SUMMARY: The job market is hot right now and a lot of companies are trying to hide their culture from candidates. What should you do if you learn that the company you interviewed with is not the same company you thought it was as you start your next career move?
Heather thought she made a good move when she joined a tech company in Cambridge. It took three round of interviews and she did her homework but after three weeks there she admitted: “I made a huge mistake”.
Heather quickly found out that she made a mistake when her manager called her out for not answering an email at 8 PM. “She told me that I had to be on call 24/7 if need be but I was not ready to lose all my free time to answer emails”.
On her first day, she was handed a used laptop with someone else’s files on it including the previous owner’s last performance review and rather than get a dedicated work station she was told she would have to rotate workstations because they were short of space. She also found a company culture of people talking behind others backs and office hours that sometimes extended past 7 PM.
“I knew I made a huge mistake and was miserable but I didn’t know how to deal with it,” she told me. The truth is that this happens too much in an era where job candidates have a choice of jobs.
What to do if you find you took the wrong job
1ne: Don’t look back and punish yourself. You need to ask “what did I learn from the experience?”
2wo: If you can you should resign immediately. Staying longer, in hope that things will change, is only going to be more stressful.
3hree: Don’t be afraid to admit to a potential new employer that you made a mistake. Be honest but don’t trash them, just say “the culture at the company was not a good fit for me but I learned a lot from the experience”
4our: There are still a lot of employers who view employees as interchangeable cogs. Learn to recognize the signs of organizations that don’t value their people.
5ive: When interviewing for new jobs don’t be afraid to ask people questions like “tell me about a typical day here?” and “do you find you have enough time to adequately do a good job with projects?”.
We spend too much time at work for it to be “just a job”. Work to live don’t live to work because time lost in a cube farm can never be recovered.
Originally published at newmanagementandhr.com on January 24, 2019.