SIGNS YOU SHOULD TURN DOWN A JOB OFFER
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Getting a job offer is one of the best feelings ever. If you’ve been searching for a while, it can be such a huge relief—and even if you haven’t, it’s still great knowing you’ve been picked. But what if the job doesn’t feel right? If you really want a new job, it’s very easy to ignore that nagging feeling that you shouldn’t accept.
When is it right to turn the offer down? Here are some valid reasons you should turn down a job offer:
- The corporate culture doesn’t feel right
This is something that’s very personal. It’s pretty hard to give a clear definition because it’s something that’s unique to each person—but, sometimes, the corporate culture won’t feel like a good match for you.
Maybe you’ve interviewed for a vibrant, fast-paced, busy office but you’re more of an introvert. Or maybe the reverse—maybe the workplace is too quiet for you. Or there could be other reasons it doesn’t feel right. Always listen to your instincts.
- The company values don’t match your own
Again, something that’s very personal to each individual—what if the company values don’t match yours?
For example, if you’re a passionate lifelong vegan, you might want a company that shares your commitment to animal welfare. Or if you care deeply about the environment, working for a major polluter might be off the table.
- Your gut says no
What happens if the job seems perfect, but when leaving the interview you have a gut feeling something is wrong? Should you trust this feeling?
It can be hard to trust gut instincts, but you should! If something’s telling you the job isn’t right, then pay attention—it’s probably right!
- You won’t be able to grow in your career
If career advancement is high on your priorities, not being able to grow is probably going to be a deal-breaker. This is a perfectly legitimate reason to turn down a job.
You need to think about your career goals. No matter how good the job is on paper, if it isn’t pushing you in the right direction, this is a sign you should turn it down.
- The salary is the only good thing about the new job
Salary is important to most people. And it should be. However, if, when thinking about the job you’ve been offered, the salary is the only good thing about the job, you should think very carefully about whether it’s right for you.
Think about it—most of us spend the majority of our time at work. Do you want to be stuck in a job you hate for years to come? Yes, the money might be good, but most people need more in terms of job satisfaction.
- You know you will hate what you would be doing
Most people have some work tasks they don’t enjoy and don’t look forward to. But if you know you’ll hate everything about the job, you need to ask yourself, is it worth it?
If you know you will totally hate the job, it doesn’t matter how good the other pros are, you’ll probably end up miserable at work.
- Your company is financially unstable or is going under
When considering a job offer, it’s not just the job itself you need to think about—it’s also the company. Take a deeper look into the company itself. Is it profitable? Is it losing money? Is it on an upward trend, or is it in decline?
If you find the company is financially unstable or likely to go under soon, it’s best to decline the job offer. After all, you don’t want to be out of a job in six months.
- The base salary is too low
Before accepting a job offer, the terms of employment are a key consideration. You need to think about the title, employment conditions, and, importantly, the salary.
If the base salary is too low, you should consider turning down the job. If it’s not enough for you to live on, chances are, you’ll be looking for a different job very quickly.
- The commute is too long or too difficult
Getting to and from work shouldn’t be more stressful than the job itself. If you think the commute would be too exhausting, or simply too long, this is a sign you should turn down the offer.
Think about how you would feel at work after the commute. Would you be focused and ready to go? Or just worn out? This is something to take into careful consideration.
- There’s too much travel required in the job
Traveling for work can be a fun perk. But too much and it can become a drain. This depends on what you want from your career. If you love traveling, of course, this won’t put you off.
However, for lots of people, they find too much travel to be a deal-breaker. This depends on your temperament, and also on your existing commitments. How much can you handle being away from home?
- You have a better offer
If you’re lucky enough to receive two—or even many—job offers at once, you need to decide which you would prefer.
After carefully considering the pros and cons of each job, you can turn down a position if the other is better.
Want to know how to work out all the details of your new job contract? Read our article “How to negotiate a job offer.”