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What are the Worst Reasons for Taking a Job?

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What do you think the worst reasons for taking a job are? We asked people across the country what they thought the worst reasons were for taking a job and we received a lot of interesting responses. We really enjoyed reading these and hope you find these responses as insightful as we did. If you have your own thoughts about the worst reasons for taking a job, please share them in the comments below the article.Here is what people had to say.

I am a Resume Expert and Job Search Coach with ResuMAYDAY. In my years of working with job seekers at all levels, I know that the worst reason for taking a job is desperation. People don’t make smart choices when they are desperate and they don’t have the luxury of considering the long-term impact of accepting the wrong job. Once the dust settles and that person is able to see things with a clear mind, reality sets in that this job is a mistake, and soon they’ll be looking for a new one. The problem with this is that if you do this too many times, you’ll be branded a job-hopper. I think every resume writer will agree with me that the hardest obstacle for a job seeker to overcome is the label of job-hopper. Employers don’t want to invest their resources in someone with a track record of consistently leaving a job every 1-2 years. And why should they? The market is saturated with plenty of talented people with lengthy tenures – that shows loyalty and good decision making.

On the other side of that coin is people who genuinely would have stayed with their employer longer, but fell into a situation that was out of their control. If that’s the case, make sure to state it on the resume – the last bullet in that employment section explain your story: “Due to the economic downturn that greatly impacted the construction industry, I was laid-off from this position along with 40 other employees in my department.”

Lauren Milligan

The worst reason for taking a job is that it appeals to your ego.

Whether it’s an impressive title, a cool company car, or your employer’s name recognition, the sense of pride will be short-lived. What’s more, it can keep you from moving on to a career that would be a more satisfying long-term fit.

Study after study of middle-age populations show a surprisingly high degree of dissatisfaction with their career choices. But when you ask what they would rather be doing, their answers rarely have anything to do with the trappings of pride. They want to use their skills in creative ways and feel good about their contributions.

C. Michael Thompson is the author of the recently published book, “When Your Foundations Move: The Three Crucial Transitions in Life and Career.” As president of RiverBlue Consulting, his clients have included executives and teams at American Express Company, Deutsche Bank, Sara Lee, and Gulfstream Aerospace, among many others.

The worst reason for taking a job is money only — always consider corporate culture, geographic location, organization reputation, and prequisites.

Bettina Seidman
SEIDBET Associates

The worst reason to take a job is because you really need it, and fear you can’t get anything else. You should position yourself to be taking the best job available: A job that you are best suited for, and the job that you can bring something unique to. This job should give you a reason to get up in the morning and energize you. If you can’t say these three things about the job, you shouldn’t take it.

Susanne Riehlehas founded two companies– including Studio Productions,Inc, 23 years ago. Studio Productions is a major producer of theatricalscrims, projection surfaces; and is the premier producer of printed scrims.She holds a BSEE (Electrical Engineering) and a MBA. She has managed largesoftware teams distributed over 3 continents. She is a professional speakerspeaking on topics of leadership, negotiations, interviewing and careerdevelopment. Her new book is, “Make Me an Offer I Can’t Refuse” inavailable at the end of October in eBook format and the end of December in print edition.

The worst reason for taking a job is the job is close to your home. This could be a bad idea since your boss may think you are highly accessible to work overtime. I took a job down the street from where I live and they called me all the time to come in since I lived so close.

Natasha Carmon
Louisville, Ky.
Author of Highly Favored by Dog? God, Poisonous Crimes of Passion

One of the worst reasons to take a job is for pay alone. It’s important that you look at the bigger picture: is it a job you’d feel good about doing? Is it a good team? Are there opportunities for growth or advancement? Will the job help your personal branding and your story in the future? If you take a job for the money that’s not a good fit, chances are it won’t be worth it. You may not perform at your best and you may not last there very long. Better to take a job that balances pay with other aspects you value in a job. If you do that, not only will you enjoy your work more, you’ll create opportunities for growth.

Steven Swimmer is Web and Digital Strategy consultant at Swimmer Media. He’s been a web/digital professional since the mid-1990s, having worked in-house with The J. Paul Getty Trust building world-class cultural websites, and Fox Broadcasting as Director of Online for Swimmer Media provides integrated web and digital strategy, production services, marketing and business development support for small and medium businesses.

Demotion due to cutbacks or downsizing

Often organizations and employees believe this is good middle ground when downsizing or cut backs occur. This rarely works out due to the employee feeling undervalued, under compensated and an overall feeling that they could be doing more. In addition, it takes the demoted employee longer to find a more suitable job because they are preoccupied with fulfilling the underwhelming responsibilities of their current position.


