If you’re doing it right, job hunting is hard work. From researching companies, networking with contacts, searching for opportunities, sending professional resumes, and interviewing, the process can be exhausting, especially if you’ve been out of the job market for a long time. After a few months, you may be tempted to take the first job position offered.

While you may be willing to accept lower pay, fewer benefits, and a difficult work schedule, some opportunities can waste valuable time and leave you demoralized. Before you take the job, consider the following seven red flags:

Missed interviews

While scheduling problems inevitably arise, an employer who misses more than one interview is a serious red flag. Either the company is in complete chaos or the interviewer is overburdened and disorganized. If the interviewer also happens to be your prospective boss, stay away. If your boss has missed more than one interview during your employment process, you are unlikely to get their attention once you’ve begun work.

Vague job descriptions

Ambiguous job responsibilities and undefined job titles are a classic sign that your role has not been well thought out. In growing companies, this can mean the scope of the position has been expanding so rapidly that the company’s HR department hasn’t been able to catch up. Vague job responsibilities in larger, established companies may mean you are being inserted into contentious territory in order to reduce reliance on a strong-willed but successful leader. In either case, vague job roles often mean unrealistic expectations. If you find a widening gap between the position you applied for and the one that was described to you during the interview, you may want to take a step back to define the role before joining the new organization.

Harsh interviewing tactics

Stressful interviews, where employers are clearly trying to get under your skin or make you adjust to difficult environmental situations, are clear signs that your employer has a hard time keeping employees. Chances are likely that this type of manipulative behavior will continue long into your employment. Work is stressful enough without gamesmanship. Do yourself a favor and walk away from these type of theatrical employers. Take som of the stress out of the interview with these tips for successful interviewing! 

“Take-it-or-leave-it” job offers

Work is a matter of give and take. If an employer gives you an on-the-spot, “take-it-or-leave-it” offer, they are definitely hiding something. Before you move ahead, make sure to research their organization carefully and verify that the salary you are offered is commensurate with the commitment they’re expecting. Even if you are asked to make a quick decision, do yourself a favor and talk it over with someone you trust before jumping on board.

Unmet career expectations

While it may be tempting to take the highest salary you are offered, consider where the position will take you before you agree to take the job. If you can see no career path that excites you, you may be better off turning down the job. Like it or not, once you begin working in an industry, you are likely to continue in it. Finding yourself in a job that draws you away from your goals may be a permanent change rather than a detour.

Too many changes required

Any new job requires adaption and change. While change is often a good thing, too many changes at one time may be more than you can handle. Changing career fields, geographic location, and carrying on a long-distance relationship can spell disaster for your career if you do not receive the support you need. It may be better to take baby steps rather than jump in all at once, especially if you feel emotionally fragile.

Morally compromised positions

Compromising deeply held beliefs in the name of a better salary or attractive benefits is rarely a successful choice. While some people are comfortable along a wide spectrum of political belief, others find neither the purpose nor environment they are looking for if they join an organization that doesn’t share their values.

Jumping into a new job after a termination or layoff is a lot like jumping into a new romantic relationship. You want to make sure you are taking the job for the right reasons and not jumping into the first opportunity just because it’s offered. Before you take the job, make sure it’s a good fit for your career objectives and personality. When in doubt, trust your instincts. If you are left with lingering doubts after you’ve completed your final interview, politely decline the offer and move on.

Evolution Coaching is here to help you make the right choice for your future with career guidance from our certified career coaches. We have professional resume writers, career transition specialists, and interview coaches standing by to assist you in making the best decisions for your career!