We often come across various stories and questions from job seekers who find themselves in tricky situations: Should you leave an interview early if you know you don’t want the job? Would you take a job at an organization that went against your morals? What the comments often reveal is that we have various deal-breakers when it comes to what we’ll tolerate from employers based on our unique circumstances. It’s easier to say “no” to an unethical job, for example, if you have other options or are currently employed, than if you are unemployed and low on funds.
Over at Ask a Manager, Alison Greene explores some of the behaviors that employees shouldn’t tolerate. She notes that while people have various limits, influenced by their finances and access to opportunities, there are few behaviors that should be deal-breakers for people who have decent options:
- a pattern of not being paid when you’re supposed to be paid
- managers who break clear and specific promises without acknowledging that it’s a really big deal to do so (I added in that caveat because there are times when you might be promised, for example, a raise and then the company needs to freeze salaries … but your manager should show that they take the broken promise seriously)
- managers who won’t address serious problems (such as not taking on performance problems within your department)
- managers who regularly make you feel awful (varies by person, but it could include yelling, overly personal criticism, etc.)
- work environments where you feel unsafe
Read the rest of her insights as well as the comments here. Some other examples include being asked to take personal legal risks, being lied to about operations, and any kind of bigotry.
We’d love to hear from you: What employer behaviors are absolute deal-breakers for you?