When you receive a job offer, it’s important to take a step back and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of taking the job. If after interviewing and evaluating the job offer you have reservations, it may be worth waiting for a better opportunity. If you have unemployed for a long time and are in dire straits financially, you may have no choice but to take a job you are less than excited about. But if you can afford to wait, you don’t owe it to yourself or anyone else to take a job that just doesn’t feel right for you. To help you decide, here are some legitimate reasons to decline a job offer:
1) If it hurts your career and reputation
You may not be happy with your employment situation (or lack thereof) but sometimes taking the wrong job can lead you even further away from your career goals and everything you have been working towards. If the job is completely unrelated to the skills you are working towards and the field you want to advance in, it could shut you off from future opportunities. For example, if you are an unemployed accountant, it may make sense to do some temporary tax preparation consulting, but a construction job may not look great on your resume if you want a future in accounting. And if you aren’t good at construction, you are risking mishaps on the job that could really put a damper on your professional reputation.
2) Your motives are superficial
One of the best reasons to decline a job offer is if you are taking the job for superficial reasons and it’s not what you truly want. You may be anxious to be employed so you can please those around you. Or maybe you feel your current job seems boring to others and you are being offered a job that has a more important sounding title, but in the end won’t make you any happier. Remember it is you that will be responsible for the job, not anyone else. And it’s better to be uncomfortable and unemployed in the short term than end up in a miserable job in the long term.
3) The salary you are being offered isn’t worth it
Money shouldn’t be a primary motivator because you may be happier in a job that pays a little less and you are more likely to advance with (which could result in more money overall). But even if the salary sounds great when you are offered the job, take a close look at other aspects of the job. Will you be working long hours or traveling often? Will you be paying for a good chunk of your benefits such as health insurance? If in the end the money doesn’t seem worth it, this is one of the good reasons to decline a job offer.
4) There’s no advancement potential
Your quality of life depends on your ability to continue to grow as a professional. The job may seem like it will make you happy for now. But if the company isn’t invested in developing your skills, exposing you to new things and promoting you it’s probably a good idea to decline the job offer. You may find yourself years from now wondering what happened to all those dreams you had for your career.
5) The company culture seems bleak
How happy did the employees seem when you went for the interviews? Was there laughter in the office or was it so quiet you could hear a pin drop? Did the language used by employees in the interviews and email communication seem superficial and over the top? Does the company have a high turnover rate? These are all signs of an unhealthy and negative company culture that will crush your soul and is one of the very good reasons to decline a job offer.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.