How to Spot a Job You'll Hate Before You Accept It

How to Advance Your Career

When you're in the market for a new job, receiving a job offer can feel like winning the lottery. After all, from a large pool of applicants -- all vying for the same position -- you've been chosen, which can feel incredibly validating. You might be tempted to say "yes" immediately, but that could be a mistake. Because unless you're in truly dire straits, you don't want just any job; you want the right job -- a job in which you will feel healthy, happy and productive. As good as it feels to be wanted, what if this job isn't right?

There's an adage that people don't quit their jobs; they quit their bosses. If you want to spot a bad job, therefore, what you should look out for is a bad boss, author Elana Lyn Gross suggests in a recent article for Monster.

"If you've ever worked for a boss that makes Cersei Lannister look like a dream, you know that having a good relationship with your boss is crucial," Gross says. "When you're applying for jobs, you need to be evaluating the interviewer just as much as they're evaluating you. If you're getting bad vibes from your boss-to-be, it's a sign that even if the role and company seem perfect, it might not be the right fit."

You'll probably know a bad boss when you meet one. But just in case you don't, here are a few telltale signs: One, for example, is tardiness. It's one thing to be a few minutes late, but what about 10 minutes late, 15 minutes late or even longer?

"This can be an indicator that the boss errs on the egotistical side and lacks common manners," Dana Case, director of operations at, told Gross. "The mentality is that the boss will start when they are ready, not necessarily when everyone else is."

Negativity -- about the company, the prospective job or other employees -- is another red flag. "If they get angry or show any negative emotions, it might be a warning sign that it's going to get a lot worse," Romy Newman, president and co-founder of Fairygodboss, told Gross. "If they can't keep their emotions in check for a 30-minute or one-hour interview, it's likely that they won't be keeping them in check during a long work day."

Finally, trust your gut. "First impressions can sometimes be misleading, so if you're unsure, stick it out and go back for another interview," Newman told Gross. "But if you leave and feel like something is wrong, you're probably right."

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