What happens when you don’t stick to your guts

Sticking to your guts can be difficult when you have been searching for a job for awhile – even a month.

You know exactly what you want, from atmosphere to pay, but an “okay” offer seems better than no offer. I am not trying to pick on employment agencies, but I have another story of lessons learned from poor choices.

My second experience with an employment agency in Portland started on the right foot. The gal got me – I mean really got me. She found a job that started at a fairly menial wage and position on the totem pole, but would quickly turn into a management position in an executive office suite. The variety, challenge and communications aspects of the job were right up my alley, so I took it.

It was important to me that I work for the agency for awhile and not be “bought out” by their client.

The two main reasons were the reliability of the agency and health insurance. I didn’t know this new company well enough to trust them.

I have always been a bit naïve, with a little too much faith in people. So when my new company told me they wanted to end the contract with the employment agency so they could pay me more – and I would get insurance, I hesitated, but fell for it. You can probably see the rest of the story unfolding.

Within two weeks, I had discovered the company had no insurance plan, no intention of raising my pay, and tons of problems with the new facility and angry tenants. To salt the wound – actually dump lemon juice in it – I found out the company would soon be served legal papers for owning the property manager almost $200,000. (Don’t hire an ex-reporter if you want to hide issues.) They had only been in the building nine months. Meanwhile, I was doing managerial work for $10 an hour while my boss was at home nursing.

Now, this experience was part of my process.

I met a lifelong friend here and dozens of other incredible business owners. I ended up getting hired from a company a floor higher who heard of me from building tenants. But it is important to share my lesson. Although everything works out in the end, it is important to stick to your guns. You know what you want and what you are worth. Don’t be persuaded to take a job that offers a fraction of what you need to be happy. At the very least, get an option for review and pay raise (or what the job offer is lacking) in writing. And if you work with an employment agency, treat them like your personal agent. Make sure you get what you need before they get paid and ask questions before doing your job.