Be careful where you accept a job. Just because they made you an offer doesn’t mean you should take it. I learned this the hard way. Pay attention to the red flags…otherwise you’ll see them everywhere in the rearview mirror.
After nine years of being at home full-time with my kids I was overly anxious to get a job. I had always worked in non-profit, marketing or some combination of both. During my hiatus I served on several boards and so I starting working my contacts. However, I actually found this job through a fellow soccer mom! It was working in a neighboring town as a development director for a child advocacy center. Basically, it was my job to schmooze with our donors and build new relationships to raise more money. I was thrilled because it actually felt like I hadn’t missed a step during my time home with kids. In hindsight the red flags were everywhere.
The Red Flags
Red flag #1: While researching in August, I found this job posted on LinkedIn and dated with a deadline of April 1. It turned out someone had taken the job in May but left in June.
Red flag #2: When I walked into the interview with the executive director she said, “I don’t think you’re at all qualified. You’re only here because a donor recommended you.” I hadn’t even sat down yet.
Red flag #3: During my interview with two members of the board of directors, they spent the entire time telling me how hard the executive director was to work for. I heard stories of how she had offended donors, burned bridges all over town, etc.
Red flag #4: The last thing said by the board members was that the executive director was hard to work for but they thought I should be able to handle her.
Of course working there was as bad as I should’ve known it would be. What I want you to learn from my mistake is that I let my enthusiasm for getting a job impair my better judgement. It was such a stressful situation to get out of and it’s taken me six months to be able to even write this. I felt like a failure, like I was a poor employee, an idiot, incompetent, etc. Now I’ve come to realize that in a staff of seven, I was the fourth to leave in less than a year. I was the third person to leave my position in 21 months. Maybe I didn’t fail at doing the job. I failed by taking the job. The red flags were everywhere. Learn from my mistake.