Before you accept a job, you need to know whether the people you'll be working for are trustworthy. While it's impossible to read minds, it's actually quite easy to tell if an organization can be trusted. All you need do is answer these three questions:
1. Do they demand a non-compete agreement?
A non-compete agreement is not to be confused with a non-disclosure agreement, which is an entirely reasonable expectation that you won't share corporate secrets. Nor is it to be confused with an agreement that you won't work for their competitor while you are working at their firm.
A non-compete agreement or clause makes it impossible for you to work for a competitor, or go into business for yourself in the same industry, after you've left the company. Such aggrements lock you into being unemployable and unfinanceable (if you're starting your own business) in the industry where you've gained experience.
Such clauses make it difficult or impossible for you to negotiate salary increases, benefit increases, or work-life balance because you don't have the alternative of leaving the company without simultaneously having to start your career over from scratch.
2. Do they demand a non-disparagement clause?
A non-disparagement clause penalizes you if you say anything bad about your employer, either while you're working for them or after you've left.
Now, I'm not a big fan of burning bridges and I also believe that it's best to leave and stay on good terms with any company where you've been employed. I think it's unprofessional and a bit stupid to become a public critic of a former employer.
That being said, it's fair to wonder: why any company would insist upon silencing the complaints of former employees if there weren't plenty to complain about?
3. Do they have salary transparency?
The only reason companies insist upon keeping everyone's salary secret is because it allows them to pay as little as possible for everyone's labor. Once the salary cat is out of the bag, however, employees can demand pay equity.
CEOs know that this would be money out of their profits, because CEOs benefit hugely from having their compensation packages be public knowledge. With everything on the table, even 3rd rate CEOs can demand to be paid the "prevailing wage."
You see, trust works both ways. If the company want your trust, they can't, or shouldn't simultaneously try to manipulate you into working for less than you're worth.
I'm not saying that you shouldn't accept a job where the answer to one or more of these questions is YES. However, if you accept the job, you should enter into the agreement with your eyes open because you're making a deal with the devil.