Signs that an organization may not be a good fit

May 7, 2010 at 11:09 am Leave a comment

We all know someone like this: They were so happy to find a job in this competitive market that they leapt before they looked hard enough. Then, months later, they came down with a full-fledged case of buyer’s remorse and started looking for a job all over again. That’s obviously a situation you want to avoid, for all kinds of reasons. But how to tell when you’re on the outside whether an organization is one that will be a good fit for you?

Hiring experts say that, in addition to some firm signs that a company may be struggling or losing employees for worrisome reasons, that job hunters shouldn’t ignore their intuition. Especially for journalists and public policy professionals who have developed good B.S. detectors and radar, following one’s intuition and sense of whether an organization feels right to you is a key element in deciding whether to take a job.

Here are some signs that an organization may not be the right fit:

*The company continually has a string of job openings. Though there may be a good reason for a bunch of openings — such as a big expansion — if an organization constantly has new jobs to advertise, the obvious question is: Why are so many people leaving?? Check job listings for the past six months to a year — if the same type of openings keep coming up, you need to research what’s going on there. Check with former employees, and especially if you can get to them, those who held the jobs that opened up. It could be a sign of poor management, ridiculously long hours or a toxic work environment. But strings of openings are not a good signal and you should do a lot of research before you accept a job with an organization that has continually high turnover.

*The interview process is disorganized and impersonal. Remember this: If you are ill treated in the hiring process, you’re likely going to be treated that way as an employee in this company. Now, many companies — especially those where people are handling recruiting in addition to a host of other duties — have a less-than-ideal hiring process and it usually takes longer for them to get back to job candidates than one would like. That’s not what I’m talking about here. Worrisome signs are when you can’t get questions answered, hiring managers appear defensive, you are dealt with by HR personnel or outside consultants rather than managers with whom you’d be working, and no one can give you reasonable timetables for making a decision or answers to such important elements as salary considerations or a start date. If they are this disorganized in the hiring process, ask yourself what these folks would be like to work with every day? If the answer is a negative one, take that to heart.

*The job description is vague and you receive different explanations of what you’d be doing from different managers in the organization. Some of the most important research you can do about a job opening is figuring out just what you’d be doing every day in the position. If the company isn’t clear about this, it’s a sign that they’re not sure how this job fits into the overall organization or worse yet, they may be combining several positions into one and don’t want to let on during the hiring process. Ask lots of questions in this situation not only of the hiring manager but of others in the organization. If they are similarly vague about the job duties, it’s not a good sign — and you may want to hold off on your candidacy until they figure out just what the job will entail.

*Here’s a (free!) event from the National Press Foundation on Friday, May 21 worth considering for the value of its content, and also for networking:

(Friday, May 21 at 8:45 am)

President Obama will soon put forward his second nominee for a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court. Voices from every point on the political spectrum are already weighing in. NPF, The Center on Congress at Indiana University and POLITICO will present a free Capitol Hill Issues Briefing to preview the debate and identify the candidates’ strong and weak points.   Our panel of experts will help everyone sort out the politics and punditry around this historic event.   Panelists
Nan Aron, President of the Alliance for Justice;
Tom Goldstein, Publisher of SCOTUSblog;
Robert Alt, Senior Legal Fellow and Deputy Director, Center for Legal and JudicialStudies at the Heritage Foundation
Martin Kady, Congressional Bureau Chief for POLITICO.   The doors will open for coffee and a Continental breakfast at 8:45 a.m., and we’ll start the program promptly at 9. There is no cost to attend, but advance registration is required. Sign up now! This briefing is underwritten by The Kiplinger Foundation.

