Know How To Avoid Really Bad Jobs?
Experience is not what happens to a man.
It is what a man does with what happens to him.
- Aldous Huxley
Take This Job & Shove It ... But Not More Than Once
Have you had a series of jobs that just have not worked out ... or a string of really bad jobs? Do you want to avoid working at a ‘job from hell’? If so, here are a few suggestions for using what you have learned about what went wrong to avoid more bad jobs in your future.
Create A "Things To Avoid" List
Often time mellows our memories and softens the harsh life lessons we have learned. However, the last thing you want to do is encounter the same problem over and over again.
So take a few moments and create a list of "things to avoid in future jobs".
- Think back over all your past jobs and write down anything you know you want to avoid. These include all the things you disliked about past jobs, made you angry or led to boredom.
- Also include ideas from other life experiences, such as school, internships, volunteer groups and vacations.
- Once you have your list, give each item an avoidance rating such as a number from 1 to 10, with 10 being something you must absolutely avoid.
Add items to your list when new ideas occur to you or a memory surfaces. This list will become a very valuable resource when you need to look for a new job or evaluate job offers. Often it can clarify the subtle but meaningful differences between competing job offers.
Create A "Life Lessons" File
Keep a file or a notebook to jot down the things you learned from past jobs that did not work out. Think about each problem and write down how you plan to avoid it in the future. Ideas could include ...
- Questions to ask during the interview process, rephrased to ask about what you do want in a job.
- Requesting to meet and go out to lunch with potential co-workers.
- Observing how your future boss treats his/her staff and is, in turn, treated by his/her boss.
- Taking a tour of the facility and sitting in the company lunchroom to get a feel for the atmosphere.
- Getting to the interview early to talk with the receptionist about the company. (Receptionists can be a great source of information if you know what to ask and have enough time to chat between phone calls.)
- Things to look out for because there are subtle and not so subtle signals of problem areas you have encountered in past jobs. These can include such things as yelling, people barging into offices, huddles of employees looking nervous and talking in hushed tones, lots of closed office doors, stressed out employees rushing around, a messy break room, an unorganized work room, or the use of outdated equipment and software.
Add to your file each time you get a new insight. Soon you will have a very good resource to use to spot and avoid companies and positions that are not right for you.
The Next Step
Doing these things can help you avoid encountering the same problems. But you want to do more than just avoid problems. So take a moment to learn more about ...