If you are searching for a new job or feel discontentment with your current one, you'll likely be scouring job websites looking for the next step in your career. Thankfully, as a CPA your job search will likely be much less painful. The market is in need of lots of good CPAs, which gives you the advantage to find a job you love without settling. As you search, you'll want to look out for these red flags in potential employers.
The Job Description is Rigid
Sometimes you can read what the employer is looking for and it's very exact. Preciseness can be a good thing since it demonstrates that employers know what they are looking for in a candidate. The only problem comes when they don't leave any room for you to bring in your unique, and specific skillset.
If the interview primarily revolves around rules, dress attire, and working long hours, the employer is likely more interested in finding a workhorse than a talented CPA. Don't let them fool you by taking you out to a fancy lunch.
Another way to sniff out these potential employers is when you find a waiting room full of other candidates for the job. This is a sign that the employer has a general rather than particular need. These jobs often make you feel like you are you are dispensable because, in their eyes, you are and anyone certified person could do it. To prevent this, spend some time figuring out what your value is and trust in it.
It's Not All About the Benjamins
If you take a job primarily for the money, you may be let down. The starting salary might be great, but if it isn't putting you on track towards a career, it might not be worth the time and effort. Ultimately, you might see your time in the role as wasted time.
We see people who are tired of their current company, for many different reasons, make a lateral move in hopes of greener pastures. They don't see any increase in pay. These people often make this lateral move to end up in a very similar position they wanted to leave in the first place. In the job search, look for something that has the potential fulfill your lifestyle, financial, and career goals. Don't focus just on the base salary and look at the other employment terms such as vacation days and remote work options.
Deal-Or-No Deal Employers
Failure to communicate fairly, or abrupt requests should be a no-go. If the employer is always slow to initiate contact, gives you loose timelines, or needs to know something immediately, you should head for the hills. We see employers asking people to show up early the next day for an interview. This can be exciting as the ball is rolling fast, but if they can't work anything else out for you it shows they don't respect your time and likely won't even after you get the job. At best, you'll manage to make things work by making a lot of one-way sacrifices for the company.
You are supposed to start next Monday, but all of a sudden your start date gets pushed back a week or two. This is a warning sign that they are struggling financially or in human resources. These type of employers aren't considering the needs of their employees at all. They will lead you on for their benefit. When you do start working, it'll often be in an unstable work environment. You won't be confident in your paychecks being there in the long run and it can lead to a lot of instability in your life. This is okay if you are passionate about the company and are financially secure, but it's generally not a healthy relationship.
It Doesn't Pass the Gut Check
If you are getting vibes from the boss or just feel miserable walking through the office, you should get out before it starts. Thinking "I can do this" and dealing with aspects you don't like may be necessary at times, but if it's your primary, overwhelming feeling, you'll end up frustrated in the long run.
A good test is to ask yourself if it would make you uneasy for your best friend to be working there. We often hold higher standards for others than we do ourselves. If, in your opinion, the job is not okay for someone you care about it's not good enough for you.