Considering a New Job?

It seems that the larger U.S. companies are gearing up for more mass hirings. What does that mean for you? If you’re searching for a job, your next one may be just around the corner. If you’re still employed, but doing the job of three employees, maybe there is a better place for you out there.

If you have done your homework and are lucky enough to land a job interview, here is something to consider: You are not the only one being interviewed at this interview. That’s right. The company and the supervisor should be interviewed by you to determine if this situation is going to be the right one for you. How do you do that? By asking astute questions in a respectful manner. You will usually be given time during an interview to ask you own questions, so be prepared beforehand. Devise questions that will help you to determine the company’s needs, as well as the supervisor’s needs. Know your skills well enough to be able to explain how you can help in this organization. Many companies are coming off huge layoffs. What’s the company policy on that? If they have to lay off more people, will it be last hired, first fired?

Some red flags to look for: The immediate supervisor is not included in the hiring process or is only allowed to meet with you for 10 minutes. Some companies will do this to minimize the damage a “difficult” supervisor can do in an interview — i.e. they really don’t want you to know how difficult her or she really is. A supervisor who is not included in the interview process does not have buy in on the decision to hire you. If you decide to take the job, you may find you have a less than supportive supervisor and may spend all of your time proving yourself instead of just doing the job. Can you work in this type of environment? You may feel as if you have no choice if you need the job. That is why learning the supervisor’s needs and how to meet them becomes so important in this situation. Why do companies keep these difficult supervisors around? Because difficult personalities aside, they continue to make the bottom line, and if you work for them, you will have to help them do this.

Another red flag: You need the job offer in writing. Period. The job offer specifies the length of employment, duties and compensation. If the company waffles on giving you a written job offer, consider what the reasons may be. This job may be posted as permanent, but perhaps the company only sees using you short-term. If that is the case, they should hire you as a contractor. The compensation may not be settled on their end, but they want you on board asap. Or the company may see this job changing drastically in the future and do not want to commit to putting duties that may change in writing. None of these are ethical reasons for not giving a written job offer. Do not start a job without a written job offer, even if the company tells you “it’s coming.”

Compensation: Some employers may see coming out of a recession as an opportunity to low-ball you when it comes to compensation, while others will jump at the chance to hire and keep high-quality talent. Know what you are worth. Research your industry salaries at,, Bureau of Labor Statistics or any other salary indicator that does their research on a regular basis. Do not negotiate salary just because you think you should. Some companies really cannot afford to pay top dollar right now. However, there are other aspects of a job offer that may be open to negotiation such as stock options, flexible work schedule, retirement plans, medical insurance, company car, educational benefits, etc. Consider your options carefully, and good luck in your search for a new job!

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