No matter which career field or industry you decide to step into, an iron grip and a total unwillingness to give up will serve you well… But undying commitment and tenacity can be dangerous when misplaced.
As in many aspects of life, success in the professional world is a matter of balance and judgment. And if there’s a time to hang onto something—a plan, a goal or an expectation—with white knuckles, there are also plenty of times when it’s smarter to let things go.
Job seekers in hot pursuit of appealing opportunities as well as the not so gainfully employed both need to know when it’s better to stay the course and when it’s time to move on.
The Future Job: Stop Chasing this Position
Here are a few telltale signs that the hot opportunity you’ve been pursuing isn’t so hot after all. Red flags like these suggest that the employers may not be what they seem, or that the position may not be quite right for you.
1. The job seems too good to be true.
Some job postings are actually just scams. And some scams are easier to spot than others. If your field has a glamorous reputation, (the arts, high finance, sales or anything involving adventure travel or baby endangered animals) tread carefully. You’d knock yourself out to get your foot in the door, but there are millions of others just like you. And scam artists don’t want all of you to knock yourselves out—they just want you to open your wallets.
2. The application process is unreliable.It’s okay to place a few hoops in front of applicants to weed out those who aren’t serious. But if a company’s “apply here” link is broken, its website is always under construction, the company keeps losing or misfiling your information or the online application form is ten pages long and keeps freezing and sending you back to square one, the employers aren’t testing your commitment—they’re just being irresponsible.
3. The employer disrespects you.
Reputable employers treat their candidates with respect. That means they don’t ask for social media passwords. They don’t ask demeaning questions during interviews. They don’t insult or abuse their applicants, and during the selection process, they don’t let the line of communication go silent without explanation. If you encounter these behaviors, don’t expect things to change once you’re brought on board.
The Present Job: It’s Time to Search for Greener Pastures
If you have a job, but you’re not sure you want to keep your position for the long term, here are a few key questions to ask yourself to help you decide.
- Are you ready to move up, but facing limited advancement opportunities in your current company?
- Have you been passed over for a promotion two times or more?
- Have you held the same salary
- Do you love telling others what you do, or does your job embarrass you? Does your company’s business model make you feel proud or ashamed?
- Are you daydreaming more than once a day about another job or another profession altogether?
- You have a unique set of talents and skills that few other people have. Is your current job making use of these skill sets? Or are these talents idling while you focus on more general tasks?
Pack Up and Move on
If you answered yes to more than three of the questions above, it’s time to start polishing your resume and heading out in search of new opportunities. Visit LiveCareer to find the advice and job search tools you need, then make a plan and hit the road.