Job Washing 101: What is it, and how to avoid it?
12 January 2023 | Amie Duignan
12 January 2023 | Amie Duignan
Have you ever accepted a job, and once you started, you have found out that it’s actually nothing like what the interviewer sold you on? You think you’ve found your dream role, the whole recruitment interview stages were a breeze and everything felt so aligned, only to find a month into the role you have been completely sold just that, a dream…
You sit there, confused, scratching your head. Maybe you even let it hit your confidence. Maybe the reason you’re not getting all the opportunities you were promised is you? Maybe the reason they’re suddenly not permitting those flexible working arrangements you discussed is your work performance in the role? You’re baffled, wondering where it all went wrong.
First off, it’s definitely not you. Chances are that you’ve experienced a phenomenon called “job washing”.
Job washing is a new concept, recently borne out of a dire labour shortage across the employee market. It takes its inspiration from the term “greenwashing” and follows the same concept: making bold claims about how progressive and promising the role is but failing to back these claims up or deliver on promises made during the interview process.
It’s important to note that sometimes the hiring manager is so desperate for staff that they do not mean to intentionally mislead you. However, if you happen to have experienced this, chances are you may still feel frustrated and resentful.
Knowing how to spot the signs of job washing are key during the interview process. There are a number of ways in which the interviewer may jobwash, some examples are below:
Knowing these three examples of job washing is the first step in making sure you go into the interview equipped to suss out what’s real, and what is a hiring manager desperate for staff.
When you go into an interview, make sure you’re walking in with the mindset that you’re also interviewing the company. You want to see if they fit with your goals. Have a mental check-list of what is important to you in a role, and test how the company aligns. Knowing what you want is key, as you’ll be able to ask the hiring manager the right questions about the role.
After clarity and awareness, the next step is to make sure you arrive at the interview with some very selected questions to ask the interviewer. Remember, you’re also interviewing them. You’re justified in any curiosity about work perks, flexibility, and other things that align to what’s important to you.
Some questions you could ask, to make sure you’re not being job washed are:
If you’re reading this article after you’ve accepted a job that isn’t quite what it was made out to be in the interview, do not despair! In this job market you still have a lot of power and can decide how to respond to being in this situation. Some options for you to consider are:
Feeling like you’ve been mis-sold a role is not great, however, if you can pivot your mindset then you can look at it as an opportunity! You have the opportunity to decide: do you want to stay in this role, or do you want to take advantage of a hot job market and find one more suited for you?
Don’t be afraid to job hop either, and if you are – check out this article to soothe your fears.
This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.