turned them down. Be sure to give a reason but keep it brief. By following some of these pointers, you can let hirers know you’re not interested, with consideration, without destroying the possibility of future opportunities with that particular employer or recruiter.