Don’t vote or take a job without research |
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Deciding how to vote based on paid political ads is as stupid as deciding where to work based solely on promises from a recruiter.

Anyone who enters a voting booth without research into attack ads or partisan promises is guilty of bad citizenship. Anyone who takes a job without vetting the employer and work site is guilty of bad judgment.

If a headhunter, an in-house recruiter or a line manager is eager, perhaps even desperate, to fill a position, you can be wooed with some pretty sweet words. It’s great to feel wanted. But don’t let that heady rush of “They like me! They really like me!” cloud your reaction.

Take a breath. Try to find out what the place is really like. Most seasoned job hunters know about online sites such as, where people dish out their workplace perceptions. Be discerning. Naysayers, cynics, ex-employees and disgruntled current workers abound. Filter through the comments to gain perspective. Don’t forget that it’s easy to be an anonymous crank.

And just as when you’re hunting for a job, don’t use the Internet as the be-all and end-all of your research. Remember networking? Put your contact efforts into hyperdrive. Whom do you know who works at your target organization? Who knows someone who used to work there? How do they feel about overall morale, the organization’s values (and adherence to them) or the bosses you’d report to?

Try for a broader sense by researching trade publications to get a read on the organization’s reputation. If it’s a public entity, check out its finances in its earnings filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Call your local chamber, Better Business Bureau and chapters of relevant professional associations if you have any doubts about the organization’s financial health, legal situation or ethical reputation.

Odds are you’ll be happier at a vibrant, rather than struggling, workplace.

To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send email to [email protected]. Follow her online at and

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