Everyone has experienced a real job salesman. Whether it’s a recruiter, a friend, or a manager at a particular company, someone packages up a job to make it something it’s really not.
In my short life I’ve already had quite a few of these, ranging from total scheme to decent wage-earner job status. High school graduation made me a target for Vector Marketing’s knife sales. A few college years made me target for whole life insurance “finance” jobs.
And of course, you can’t forget the internships. You know, those internships that are really just a boring old job in disguise, with the added perk of getting your foot in the door for better opportunities? I remember being told that I “would work with some of the smartest people in the world.” That sounds great, but it’s not entirely true.
That promise amounted to effective data entry and basic financial modeling. Hell, Darwin told me I would be writing for Financial Times, and yet my posts just keep showing up here. I don’t get it!
Getting the Job Sales Pitch
This list is hardly exhaustive, but it’s a definite start to red flags in the job hunt:
- Seeing the world – Ahh, the classic job promise of seeing the world and traveling to every nook and cranny on planet earth. The Army says something like this, but then sends you half-way around the world to fight 12-year olds toting AK-47s. Consulting companies offer the same potential, except any sightseeing is done at 20,000 feet from a 747.
- Changing lives – You’ll get the opportunity to change people’s lives every day! You’ll work for the greater good! Reality: you’ll dial for donations, of which only a very small portion go to a good cause, and the remaining 80%+ goes to the company doing the calling. There’s a company in my town that does just this…and they’re always hiring. Friends that I would consider some of the most responsible people I know only lasted mere weeks at this place.
- Learn the business – What better way to learn a business than from the bottom up, right? Wrong. You’ll learn about the nitty-gritty part of the business that does not generate any money. If your goal is to develop professionally, this gig shouldn’t be the target. Exit opportunities? Excellent, so long as you start an outsourcing firm to do what you did for the company before.
- Unlimited pay – You have the chance to make an unlimited amount of money working for commissions. The sky is the limit, they say. The reality: paying you on commission is the best deal in the world; you make money so long as the company makes money. All the risk of the company (usually new) is borne by the employee, not the business owner.
Do employers really think that these selling points work? I mean, there has to be some reason why every job opportunity is loaded with a sales pitch of a new life and immeasurable opportunity, right?
Have you ever experienced a hard-sell to take a job?
Have you ever been the target of an offer that sounded great on paper, only to learn that the job description was nothing like it seemed?
Check out these articles in Career as well:
- Cutting Hours out of your Workday
- The REAL Reasons Companies Announce Huge Layoffs
- Unemployment by Major
- Is Working Overtime Worth It?
Written by: JT, who blogs about finance and money at MoneyMamba.com