when to say no to a job offer?
You have applied for dozens of jobs, and after all of your efforts, you have finally been offered a role. Congratulations! That's great news! But now it's up to you - how do you know when a job is perfect for you and when you should walk away?
Of course, sometimes you have to take the job, there might be financial reasons or a number of situations why you have to take it – but there are some instances when you might need to stop and think about whether it’s the right decision for you.
The first thing to remember to do is stay calm and considered. There’s no use in rushing your decision, you’ve been offered the job (that's definite) and now it’s your turn to deliberate.
There might be lots of great reasons why it's the job for you, but here are some reasons why you might need to walk away from a job offer:
when it doesn’t pay enough.
To accept a job that means a pay cut because it’s amazing can be a good move for some people, but not everyone is able do that. For most people, if the job doesn’t pay enough then it isn’t a viable option. If this is the case, you can try to negotiate your salary before simply rejecting the job or negotiate a plan of incremental increase in salary based on your performance if you take the job.
when it will affect your work-life balance.
No job is worth an unbalanced lifestyle. If accepting the job means that you will never have any quality time at home and will suffer a long commute, then the job might not be worth it. Many companies are now very aware of the need for a good work-life balance, of which has been shown to lead to better productivity levels and engagement, so it might be worth asking the company if the company would be willing to offer you flexible hours to make the job work for both of you. (read more about getting a work-life balance)
when there's no career progression.
It may not be your biggest concern right now, but choosing a job that doesn’t allow for any progression could be detrimental to your career in the future. When you take on a new role you want to be assured that there will be room to grow, and that you will be on a well-thought out career path. Signs that this is not the case might be: if the company has not stipulated a plan for you or if the company is too small – although it’s important not to judge a book by its cover. If this is high on your list of priorities for your next job then make sure you ask your employer about career development opportunities and make it part of your contract.
when it’s too short term.
If you are looking for a stop-gap job then a short-term role could be perfect for you, however, if you are hoping for more security and long-term progression in your job then you might need to consider whether a short-term role or temporary position would work for you. A way around this might be to ask the employer whether or not there would be an opportunity to extend and what the chances of this might be. In some cases they might not be able to tell you – but some indication might be able to help your decision making.
when it’s immoral or soul destroying.
There’s nothing worse than doing a job that you fundamentally disagree with. It can hard to know what you are getting into from your initial meetings, but before you accept the job it’s important to do your research on the company. Check through their history and status as an organisation, and if you discover an immoral position or behaviour that you disagree with then it might not be the job for you.
when it will damage your professional status.
If you’ve been journeying down a professional road for a long time, and you are offered a job that will be detrimental to your current job status then it might not be worth it in the long-term (if you have the choice to reject it of course). It’s important to really think about your long-term career goals and whether or not this role really fits in with your career path at the moment, and in the future.