You may wonder, "What's the worst thing that could possibly happen during my job search?" Is it making a fool of yourself in an interview? Is it saying the wrong thing? Is it wearing the wrong outfit?
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It's actually none of these things. Hands down, the worst thing that could possibly happen during your job search is that you don't listen to your intuition.
When it comes to looking for and landing a job, you're really on your own. Nobody else is in the interview room with you. Your spouse, parents, and friends can only judge from the outside based on what you share with them or what they may know about the company.
Often, what makes you happy and keeps you happy in a job isn't the name of the company you work for. It's not the amount of money you make, nor is it the title you have. This should become clear when you think about why you've left jobs in the past.
The thing that will make or break you at work is the people. It's how well you get along with your boss. It's how well you click with your coworkers. It's how healthy the work environment is in your department.
None of those things can be figured out by reading a job description or looking at an online application. You probably won't be able to learn these things by reading company reviews, either.
The only way to truly know whether a company is for you is by visiting it in person – and by paying attention to your gut. Very often, we are so interested in being "picked" for a job that we stop listening to our own instincts. Sadly, it almost always turns out that our bad instincts were right.
Have you ever interviewed for a job and noticed something wasn't quite right? Perhaps the boss was a little strange, or you heard rumors of interpersonal problems within the team. But then you got the job offer and it was just too good to be true. Besides, you had no real proof there were any issues.
And things seemed fine until you started working. Then you learned that your boss had problems and there were lots of internal issues at the company. If only you had listened to yourself, you might not be looking for a new job again!
The point is this: Even though you want to get out of your current job, don't be in such a rush that you find yourself back in the same bad situation. It will only prolong your pain and your search. Listen to your intuition and wait until it says good things. In the long run, you'll find yourself much happier and you'll stay at your job longer.
A version of this article originally appeared in the Memphis Daily News.
Angela Copeland is a career coach and CEO at her firm, Copeland Coaching.