The "Red Flag" That Suggests You Shouldn't Accept a Job Offer

Sophie Miura

For many, receiving a promotion or job offer is a positive career milestone—so why do some experts suggest there are scenarios in which you should consider declining? The phenomenon they refer to is the "glass cliff," which Harvard Business Review describes as "the informal barrier that keeps women out of upper management." According to researchers, women are more likely to be offered leadership positions when a company is in crisis, thereby setting them up for failure.

"I've definitely seen the glass cliff phenomenon at play in many arenas, from corporate to philanthropy to government," says Romy Newman, president and co-founder of Fairygodboss. "I'm sorry to say that I think companies appoint women at these times because that's when the roles are less coveted by men. That said, I do think women thrive in turnaround roles thanks to their strengths in communication, collaboration, encouragement, and empathy."

Marjorie Mauldin, author of Feedback Revolution, agrees, arguing that women are often considered for these roles because of their perceived skillset. "Most projects fall apart because of people issues, not technical issues. Women are then tapped because it's perceived that they are able to deal with these shortfalls," she explains.

So how do you know if you're being set up to fail? These are the crucial questions career experts ask before accepting a job.

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