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5 Warning Signs That You’re About End Up in a Job You’ll Hate

Maybe it’s because I dealt with IBS, ADHD, and uphill career battles for such a long time. Perhaps it’s because in the past when I didn’t it end up coming back to bite me in the ass. These days I just tend to trust my gut instinct far more than ever before. The other morning I was in a second round interview for what I thought could very well put an end to the search for my social media dream job.  I didn’t mind the potential 13 hour work days. I didn’t mind what would be an extensive amount of travel. I didn’t mind the fact that I would probably be a one-man band expected to produce like a grammy winner. Those things didn’t bother me in the least.

But about 30 minutes into it I was overcome with a very familiar uncomfortable feeling. “I don’t fit in here and I get the sense I’d be setting up myself to fail if I took this job. Every time I’ve felt this way in the past, I nearly ended up getting fried from my job.” As I heard words and phrases such as “casual friday”  and “if we say 8:00, we don’t mean 8:15” I couldn’t help but start to feel imprisoned and feel that my creative abilities which peaked their interest in the first place would be stifled by forcing square pegs into round holes. It seemed clear to me that one of the guys in the room had already made up his mind about me and if I did get an offer I’d be facing an uphill battle from the day I started.

Your Gut Instinct is Usually Spot On

Rather than listen to our own voice, we tend to listen to the voice of reason or even worse the voice of others. As a result our own voice gets drowned out, and we start putting on a front to gain the approval of others.  While I do think soliciting opinions of people who are credible is worthwhile, I think that the way to end up with the most favorable circumstances in your life is to trust your gut. When you don’t it usually backfires.  This doesn’t just apply to jobs, but to nearly everything in your life.

5 Things That Will Cause You to End Up in a Job You Hate

A while back I wrote a post about why so many people hate their jobs. That post in large part  was about how broken the hiring process is. While I still do think the hiring process is broken, I think that job candidates also tend to play an instrumental role in ending up in jobs they hate. A few months back I was talking to my dad about an upcoming interview and he had some of his own advice to share. It got me thinking about what role we play in ending up in jobs we hate.

1. Act Interested

Without knowing anything about the position I was applying for, my dad said “make sure you act interested.” It got me thinking about just how often people act interested in a position even when they’re not.  A tough job market has caused people to do things they might never do and completely forget about the difference between settling and settling down. This is a recipe for disaster and ultimately your lack of interest will show in the quality of your work. So don’t act interested if you’re truly not.

2. Chase Money

I’d be lying to you if I told you money didn’t matter to me and that it wouldn’t play  any role in a decision I would make about what job to take. But, don’t forget that being a paycheck player can be detrimental to your future. I lost close to 5 years of my life for an extra $5000 a year. That being said, if a position has a salary that would barely enable you to live, then it’s worth the wait for something better.

3. Tell the Interviewer what they Want to Hear

I think that most people are not truly honest during interviews. They prepare scripted answers, rehearse them, and put on act in hopes that the hiring manager will like them.  Even if you do manage to get a job offer under this scenario, the whole thing is a sham. The foundation of your relationship with that person is based on a series of lies. Ultimately there’s no way that’s going to lead you down a successful career path.

4. Desperation

Some people believe desperate times call for desperate measures. I believe that there’s tremendous power in hitting rock bottom. Out of desperation we tend to make extremely poor choices, so choosing a job out of desperation nearly guarantees that you’ll not only hate your job, but probably not be very good at it.  People rarely tend to focus on the creation of value when they are desperate. They are more or less in survival mode, and end up doing just enough to get by.  It’s also likely that if you choose a job out of desperation you’ll be starting the job thinking about when you’ll get to leave it. Take a look back at some of the signs of career success and failure that I learned form my friends job search a year ago.

5. Prestige

I hate to say it, but there are people I know who believe that a big brand name on their resume is the key to their kingdom. I even told a friend once that I could probably go and offer a group of MBA students a job at some big company, tell them the salary, and without even telling them what the position was, most would gladly accept. Of course the joke would be on them because they would get paid 90k a year to clean toilets at Disney, Google or insert big company. These people are completely caught up in the ego-driven pursuit of a life that looks good on paper.

I think that you have to be honest with yourself and with your potential employer if you want to end up with a job that you love and you’ll be good at. If you do any of these 5 things your foundation for the future is essentially a house of cards.  So, before you start preparing for your next interview, give some consideration to how things might turn out if you actually were authentic.

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