Interviewers are usually the ones to ask you the interviewee the difficult questions. But, in many interviews the interviewee has to ask a couple difficult or sensitive questions..
I am hearing stories from readers that they feel ripped off by their employers because they are not being appreciated or compensated for extra hours worked
Protecting you starts in the interview. Ask a potential employer questions about company values. Confirm that their values are congruent with yours. When they have fallen in love with you and offered you a position, insist on a letter of intent or an employment contract. This is not being pushy, this is being a business professional whether your salary is $24K or $100k per year.
Be willing to negotiate. Read over the offer carefully, if anything you discussed is missing, mention it. Make sure you understand all the terms and conditions including non-competition agreements, confidentiality and non-solicitation clauses.
Minimally have an astute business minded friend look over the contract before you sign it; using a lawyer is even better.
Know exactly what is expected on you over the next 30, 60 and 90 days, preferably in writing.
Build relationships with co-workers, have at least one person who supports you, your skills, education and contributions. Keep a file on all your accomplishments, particularly anything you do over and above your job description. At the first sign of confrontation or negative vibes, start documenting the incident.
A recent client averted a termination by taking her “harassment” issues to the HR department, it was one-sided up to that point. But, generally speaking, if the company isn’t supporting you or it looks like it is not long for this world, start casting your net elsewhere. Don’t quit a job before being fired if you can possibly help it.
As I preach incessantly, never stop looking for work. Keep your network alive, don’t burn any bridges. Lunch monthly with your contacts.
So, be the best employee you can be, watch for the warning signs and always look out for number one.