3 Alerting Things I Noticed After Taking a High-paid Role For a Month

The high salary might be covering for something else

Chau Trieu
3 min readAug 30, 2022


Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

A higher-than-expected salary could be a warning sign.

I had to learn this the hard way after working at a startup that paid me twice the monthly wage I had received at my previous job and leaving after a month.

Thank God for the trial work period!

While unpaid internships, being asked to spend your money or bosses preaching “our company is a family” are the obvious red flags, the following things might go unnoticeable.

1. High turnover

The first time my mind was on alert mode was during the initial interview with the HR of the company.

The recruiter said they had been searching for a candidate for months and many people had already come and gone.

I never asked her why, mostly because I was a bit desperate for a job. But it did throw me off a bit.

The second red flag came during the final interview with the company’s marketing manager.

2. Far-fetched and too-good-to-be-true future scenarios

During a 60-minute interview, I was asked three questions about my SEO knowledge, my previous work experience, and my future career plan.

The rest of the time, I sat there listening to the manager rambling on about her history as a reporter in multiple industries.

She then painted a picture of me making a name for myself as a writer, being the next Neil Gaiman, and eventually taking over her place as the head of marketing.

It rubbed me the wrong way.

Her words sounded exactly like the promises my former bosses had given me, which never came true, but were necessary to keep me on the hook and continue working unpaid hours towards an improbable future.

I was quite reluctant to accept the offer letter.

Yet, I did it anyways and my decision led me to the last alerting thing about this job.

3. A closed-off manager



Chau Trieu

Sharing stories about (im)balancing work, life and self. https://thewritersbalance.beehiiv.com/