If you are in a situation where a lesser position is offered to you and a severance or buy out package is available. Take the package, while this may seem a little overwhelming, you will be back to having a job that you enjoy, and are appropriately compensated for much faster by not wasting your time spinning your wheels in a lesser job.

Dan Markin
The Dan Markin Company

Taking a job because you don’t think you can do any better is the absolute worst reason for accepting a job. As a workforce development consultant who works with hard to serve job seekers such as ex-offenders, I find that many of them will accept any job offered to them regardless of their previous education or experience. As ex-offenders they face a lot of societal pressure to get a job for obvious reasons. Many believe that no one else will hire them because of their criminal record regardless of their education or experience. A large majority simply don’t think they can’t do any better as a result of their criminal record and take the first job opportunity that comes along. Some people believe the myth that all ex-offenders are uneducated and unskilled. This is absolutely untrue. Many of the ex-offenders that I work with are very talented who possess the necessary education and experience to get a good job but don’t believe that anyone will give them a chance. In short, I have seen ex-offenders with doctorate and master degrees who are looking for jobs as dishwashers, cashiers and laborers because they don’t believe that they can get hired in their previous job capacities. In some cases they are not eligible to work in their previous fields of work. However, there is no reason why they can’t use their transferable skills to find a job in similar professional capacity where their criminal record will not be a factor.

Sheila Savage
Life by Design Consultants

I am a company founder and president. We pride ourselves on offering a work life balance and have a great reputation for that. However, some job candidates confuse that with our agency being “an easy place to work”. We’ve had disasters in which people wanted to work for us and leave their current role because they were at a stage where they needed “an easy job.” For example they were starting a business on the side, considering starting family or taking care of loved one. We value everyone’s personal life and expect all employees to have active lives outside of work, but that reputation can bite you when it gets interpreted incorrectly.

Bill Balderaz
Fathom Columbus

One of the worst reasons someone can have for taking a job is because they want to be closer to a friend who already works at the establishment. What I mean by this is that the candidate has no interest in the position or the work but instead wishes to be there for social reasons. Being social is a good thing but there’s more to work than the people you work with. What if that friend were to leave? Would there be any reason to stick around?

David Ciccarelli
CEO and co-founder

The #1 worst reason for taking a job – is because it pays the highest.

This may seem like the wrong answer, but ask yourself why this company is paying more than anyone else? It’s usually because they can’t keep people. Companies that have great reputations and have low turnover usually do not pay the highest.

Kathi Elster, of K Squared Enterprises, is an executive coach and the co-author of Working with You Is Killing Me, Mean Girls at Work and Working for You Isn’t Working for Me.

There are two reasons to take a job. One would be to advance your career. The other would be to escape from a bad boss, employer, or situation such as lack of advancement, bad co-workers, or general disengagement in your current employment. The first reason would be a positive reason. The second reason would be one of the worst reasons to take a job.

Ken Rupert

The worst reasons for taking a job are all status-based. For example, applying and taking a job solely for putting the name of the company on your resume in order to apply to other companies. There’s no room for applicants who seek out personal gains before the company.

Ian Aronovich, Co-founder and CEO

Taking a job as an applicant and as a freelancer have a lot in common and the worst reason to take a job is solely for the money. There are many red flags that a freelancer or applicant ignores JUST so he can make a buck. The best recourse is to hold out for something your heart is into and for something you want that will benefit you in the long run.

Richard Storm

Worst Reasons to Take a Job

  1. Just for more money (because you think you ought to get paid more)
  2. You’re so dissatisfied with your current employment that you want the satisfaction of being able to tell your boss good-bye.

Charles B. Henderson
St. Louis, Missouri

I had worked in restaurant management for years and I felt as though I was tired and burnt out from all of the late nights and weekends. However, with only that experience on my resume, I had trouble attracting employers outside of that industry. After about nine months, I took a position in retail management. The hours weren’t as bad, but I ended up disliking the position incredibly. I wasn’t suited very well for customer relations. The stress was just as bad as it was in the restaurant business, and after about three months I was even more frustrated than I was in my previous position. It actually made me long for the days when I worked in restaurants. Making a career change out of desperation is virtually always a bad move, unless you get incredibly lucky. You’re better off staying with your current career until you find something you know that you will like.

David Bakke

Are you running from something (i.e. a bad situation) or are you running towards an opportunity?

Money. Someone, some job, will always offer you more money … but will this really make you happy? A bad job or bad boss, and a lot of money? This will satisfy your short term needs (money), but not necessarily line up with your longer term career aspirations / goals

If you are out of a job and take the first job offered, or take a job substantially below your last / previous position, this could be a mistake … be patient, find the job you really want, so you are not changing jobs every year or two.

Steven Raz
Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Cornerstore Search Group, LLC

What are the Worst Reasons for Taking a Job? by
Authored by: Andrew Ostler

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