Four Signs You Shouldn’t Take a Job

Four Signs You Shouldn’t Take a Job was originally published on uConnect External Content.

As of 2023, a higher percentage of people are unhappy in their jobs than were prior to 2020.

Though the pandemic brought about unprecedented changes in workplace expectations, more people were actually satisfied at work in 2020 than today. 

The 2022 Gallup State of the Global Workplace Report found that only 33 percent of respondents were satisfied at work, a smaller percentage since the 2020 survey. In turn, 60 percent said they were “emotionally detached,” and 19 percent were “miserable” at work. What’s more, another 18 percent were angry, and 22 percent were sad. 

Certainly, some professionals shouldn’t have taken their jobs in the first place. Seventy-two percent of millennial and Gen-Z workers say they regretted accepting a position soon after starting. Many of them felt misled about the position, recognizing that it was different than how it was billed in the job posting and interview. 

With so much dissatisfaction, you might wonder how to ensure you’re taking a job you’ll like. Here, we’ll discuss four signs you shouldn’t take a job. 


1️⃣ You don’t know what the job actually entails.

In the survey mentioned above, many of the dissatisfied employees felt like they didn’t know what they were getting into in a role.

Sometimes, you can realize this before you even start. For instance, do you have the sense the hiring manager doesn’t know what you’ll be doing day to day? 

Maybe the job posting was vague, and you thought you’d better understand your responsibilities in the interview. But then your would-be boss muddies the water even more when you meet face-to-face. 

FlexJobs’ Jennifer Parris said there are some red flags to look out for in the interview: 

  • The hiring manager demonstrates a lack of understanding about what you’d be doing in the role. 
  • They convey expectations and responsibilities that far outpace what is possible in a full-time job.
  • They don’t clearly understand what you’d be doing in relation to your colleagues in your department and outside of it.


2️⃣ The interview feels off in one way or another.

You might think that the interview has little to do with what it would be like to work at the company.

But this isn’t actually the case. How the company presents itself during the interview is valuable information. So, if an organization is willing to let someone rude, inappropriate, or condescending be their face to potential employees during the interview, you should take that seriously. 

“An interview is the first formal brush you have with an organization, and it needs to be conducted in a professional and polite manner…A disrespectful interview only sheds light on the fact that you may face this kind of behavior more often in the future,” noted Harry Morton of Lower Street.

Other negative aspects of the interview process that you should take seriously include if a company requires many rounds of interviewing or asks you to take too many competency tests. While a test or two is standard, you shouldn’t feel like the company is making you perform circus tricks. 


3️⃣ You don’t click with your would-be boss.

Interviewing someone you dislike is one thing. But failing to “click” with your potential supervisor during the interview is a big red flag.

While we might not always trust our gut feelings, intuition is actually a powerful tool that should tell us something. 

If you don’t like your would-be boss right away, you can predict a less-than-satisfying relationship with the person who significantly impacts your satisfaction. A supervisor is a mentor who sets your course at the organization and drives your professional development. A negative boss/employee connection can set you back for years. 

“[A] bad boss will feel like somebody who just monitors and watches you – or somebody you’re afraid to go talk to because they will jump to conclusions or won’t understand your perspective. So remember that the hiring manager is also your future boss in most cases. Make sure they are somebody you’d genuinely feel comfortable working with,” argues Recruiter.


4️⃣ Most of the other employees you’ve met throughout the hiring process seem newly hired.

At some point in the interview, you’ll likely be invited to meet other team members.

But what if many of these workers have only been employed at the company for a short time? 

If you’re not interviewing at a startup, many short-tenure employees can be one of the signs you shouldn’t take a job. 

“Seeing the same job posting over and over and over could indicate that the company is having a hard time keeping someone in the role or that it’s difficult to find the right person for it. In either case, a repeat job posting could indicate high staff turnover, which often spells trouble,” said Parris.

You should do this research yourself if you haven’t met many people during your interviews. See how long most of the employees have been at the company by looking at their public profiles on LinkedIn. 


Signs You Shouldn’t Take a Job


One way to ensure you’re accepting a satisfying job is by paying attention to company culture and expectations during the hiring process.

If you still don’t know what you’d be doing in your role, or you’re not connecting with your supervisor, you should pay attention to that information. 

Yes, it’s possible that the hiring process misrepresented what working at the company would actually be like, but with so many professionals unhappy at work, it’s worth taking your first impressions seriously. 

Want more warning signs that you might join the ranks of the professionally dissatisfied? Read our article “4 Warning Signs to Consider Before Taking a Job.”