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Here are 10 red flags employees should look out for when starting a new job

"When the current employees have desks bare of personal affects."

new job red flags; toxic workplace; toxic work environment; job seekers

10 red flags employees should look out for at new job

Just about everyone has had a job they didn't really like. Maybe it was a boss that micromanaged your every move or maybe it was a company that expected you to essentially live at work with zero extra pay. In some cases it's not the management at all but toxic coworkers that keep you from wanting to walk through the doors.

But what if there was a way to suss that stuff out before you waste your precious time and sanity at a job that could turn into a nightmare? Upworthy asked audience members to metaphorically spill the tea on how they know a new job isn't going to be a good fit and the insight is so good we had to share. People were seemingly eager to tell future job seekers what red flags they need to look out for based on their personal experiences.

So if you're about to be on the hunt for a new position and you haven't grabbed a pen and paper yet, you just might want to pause here and go get one. This is may be a game changer for some people.


There were over a thousand replies and after digging through comments, here are some of the best ones.


1. How the position became available

"I asked how my position became available once during an interview and I learned about 6 others had that same position throughout the year," Amanda Price revealed.

2. No employee break room

Tory Swift writes, "I once got a tour of a business where the management proudly showed me their call centre room (which looked quite small and cramped and dark to me) and told me it used to be the staff room, but they had got rid of the staff room as it encouraged people to chat and take breaks. Apparently by having no staff room it had increased their call centre productivity/ the speed at which calls were answered. From speaking to the staff it had also increased their staff turnover. Their replacement staff room was a kettle on a small shelf in a corridor.Any management that are happy to get rid of a staff room to stop folk chatting and having a break are a big red flag to me!"

3. Corporate code words

"Hit the ground running ” in a “fast paced environment ” means no induction or learning time, a stressful work environment and they’re short staffed probably because they over work/ under pay/ mistreat their staff," Nikolien van Wijik says.

4. Lack of personality in workspaces

Emily Dills writes, "When the current employees have desks bare of personal affects, it usual means they aren't invested and maybe looking to leave. A silent office where there isn't any chatter and everyone looks miserable."

5. If they claim the staff is like family

AJ Hunter shares, "We're a family here, we look out for each other."This means they're hella short staffed and you will get a call every off day."

6. Questionable boundaries and complaints from coworkers

"A boss who calls or texts after hours. Also, watch for colleagues who come to you complaining about everything. You want to limit your time with these people when possible," Laura A. Curry writes.

7. The old hat trick

Mike Tayler says, "When you're told that you'll be wearing several different hats. This indicates to me either poor management or staffing issues. RUN!"

8. Ask follow up questions when they say the position is "remote hybrid"

"Advertising the position as “hybrid remote”, and not mentioning that you can’t work from home until you’ve worked there a year. And, any company that has more than a 90 day probationary period is a hard pass," Rhonda Leigh cautions.

9. Parking lot full of old cars and more managers than needed

June C. Howard shares, "No break rooms separate from the working areas.Bloated management staff - ie 6 managers for 10 people kind of thing.Staff parking lot filled with beaters until you get to the reserved spaces at the front."

10. Happy staff, happy job. Irritated staff, irritating job.

"How coworkers receive you.If they are helpful, kind, upbeat and positive about the organization’s direction; then it’s probably a good place to stay.If they are negative, predatory, unhelpful, looking to cut corners and leave early; then you need to get out. Staff always reflect the dysfunction of the management," David Lau warns.

While this list is not exhaustive, these are some of the most repeated themes. If you'd like to see the entire list to try to pick out others to add to your list, you can find it here.

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