7 Red Flags You Shouldn't Ignore When Starting a New Job

Now that you've survived finding a new job, giving notice at your old job, and working a few days in your new position, it should be smooth sailing from here on out, right? If only it were that easy.

red flag new job

Unfortunately, you sometimes don't figure out your new job isn't the right fit until after you've started it. Here are seven red flags you shouldn't ignore in a new position.

Surprise! Your predecessor was fired

Despite your best efforts, you might not figure this out during the hiring process, even if you asked the critical question, "May I ask why this opportunity is open?" If you learn on the job that your predecessor was fired, you probably have some messes to clean up. On the one hand, this might give you a chance for some early wins, but it could also mean a lot of headaches. You need to evaluate whether you're up for the challenge.

Your supervisor is absent

Your hiring manager, the person with the most control over your day-to-day experience, is rarely on the scene. She shows little interest in your training or success, expecting you to just figure it out. It's not a recipe for long-term career advancement. You deserve a supervisor who communicates expectations to you and provides training and feedback.

Your company has only one client or revenue stream

You start a new job, and you realize that the company's entire success is built on the continued existence of one client relationship or revenue stream. And management seemingly isn't working to diversify. It's hard to have much confidence in leadership at this point.

The turnover rate is high

You start chatting with coworkers and begin to pick up on the fact that it's a bit of a revolving door around this place. Not only did your predecessor leave after just a few months, but also the person before him, and the person before her—you get the picture. Unless you're working in a high-turnover industry, like sales, this is a huge warning sign about the work environment. It could mean you have an unreasonable supervisor or must meet unrealistic expectations.

You notice your coworkers' favorite activity is backstabbing

Forget recapping The Bachelor around the watercooler. Your new colleagues are more prone to whispering, and you've overheard them griping about one another. Granted, you’ll encounter this type of behavior in any workplace, but when you're the newbie, you should enjoy some sort of honeymoon period free from office politics. If you notice an environment where backstabbing is common, it could be a sign of a toxic work culture.

Your work doesn't match your job description

Perhaps you're finding yourself doing a lot of data entry instead of creative work. Or maybe the position is more advanced than your skill set. Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for new hires to quickly figure out their new position is more or less than they were promised. If this happens to you, schedule a time to have an honest conversation with your supervisor to review your job description. This could be an oversight.

It doesn't feel right

Maybe you just feel it in your gut. Something doesn't seem right about your new position, and your apprehensions extend beyond normal new-job jitters. If you have a pit in your stomach, pay attention to it. It's perfectly fine to figure out a new job isn't the right fit for you—and it's also acceptable to quietly start looking for your next opportunity. A tenure of just a few months on your resume can be explained truthfully: You figured out a job wasn't a good fit for your skill set, and you want to work somewhere where you will be most effective. No one can argue with that.
 

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