Don't Compromise Safety During Your Job Search
Updated: Feb 18, 2020
Interviews or networking opportunities should never come at the cost of your safety. Learn the ways you can stay mindful of your own safety when meeting and interacting with prospective employers.
The Hiatt Career Center recently released a short video on How to Practice Safe Networking, a topic important to any students who are using Lehigh Connects or LinkedIn to network as part of career exploration or job and internship searching.
If arranging a networking meeting use public spaces like coffee shops, restaurants or other neutral spaces. It’s never expected that you should meet at someone’s home. Choose a space that feels safe, especially during a first time meeting.
Interviews are often hosted at an employers place of business. Be weary if someone asks to interview at a restaurant, rental space, or private residence. These could all be indicators the business is not truly as they have advertised it to be and you can decline a meeting location that does not feel professional or appropriate.
When traveling to a networking meeting or interview use your own car or public transportation. This will allow you to leave whenever you like. If you use Uber, ask the driver for your name before you enter the vehicle and know the expected driving route to ensure you are transported to the correct destination.
Do Your Research
Networking will often expose you to new information and action steps. Be sure to talk to other industry professionals or contacts to determine if the information shared is an industry truth or personal opinion before making any big decisions.
Before you interview with a company, look at their website, social media, online reviews and gather information from classmates, friends and family. Do they seem to be legit? Do they have a well developed website that includes an address? Can you identify other employees with the organization? Does their online presence match the job description? Is their email address connected to the company? Sites like Glassdoor provided reviews and ratings that might be helpful in determining if the company is a good fit for you.
Leave alcohol out of it
Networking or interview days may include cocktail hours, receptions or meals where alcohol is served. Consider drinking in moderation or not at all. Make choices that allow you to remain professional and consider how alcohol may complicate the situation, affect your judgement and impact your first impressions.
Tell someone When you have a scheduled meeting, make sure someone knows who, when, and where you are planning to meet. If things don’t go as planned, update them right away with any of your concerns.
Trust your gut
If it doesn’t feel right, get out. You can make an excuse of not feeling well or having another meeting but listen to your instincts and leave before the situation escalates.
If you feel an employer or networking contact behaved inappropriately, communicated unprofessionally or in general made you uncomfortable, report the situation immediately to the Career Center (firstname.lastname@example.org or walk in to 500 Maginnes).
Networking is an important opportunity for all students, be sure to take steps and actions you both feel good about and reflect positively on you.