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 former 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 language the workplace used to describe itself, as some words might be an indication the workplace was actually toxic.
“If you see a company advertising for a position and they say they need someone who is ‘resilient’, 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 talk 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 before they need to be in the mornings, and they’re there after they were supposed to leave, 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 contributing.”
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