New Job Red Flags


Does something just not feel right at your new job? When you’re new in a role, it can be confusing and take some time to get up to speed. But there are some issues that are indicative of bigger problems ahead. Learn to recognize those problems before they make your life difficult. It can really help your career in the long term. Here are a few red flags to look out for, and what makes them a bad sign.  

Getting paid cash or under the table 

Not documenting your employment is a clear red flag. Getting paid cash might seem like a great idea, but it’ll haunt you in the long run. If an employer is looking to pay you under the table, that means they’re trying to avoid documenting something or looking to get away with something. But the bottom line is that it’s not in fact for your benefit. Pay your taxes. Make sure your employment is above board. And don’t fall for an employer who thinks they can take advantage of their employees by paying under the table.  

No HR Team 

If you find yourself getting the run around after asking who to talk to in the HR department, that’s another red flag. Having a dedicated human resource department means a business is dedicated to their employees. It means it is someone’s job to manage a company’s most important resource, its employees. Not having an HR person to go to when conflict arises or even just if you have questions means you will always be on the defensive as an employee. HR teams are also tasked with managing the employee life cycle from recruiting to onboarding, through training and letting employees go. They also are charged with managing employee benefits, so they are a critical function of any well-run business. If your manager is doubling up as your HR representative, that’s not only a good outcome for you, but it can also be a full-on conflict of interest.  

Excessive Overtime 

Starting a job with the expectation that you will be required to work overtime to achieve the goals of the role is a major red flag. It means the manager is not scoping out the work appropriately and that would be unlikely to change. Hiring one person with the expectation that they do more than one person’s workload means that planning is not taking place in a meaningful way and that likely other corners are being cut as well. Overtime is an occasional occurrence, but when it’s expected of you on the regular, there are some bigger issues at play.  

Poor Employee Reviews  

While sites like and LinkedIn may have the occasional bad review, mostly bad reviews is bad sign. Employers who don’t care about the employee experience are likely to make it difficult to succeed in any role. Poor management styles, unrealistic expectations, and even illegal activity can all be outcomes of a badly run business. Keep an eye out for what past employees had to say about their experience. Because that just might be your future.  

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