Work for us and you’ll be rich, powerful, and wildly happy. The lure of the siren song is real. Offers may sound really attractive, companies may feel warm and cozy, and the people may make you want to jump ship tomorrow. Beware. Pay close attention to the top three warning signs that the company who’s recruiting you is too good to be true:

1.  They give you a short list of staff you can talk to about the company.

Everyone loves this place – let me have you talk to John and Kate about what it’s like to work here. I’m sure John and Kate do love their job, but how big is the company? You’re only allowed to pick the brains of a chosen few employees? What about someone in each department? What if you got the real story by choosing who to chat with?

2.  They throw around a lot of buzz words.

Corporate synergy, empowerment culture, alignment leadership, agile workforce. Say what? If you can’t figure out what they’re talking about when they start talking, it’s not you, it’s them. Consider why they can’t just say it like it is and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.

3.  Everything is rosy.

Every job, every company, every department has its highs and lows. Nothing is perfect. We know this, and yet we can still so easily get sucked into tales of that far off fantastical company where nothing annoying, aggravating, and downright scream-worthy ever happens. When a company is willing to admit the areas that they are working on, instead of being a red flag, it’s really a breath of fresh air – and very telling about how they operate every day.

Do your homework. Trust but verify –  you’ll be well on your way to finding a great place to hang your shingle.

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