The road to finding the perfect job is paved with bad interviews, botched resumes, and….getting fired before your first day? What?!? You’d be surprised. A rescinded job offer isn’t such a far fetched scenario for many in the search right now. Forbes recently profiled a young man from Wilmington, Delaware who was fired before his first day for, wait for it, posting online about his new job! Check out the full Forbes article here. Mr Brooks certainly learned his lesson about providing too much information prior to an official start date. As it turns out, his future employer didn’t feel comfortable with his press release style announcement they had hired him.
And while Mr. Brooks learned his lesson, I’ve learned mine in the past as well. Last year, during my initial job search in Chicago, I was offered a job, went to work on my first day, and ultimately ended up without a job offer in the end. It’s something that happens all too often. Job offers are made by individuals who perhaps didn’t approve the hire with the powers that be, a perfect storm for a rescinded offer. Or, like Mr. Brooks, candidates somehow become undesirable after an offer.
To avoid this situation in your own job search, here are a few tips to help be certain a job is a done deal before you pop the champagne:
- Sign on the dotted line. Before you do anything, tell anyone, or even get excited, be sure your offer letter is signed and the ink is dry from both you and the employer. Even with an offer letter signed, a company can rescind an offer, but having a signed letter will help to avoid issues prior to the start date.
- Keep quiet for a while. In today’s age of instant information and online connections, it’s tempting to immediately scream from the proverbial Facebook rooftops, “I have a new job!!!” But if I’ve learned anything from my own missed opportunity, it’s to keep quiet for a while. Consider even waiting until a few weeks after you’ve been in your job to changed LinkedIn stats, Facebook announcements, etc.
- Nothing is free, not even you. Recently, I’ve heard stories of employers who ask prospective/future employees to spend a few days or even a week at the office prior to signing the offer letter, and usually without pay. For me, this is a big red flag, and you don’t have to oblige. Don’t give away your time or effort when you should be getting paid for it.
I hope you’ll never find yourself in a situation like Khristopher Brooks. Watch for red flags all along the way, and you’ll be sure to find yourself gainfully employed rather than left out in the cold.