“Warning, Warning, Warning!”

If you are from my generation of black and white tv programs to color, than you probably remember “Robot” from Lost in Space. He walked around all the time saying, “Warning, Warning, Warning Will Robinson.” He had an uncanny way of knowing when danger was looming in front of them or around them. Let me be your Robot for just a moment….

“Warning, Warning Warning!” Do you take the time to determine whether you are stepping into the right job, the right organization for the right reasons? Or, are you soooo desperate for a J-O-B, that you will jump out of a bad situation into a worse situation?

“Warning, Warning, Warning!” It is very important that you find out about at least 4 things to determine if the opportunity is really right for you.

  1. Do your values align with the organizational values?
  2. Do you clearly understand the overall scope of the job you are interviewing for?
  3. What about the boss? Can you work for this person?
  4. What is the overall organizational climate?

Do your values align with the organizational values? If your organization values winning at any cost, but you don’t, that is an immediate conflict and you will not survive in that organization without changing. If your company values 60 hour work weeks and you are only willing to work 45 hours per week because you value family over the additional 15 hours, you will have conflict and again, you will not survive in the organization. You are responsible to ask questions that will give you a clear picture of the organization before saying yes. Research will help with this as well.

Do you clearly understand the scope of the position? What is the job title? What are the key roles and responsibilities? Who are the key stakeholders? What is your span of control? What are the critical objectives you need to accomplish in the first 30, 60 or 90 days? Ask this question in the interview. If you say yes before knowing this you will be in trouble and may be potentially setting yourself up for failure.

What about the boss? I know for me personally, I like to understand the leadership style of my boss. I will not work for a micro-manager. PERIOD. I need a strong leader, not milk toast, afraid to make a decision. If you had a bad experience with your previous boss, get clear on the new one. You might find the new one is worse than the one you have.

What is the overall organizational climate? There are some organizations that you walk into, it is 90 degrees and sunny outside. It is pleasant. Everybody “appears” to be happy, enjoying their job. But there are other organizations that are zero degrees and freezing outside. These organizations are painful to work in. People are rude to one another, and people are afraid to breathe. If you are uninterested in working for a syrupy sweet organization, versus a highly rigid organization, make sure you know it before you say “YES”.

“Warning, Warning, Warning! Danger Will Robinson or whatever your name is…” My intention in this post is to warn you about the potential pitfalls of making a quick decision when in the job market. “Jumping out of the fire into the frying pan.”

Warning, Warning, Warning! Take responsibility for finding out about the new organization before you say YES! If you play to win this game of interviewing, you will have heeded the warnings and you will find yourself in the right organization, doing the right thing at the right time! Have FUN!