The #1 Thing You Need to Do to Avoid Landing a Bad Job

Rose-colored lenses
You are unemployed and looking for that seemingly elusive opportunity. Or perhaps you are in a position that doesn’t fulfill you like it once did and you are really itching to change roles. In both situations, it may niggle at the back of your mind: “I just don’t want to get a job I hate.” But you plow on ahead, interviewing with any company that wants to talk with you. So how do you keep from accepting a job that is a bad fit?


Too many times I see folks who are so focused on reaching the goal of getting a new job as quickly as possible that they ignore everything else, including that little voice that is asking, “Are you sure this is a good idea?” They brush everything aside and convince themselves that everything will be just fine (as if sheer will could really make that happen).

To be clear, I am not suggesting that someone who is unemployed and has bills to pay should pass up the opportunity to work in a position that is less than ideal. Some circumstances dictate the taking of a survival job, and if that is your situation, do what you need to do to stay afloat.

But, even with a survival job, looking at it realistically will make it a lot easier to tolerate than if you were seeing it through a rosy tint at the onset. Those rose-colored glasses will shatter at some point, making it even more painful to bear the survival job.

One of the more hurtful things that rose-colored glasses can do during a job hunt is to distort the messages that you permit yourself to hear. It becomes more acceptable for you to tell yourself, “I just need a job — any job!” (Survival jobs notwithstanding, of course.)

Or you delude yourself with, “Nothing could be as awful as what I’m doing right now!” (There’s a chance you may be right, but there’s also a big chance you may be wrong. Wouldn’t that be awful if your rose-colored vision of the outside world led you to an even worse place?)

So take off the shades and get an accurate look at what’s around you. Some of it may be painful to look at, but all you are doing is looking. How much worse would you be if you unknowingly walked in the middle of it?

Image courtesy of Derek Gavey

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