Red Flags To Beware Of Before Accepting a Job

By Ashley Paskill on December 1, 2023

Whether you are still a student or are a recent grad, getting a job offer is exciting. You are finally doing something you have been working towards and have wanted for a long time. However, before you jump into your new job offer, there are red flags to be aware of. Looking out for these red flags can save you time and heartache in the future when your dream job does not play out exactly how you wanted it to.

No mission statement

Whether you ask the interviewer or another employee, if people at the company are unaware of what the mission statement is and they do not know their purpose within that mission statement, it can be a sign that the culture makes them feel like they do not know what goal they are working towards. This is a major red flag. No matter what your job title and description are, you need to know how these fit into the overall mission of the company. If you are unable to discern this from day one, this is a red flag as you need to know how your work is contributing. This will allow you to have a purpose for your job.

Ethics and decisions

During the interview process, you should also be asking questions and doing your own research to find out as much as you can about the company. This should include research on the company’s ethics and what it stands for. If you disagree with their stances on certain things, this should be a red flag. Disagreeing with the company will lead to you feeling out of place and a lack of motivation when you have to do something you do not agree with. You also will not want to put your all into your work when you disagree with the ethics.

No career growth

One of the most important aspects of a job is growth within your career. Most employees want to stay with a company long-term, but they come to find out that they are unable to move up if they want to. When you are in the interview process, ask about career growth and how promotions work within the company. If there is no career growth in the company, it will be difficult to stay motivated as there will be nothing to be working towards and aiming for. If you are offered a job without career growth, consider a job that does promote employees from within.

Image: Andrea Piacquadio via

High turnover

Again, you should be asking about company culture and about your specific role as a part of your research. If there is a high turnover rate for your role or even in the company, this should be a massive red flag. High turnover usually means something is wrong within the company or the culture. Employees should want to stick with a company for as long as possible. While situations arise and certain departments in a company may have higher turnover rates in general, employees leaving frequently across departments in a company or out-of-character for a job is a red flag.

Lack of perks and benefits

When you are looking for a job, you should have an idea of what kinds of benefits you are looking for. If a job offer does not have the specific benefits you want but another offer does, consider the one with the benefits. Not every job will have the perfect benefits, but they should have the basics like health insurance and a retirement plan. A lack of benefits, even for part-time employees, is a red flag for a potential job offer.

No chemistry with the boss

You are likely going to be interviewed or at least meet the boss at some point during the interview process. When you meet whoever is in charge, trust your gut instinct as to whether you like them. It is likely that as you get to know them, you will end up changing your mind, but your initial instinct is usually correct. It is crucial that you at least have respect for your manager and they can respect you. If you do not get along with your boss, you will not be able to do your job effectively as you will not want to do your tasks for someone you do not like.

Unclear role

If you interviewed for the job and it is not what it sounds like when compared to the description, it is possible that you will be asked to do multiple jobs within your role. This is where it is important to ask what a day in the role is like. You will be able to see how the actual role compares to the job description. If the interviewer cannot clearly define the duties of the role, this should raise red flags.

If you are getting red flags before you get a job, it is crucial to pay attention and trust your instincts before accepting a job offer.

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