‘We’re like family’ and other workplace red flags

A composite image of tiktioker @ashy_anne_ talking about workplace red flags and a crowd of people walking in the sydney cbd.

Tik­Tiok­er @ashy_anne_ warned job­seek­ers about these poten­tial work­place red flags. (Source: Tik­Tok @ashy_anne_ / Get­ty)

Ever been to a job inter­view where the boss describes the work­place as “like a fam­i­ly”? Well, that could be a red flag, accord­ing to this HR employ­ee.

Tik­Tok­er said, while not every work­place that used these spe­cif­ic phras­es would be bad, they might be a bad sign.

Anne said to look out for spe­cif­ic the work­place used to describe itself, as some words might be an indi­ca­tion the work­place was actu­al­ly .

“If you see a adver­tis­ing for a and they say they need some­one who is ‘’, f***ing run, because nine times out of 10 that work­place is well aware of a … tox­ic cul­ture,” she said.

“They don’t want to deal with it. So, rather than fix the cul­ture prob­lem, they put the onus back on the indi­vid­ual. So, when you as the indi­vid­ual start to strug­gle… it’s not their fault. You just aren’t resilient enough. It’s like pro­fes­sion­al gaslight­ing.”

Anoth­er phrase she said to be aware of was when a work­place described itself as “like a fam­i­ly” because it could be “very Kar­dashi­an”.

“My sec­ond red flag is when the own­er of a com­pa­ny likes to say, ‘we’re like a lit­tle fam­i­ly here’,” Anne said.

“Unfor­tu­nate­ly, what this often trans­lates to in a work­place set­ting is a com­plete and utter lack of bound­aries. I find that those ‘we’re just like a fam­i­ly’ work­places often use a lot of guilt to get peo­ple to work above and beyond their capac­i­ty.

“And you’ll often find that peo­ple who speak up about con­cerns in those work­places are often ostracised, and they’re no longer a part of the ‘fam­i­ly’. No one goes against the fam­i­ly. It’s very Kar­dashi­an.”

Anoth­er bad sign in a work­place is when there are con­stant neg­a­tive things being said about a for­mer employ­ee.

“My third red flag is when they about some­one who isn’t there to defend them­selves,” she said.

“That’s a red flag because I can guar­an­tee you if they’re will­ing to do that to your pre­de­ces­sor, they’re will­ing to do it to you.”

Last, but not least, Anne warned about oth­er employ­ees who “gate-keep” their work and were con­stant­ly putting in extra time and effort.

“You’ll often find that these peo­ple are there well they need to be in the morn­ings, and they’re there after they were sup­posed to , and they prob­a­bly come in on the week­ends as well,” she said.

“They’re doing all the work because they don’t want to relin­quish con­trol of that work. But then they’re going to blame the peo­ple who are maybe just work­ing their 8–4 and not doing any extra and make it seem as though those peo­ple aren’t .”

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