Be Careful Before You Accept That Job Offer

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 warning-sign1

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.


6 Replies to “Be Careful Before You Accept That Job Offer”

  1. Thanks for sharing. Tough lesson to learn. It has obviously left you stronger. It is so hard to hear those warning signs when your putting yourself out there. I think it takes one of two of these experiences to make you strong enough to go for what you really want. Glad you got out before it hurt you any further and are on to better things.

  2. Why is that group not firing the “boss” that they all clearly know is a problem? That is the real question. They are losing many opportunities to raise money for a good cause and many good employees by letting a known bully continue her reign. I worked for TWO bully bosses at a past job that caused me so much anxiety I also had to quit. Such a shame.

  3. I had a similar experience last year. I was offered an amazing opportunity but found out quickly that it was nothing like what was proposed. I ended up being physically threatened and verbally abused. I left right after the executive director, who was fed up will all the crud.

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