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Five Lies You’ll Hear On A Job Search

The job market is picking up. We get as many inquiries in our office now from talent-hungry recruiters and employers as we do from job seekers.

People who’ve tolerated unexciting jobs waiting for things to turn around are looking around the talent marketplace. People who’ve been out of work for ages are seeing a little more recruiting activity.

That’s good news, right? It’s mostly good. The danger for a job-seeker is to get sucked into the Vortex.

The Vortex is the force that takes over when you start to get traction in a job search.

“This is cool!” you think. “These guys like me. Maybe I’ll get this job offer and get out of my horrible job.”

If you’re not working, you think “Maybe I’ll get this job and pay off my credit card debt, finally!”

The Vortex is powerful. When an employer starts to show interest in you, it’s easy to get sucked in, whether the job is good for you or not.

We like to be liked — it’s normal!

When you’re working and another company is interested in you, it’s like a secret life. Your colleagues don’t know you’ve got something going on the side. It’s like having an affair (not that I would know anything about that).

These new people seem to like you more than your colleagues do. How alluring! How magnetic!

This is exactly the point where the Vortex can take over and impair your judgment. Ignoring your gut in the Vortex can land you in a job that’s worse than the one you left, and worse than another month of unemployment.

The big red flag for a job-seeker is to be lied to by someone on the employer side of the desk.  Job-seekers hear lies from recruiters,  hiring managers, and other people involved in the selection process. I’m not hating on anyone.  As in any population, some people are confident, trusting and truthful, and others are mired in fear.

When people get fearful, they lie.

They say things like “Oh yes, we’re putting in a new system to improve Accounts Payable” and it’s only months later, when you’ve asked your new boss a hundred times what’s happening with that software upgrade, that you realize your boss was just shining you on.

Your boss couldn’t sell the CFO on a software upgrade if her life depended on it. She lied to you when you were a candidate for the job.

People who lie to job-seekers aren’t necessarily trying to mislead them. They have high hopes at the moment they say whatever fanciful thing they say. But they’re lying, because in their gut of guts they know that what they’re telling you is a pipe dream, removed from reality.

Here are five more lies we hear every day from our job-seeking clients.

When people are feeding you a line of baloney in the recruiting process, your job is to run. Don’t work for people like that.

If they have to tell you stories to get you in the door, what do you think it will be like to work with them?


We’re still sorting out the job description, reporting relationship and salary range for the job.

How ridiculous and unprofessional can you be, to waste job-seekers’ time and your own HR team’s energy in an interview process before you know what you need? That’s almost sure to be a lie, and if it’s true, it’s a massive red flag.

What does it mean?

“We’re still sorting it all out” often means that there’s dissension on the management team about just what the new person should do.