Checking out your employer before you accept that offer.

Before you leap to accept a job offer, be sure to look first.


At least run a search engine query!

 

Do a bit of digging about the company that you might be working for. Is there any news in the media on their financial position? I didn’t do this and found out after I’d accepted one job that the company was likely going to be subject to a very hostile takeover. I only learned of it through water cooler gossip. The takeover threat had a big impact on company morale. I arrived at the job full of beans and most of my colleagues were preparing their resumes. Ultimately, no-one was making long term plans or starting long term projects because they didn’t expect to be around if the takeover happened.

 

I had a worse experience with a training company, which has since collapsed. It cost me several weeks unpaid work. If I’d run a check I would have found that the owner of the company had been in trouble with the authorities before for not paying contractors. I only started to look around after I had troubles and when I saw that, I knew that I wasn’t going to be seeing any money from this guy.

 

Occasionally you can find out about a company because its employees blow off steam in forums. Given that this doesn’t happen in 99% of companies, a few red flags should be raised if employees are badmouthing their place of employment so publicly. Most employees don't talk publicly about their companies, so something probably smells if you find some that do.

 

Most of the time though, you won’t find anything. You'll have lost a few minutes. If you do find something, you won't regret looking.

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