A friend and former co-worker was recently released from a position. We worked together previously in a not-so-pleasant work environment for a different company and the job left her professionally and emotionally worn. While I stayed, she transitioned to a new organization and a top position. She was confident and determined to prove herself.
Although, she was glad she made the transition, she did notice some discrepancies in the portrayal of the organization from the interviews and when she began working for them. She brushed off the red flags as “every organization has its issues,” until she realized she was hired to a do a job, and not to excel at her job. Her determination to succeed was lost on a company that had no interest in helping her to succeed.
When the day came for her to be released, she was not surprised, saddened, or panicked by the event. She had quite the opposite feeling, a sense of calmness. She stated in her response about being let go, “This is why you have to date your jobs” — a truthful and novel idea.
Many of you may already do this, however, I never thought about it in this way. Although the courting takes place in the interview process, as soon as you accept the job, you make a commitment to be in an employee-employer relationship. While we spend our time learning the ropes, getting to know people, and trying to fit into the new organization, we should still be “dating” the job and looking for attributes in a new company like you would do when dating a new mate.
Here’s what to look for:
Cares about Your Well-Being:
A job will invest in you because they understand your growth is growth for the company. Places like Google and Apple understand that it is the employees that make the business successful. Employee happiness is highly considered which fosters creativity and is then capitalized on for the overall company’s advancement. Date a company that is going to build you up not bring you down. If you are a happy employee, you will definitely be a more productive employee.
Is honest to you as an employee:
We have all been in a position where we accepted a job offer only to arrive on the first day or after a week and realized that it’s not as they promised in the interview. The employees seem unhappy. They told you they would get you resources and supplies to be successful, but now they have no funding for such expenditures and forget about the office they promised you.
What would be your advice to someone in a relationship with a liar? You would probably tell them to run for the hills; so why should you stay at a company that exhibits the same behavior? Consider this — if they are lying to you, they are likely dishonest to their customers, and as an employee, you will eventually be a party to that false propaganda directly or indirectly. While you may stay for the income just remember your money is quietly sitting in the bank while your conscious will be yelling at you loudly.
The communication style leaves much to be desired:
During the interview period, they really didn’t communicate with you about the status of situations such as your background check, the second interview, or the job offer. You had to contact them first to find out information. While this may be a Human Resources communication issue, it is also a sign of the communication style of the organization. Let’s say they had great communication during the interview. Did you start the job and trained only to have a policy change and no one told you about the change? You start to see a pattern of the lack of or the manner in which people communicate and it doesn’t make you happy.
Is this a smart company?:
No, seriously, are they smart about their decisions, financing or otherwise? There is a big difference between flourishing and just maintaining. If you met someone and in the beginning stages they told you they had a house, a car, and a job, and then you found out that they do have all of these things but barely anything else because they are irresponsible with money or spend it all while struggle to maintain an image of “having it all.”
Well, there are many companies appearing to flourish but are in fact “maintaining.” Flourishing consists of taking risks and looking for new and creative ways to stay relevant. They are open to new ideas and are always trying to corner a new market to establish themselves as a leader in their industry. Maintaining is the image of flourishing but they are trying to survive by not taking a risk.
The Lineage of the staff:
When you are dating, you tend to ask questions related to the person’s past relationships. How long ago was your last relationship? What was your longest relationship, or what type of person are you in a relationship? The retention rate of the staff tells you a lot about the company. The people who have been around for a while have seen how and why people come and go and will give you the most honest advice.
If there is a high turnover rate for your position, it could be for several reasons. Listen for key phrases such as “there’s a lot of red tape to getting things done around here” or “people do not want to work.” More than likely, you will not last if you are a balloon of new ideas. A review of the history of different staff will advise you if you should try to make it work or find a better match.
If you decide to stay after reviewing any of these flags, then understand that the fire that burns inside of you to be great, may be extinguished. I know it may appear as if I am telling you to dumb down, be lazy or not excel, but I’m not. What I am saying is, is you should truly get to know what the company expects and how they want you to function, before you decide to continue in their employment. You will need to harvest that creativity and intelligence in other areas of your life and realize that your job is just that — a job.
Otherwise, you can do what I am suggesting and keep dating jobs until you find your perfect match. There are definitely companies with the same values willing to meet or even exceed your expectations. You just got to look.