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Will Your Next Job be Better?

By Marty Nemko

You had no idea your job would be so awful. Next time, you can help prevent it. When you enter the building for your interview, check out the vibes. Do employees seem happy? Do people's desks display feel-good items like family pictures or are they strictly business? Do the wall hangings seem friendly? Are the facilities modern? (If not, the employer may have budget problems.) In interviews, ask about employee turnover in your position. You might even ask if you could have a cup of coffee in the employee break room. There, find a friendly-looking soul or two and say something like, "I'm interviewing for a job here and am wondering what it's like to work here." Before accepting a job offer, ask permission to talk with future co-workers or customers. Ask what it's like to work there, about the boss, the products' strengths and weaknesses, how long the previous incumbent held the position and why he left? What can you expect in pay raises? What training is offered? What promotion opportunities are likely? Ask smart questions before signing on and you may be able to skip reading the want ads for a while.

What can you do today?
You have the right to a good job, and if your current one is irreparable, take a baby step toward finding a better one. For example, call a friend who loves her workplace and see if there might be a place for you there.

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