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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Reinersman

Red Flags: Warnings of Pain and Change

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

In a matter of seconds, someone could be hurt because a red flag was overlooked. In those same few seconds, 74+M google results covering the topic of red flags in job search pop up. Career development professionals have the obligation to behave with veracity (deal truthfully with clients) and beneficence (work for the good of the individual). Unfortunately, the world does not follow any such code and career changers are easy targets. Avoid or end the suffering of your clients by learning and addressing red flags. ~ Melanie Reinersman,

Photo by Kai Bossom on Unsplash

FOCUS ON: Warnings

Indications that something is not good or right with the job, job seeker, or employer may show up in job postings (see Glassdoor ), resumes (see how to overcome resume red flags), interviews (see The Ladders) – really all aspects of the job search and world of work. Heeding red flags (see the Muse) may mean turn down offers, but it could open the door to a potentially better opportunity.

FOR THE PRACTITIONER: When Its Time for a Job Change

Helping the client detect subtle signs that an exploration is overdue could lead to increased career satisfaction. Asking about the client feeling “stuck in the mud” or remaining “top dog” or the possibility of a “room at the top” gets at a few of the red flags. Discussions in the areas of project repetition, market awareness, top teams, and future goals could address these red flags in sessions with clients. Read more about following red flags versus being loyal to the employer.

JOB SEARCH: Too Good to Be True

The work-at-home job market is fraught with fraudulent activity. Scams target the unemployed by offering a job for upfront payment for “training”, pyramid marketing schemes, and so-called online re-shipping. Watch out for unsolicited job offers, even those on LinkedIn, by looking closely at the company URL, unusual financial requests, interviews on chat platforms and vague job descriptions. Read more about recruitment scams at Flexjobs.

TOP TEN: Red Flags about a Hybrid Work Culture

Employees working remotely may need to watch for signs that the company doesn't adequately support a hybrid culture. Poor digital communication tools, a lack of use of remote praise platforms and a full senior leadership remaining on-site (never remote) are a few of the signs that remote workers may have difficulty advancing professionally. Read all ten red flags.


Lengthy job hunts may cause a client to overlook some red flags in order to close the search as soon as possible. “Trust your gut and listen to your instincts,” says Elyse Pipitone with Blooming Careers. Watch out for job posting that are online for several months, negative reviews, and inattentive interviewers. The bottom line is to “pay attention to red flags” in job postings, company information, interviews, and the hiring process. According to Pipitone, these indicate how the job seeker might be treated as an employee. Read more from Blooming Careers.


“As we gain confidence in ourselves, red flags are no loner red flags. They are dealbreakers.” ~ Mandy Hale
“If you ignore the red flags, embrace the heartache to come.” ~ Amanda Mosher


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