*To wrap up this work week, a fresh batch of job leads to consider:

*The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, part of the Department of Commerce, has an opening in D.C. for a communications program specialist:
Communications Program Specialist
Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Admin – Washington, DC
DC The Senior Communications Program Specialist… to possess a positive response to an experience, training, or awards question. Candidates are encouraged… $123,758 – $155,500 a year

*The American Diabetes Association in Alexandria is looking for an associate director for external communications; this could be a good position for a transitioning journalist (especially one with a background in health care):
American Diabetes Association – Alexandria, VA
relevant communications plans. * Supports management of corporate brand and reputation. * Works with colleagues in Marketing & Communications, to develop…

*MS&L in D.C. is looking for mid-level associates with financial services and energy backgrounds; Hill experience is necessary:

We are looking to hire a financial services and an energy person for our government affairs and eco practices. They will be junior staff here (“SAEs”) and need to have some Hill experience.  We are looking for people that have been staff assistants, interns, LC or even very junior LAs (ideal) –maybe even press assistant with interest in energy or financial services that want to leave the Hill.

Holly Feraci
VP, Government Affairs


*With a hat tip to (for these next several positions), the Connection Newspapers in Alexandria is looking for a reporter to cover several local communities; this could be a good position for someone starting out who wants to enhance their experience:

Company: Connection Newspapers
Alexandria, Va., District of Columbia
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: $25,000 to $30,000
Ad Expires:
June 10, 2010
Job ID: 1168278

Join our group of 15 award-winning weeklies in the suburbs of Washington, DC; we’re looking for an experienced, energetic, prolific reporter to cover several communities, including Reston, Herndon, Vienna, McLean and Great Falls.

This position reports to editor Kemal Kurspahic, winner of Courage in Journalism Award in 1992; the World Press Review’s International Editor of the Year in 1993; the International Press Institute’s World Press Freedom Hero in 2000, and many other awards. Kurspahic was editor-in-chief of the Sarajevo daily, Oslobodjenje, 1988-94, publishing daily from an atomic bomb shelter during the Sarajevo siege, 1992-95. He joined the Connection in 1997.

The Connection Newspapers have won hundreds of top press awards in just the last few years for our in-depth reporting and projects, as well as news, features, photography, graphics and design and more. We want to push the envelope, go beyond superficial. We are not looking for routine coverage and bland writing.

Job requires passion for people and community, ability to multi-task and make deadline, lots of energy, strong reporting and writing skills.

Reporter writes six to eight (or more) multi- source stories a week plus many briefs, and totes a digital camera.

We’re looking for a candidate who seize the opportunity to learn from an acclaimed editor, will enjoy talking to a wide variety of people, will work to learn the beat, develop sources, and make deadline.

We want to make sense of trends and events in the community. Our newsroom is lively, collaborative and fun. Our offices are in Alexandria, Va.

Full time plus, but flexible hours.

Paid vacation plus extra paid time off around the holidays. Health benefits.

Position available immediately. Preference for local candidate. We are unable to pay relocation expenses.

Send cover letter, resume and three clips to

Mary Kimm, Publisher and Editor, Connection Newspapers

*National Geographic in D.C. has two openings for managers of research, standards and practices:

Company: National Geographic
Research, Standards & Practices Manager
(2 positions)
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: Not Specified
Ad Expires:
June 9, 2010
Job ID: 1167889

Manage all aspects of the Standards & Practices (S&P) process for assigned productions to ensure factual accuracy, editorial integrity and overall compliance with the standards and practices of NGS, NGC networks, and applicable US and international government regulations.

Responsible for evaluating program proposals and working with the development team and executive producers to address mission, premise, context, balance, and character issues prior to production. Establish a strong relationship with the production company and lay the groundwork for the efficient satisfaction of all S&P requirements. Provide prompt analysis and feedback on shooting scripts, rough cuts, fine cuts, and masters, and diplomatically guide production executives, writers, and outside researchers in addressing S&P issues. Suggest edits and narration changes to address premise, context, balance, and character issues, as well as issues related to audience sensitivities, legal concerns, and government regulations. Manage the production company in the creation of a complete annotated script, providing instruction, feedback, and as needed original research to get to an acceptable final script and approved video, audio, graphics, lower-thirds and credits. Identify potential legal problems and controversial or sensitive issues to the Channel’s international and U.S. audiences and assign V-Chip ratings, write slates and outline editorial remedies. Manage all S&P aspects of the quality control and reversioning process, working with operations and production services to fix programs that are dated, fail S&P QC, or need to be made compliant with the regulations of a new market. Maintain database and script records. Research, edit, and write materials to serve the new media, marketing, communications, and editorial needs of NG Channels. Continually work with the S&P Vice President and Channel Directors to improve methods and process to maximize efficiency and quality of the S&P process. Train and supervise contract researchers and interns.

