LOOKING for work? Want to spot those positions that promise perpetual suffering in an office full of bastards? Look out for these key phrases:
‘Round 1 of applications’
This employer thinks working for them deserves the equivalent of Oxford entrance exams. Forms, more forms where you repeat everything from the first set of forms, a Myers-Briggs test, and a presentation assignment that takes a fortnight. To get an informal interview.
‘Candidates should be flexible’
Flexible is a one-way road to these monsters. All time is work time. They’ll call you at 11pm on a Friday and you’ll be expected to drop everything. But ask for a late start for a doctor’s appointment and you’re on your final written warning.
‘The team is one big family’
Welcome to the passive-aggressive capital of the world. Your colleagues will step on your neck for as little as an extra five minutes at lunch.
‘This field should be your passion’
And your only passion. Try to pursue other interests, hobbies, start a family – anything that isn’t related to your passion for direct mail marketing – and we will sue you. Your possessions will be confiscated and your children put into care.
‘Perks include gym membership’
Okay, you’re allowed one hobby, the gym. Where you can improve your endurance to do our baseline 75-hour week. Also means the boss feels free to call you fat.
Your job used to be done by four people. Now it’s done by one, and it’s been unfilled for six months after the last person went off with stress so there’s a backlog to catch up on. All results needed yesterday. Professional masochists welcomed.
Tell us what you think you need to be paid to live. We’re confident we can offer less than a third of that.