The job search process can be taxing for a number of reasons. You may have left, or want to leave, a toxic work environment. You could be trying to manage your stress levels during or after treatment, and/or are considering a career change. While sifting through countless job postings may seem to add to that stress, it is important to remember that you are in control of your job search and the roles you pursue and accept. Being mindful of what to look out for in postings to find the right fit for you is key to avoid falling back into the same types of work environments and stressors you were trying to get away from.
A recent article by April Zimmerman from the Muse, titled How to Spot Signs of a Toxic Culture in the Job Description, shares some tips on what to look out for in job postings. Below are our top highlights.
Ambiguity. Playful job titles, a lack of a clear job description, non defined schedule, and wide salary ranges can all be indicators that a company doesn’t know what it needs, or that its needs require multiple roles they are trying to fill with one. Clarity on the role, from both the prospective employee and employer's side, is important in setting healthy boundaries and expectations.
Excessively long list of responsibilities. While this makes it clear that the employer knows exactly what it wants from the candidate, it is also a sign that they are looking for multiple positions’ worth of work in one job; a role that can quickly lead to burn-out.
Urgency/stress language. Exaggerated or clichéd language in a job post, like "works well under pressure" or "fast-paced environment," can be expected and often times harmless. However, they are important to keep in mind as they can also be potential indicators of a toxic work environment with a lack of boundaries and a culture of false urgency.
Job descriptions that feel like they were written for you and not just for the employer. Can you picture yourself in that role and enjoying it?
Of course, these are only some of the things to look out for during your job search, and may not be negatives for all. To help you through this process, Cancer and Careers offers a number of job search resources and tools, including:
- Our Resume Review Service offers free, personalized feedback on your resume from one of our professional career coaches!
- Check out our publications available for order and/or download, in particular our Job Search Toolkit, with a section on LinkedIn.
- You can submit a question to our panel of professional career coaches via our Ask a Career Coach message board. Many people also find it helpful to search through our log of past questions to see if their specific concern has been addressed before or to spark an idea.
- Currently working? Cancer and Careers offers patient-focused webinars through our Balancing Work & Cancer Webinar Series, that addresses many of the challenges of balancing work and cancer. For more information, and to register, click here.