Must have a Bachelor’s degree; four (4) years of editorial research experience, including two (2) years with NG Standards & Practices preferred. Master’s degree, foreign language skills, or television background highly preferred. Excellent research skills, highly analytical, with excellent oral and written communication skills; high attention to detail; ability to work with minimal supervision, exercise independent judgment, and negotiate affectively and diplomatically under pressure; ability to quickly find creative solutions to editorial problems; organized, self-motivated, and resourceful; ability to complete multiple, simultaneous assignments under tight deadlines; ability to communicate NG standards and practices to outside producers and motivate them toward compliance; ability to focus in a distracting environment; intimate familiarity with U.K. Ofcom Broadcasting Code, U.S. TV Parental Guidelines (V-Chip), and the major sensitivities of our world-wide audiences; solid understanding of video editing capabilities and limitations.

To apply, visit our website at and search for Job ID’s 4197 and 4198.

*And last but not least in this work week’s leads, Vocus in Lanham has an opening for a PR/Web manager of editorial services:

Company: Vocus
Manager of Editorial Services – PR Web
Lanham, Maryland
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: $50,000 to $60,000
Ad Expires:
June 4, 2010
Job ID: 1166997

PRWeb Manager of Editorial Services

Vocus is seeking a Manager of Editorial Services for our direct-to-consumer newswire. Strong editing, spelling, grammar and news writing skills, as well as people skills, are essential for this position.

Primary Responsibilities but are not limited to:

• Directly manage and train editors in our Lanham, Md., offices and serve as a managerial contact for editors in our Ferndale, Wash., offices, • Manage scheduling for 24/7 operation • Maintain policy standards by evaluating client content to ensure it meets PRWeb’s editorial guidelines, paying special attention to press releases about legal issues or those that may contain explicit content. • Counsel and manage staff to maintain high level of client services and customer support • Work closely with managing editor in Ferndale office to ensure communication and consistency amongst editorial team • Promote excellent relationships between the editorial staff and the rest of the company, and work as a liaison between departments • Assist product management in the review of new services, changes to the platform and other policy or software changes • Provide on-call service after hours for a 24/7 operation when needed.


• Bachelor’s degree in journalism, public relations, communications, English or related field or equivalent experience writing or editing for a news, publishing or public relations organization. • Experience in editing and writing press releases, news or feature stories. • Management and Customer Service experience • Excellent communication skills • Basic knowledge of the public relations and/or press release industry and of basic news values. • Knowledge of PRWeb, Social Media and Search Engine Optimization preferred • Strong proofreading and Internet research skills. • Experience, ability and eagerness to provide general customer service, sales, and marketing information by phone and e-mail • Strong people and leadership skills • Ability to multi-task and prioritize. • Proficiency using multiple computer programs (Internet browsers, e-mail and word processing applications) simultaneously

Company Perks: • Indoor basketball court • State of the art gym facility • Café • It’s All About You – yoga, catered breakfasts, parties, boat trips, and much more • Comprehensive benefit package including: o Medical o Dental o Vision o 401k with company match o Flex Spending o 3 weeks paid vacations o 6 sick days o 8 company observed Holidays o 2 Floating Holidays

Contact us to learn more about our company, corporate culture, benefits, and career opportunities:

Please send resumes to Brooke George, Corporate Recruiter at

Happy hunting and have a relaxing weekend! I’ll be back with you on Monday,



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

When to refer someone for a job How little things can make a big difference in a job hunt

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