Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

To Turn Down a Job Offer or Not?

Sometimes you just have to say no…to a job offer that is. I know, it’s hard. Trust me. I both dislike saying no and certainly never enjoy turning down money. However, sometimes you need to turn down a job offer because it’s just not what you are looking for. Saying no and being honest is better than taking a job for the sake of ending your job search, even though you know you are not into it.

Let’s face it, getting a job offer is exciting. It’s affirmation to the hard work you’ve put in your job search and the skills you’ve obtained. It also seemingly means one less worry. Now that you have received a job offer, the only thing left to do is work, right? However, not all job offers are crafted for everyone, and it’s important not to jump into a job just for the sake of being employed or ending your job search. Take a look at some of the questions you should ask yourself to determine if you should turn down a job offer.

First, will the new job make you happy? No job will make you happy all the time, but if you foresee yourself getting into a miserable situation no job is worth that. Your work will likely suffer and the benefits you might initially gain will probably plateau. Taking less money for a job you love may be better in the long-run and provide increased opportunities for growth. In this case, it would be acceptable to turn down a job offer.

Additionally, what are your other options? There’s the age-old saying, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch,” but if you’re on the hunt for some other positions and feel like your other job search options on the horizon may be better suited for you, then it may be a worthwhile risk to turn down a job offer for another.

Finally, can you see yourself there for a while? You don’t have to envision your retirement party with the company, but you do need to feel comfortable enough to know you won’t be on hot pursuit of another job— especially if you are looking at a full-time position on salary. There are other variables at play with part-time or temp-work, but the mantra of not looking too far ahead remains. If you can’t see yourself at this company for at least 2-3 years, then it’s probably smart to turn down a job offer.

It’s a tough economy and the dwindling job market makes the job search even tougher. Many young people seem skittish to alienate any employers in the market and walk away from job offer. You should never sell yourself short, though. If the job doesn’t fit, don’t force it. They may be clichés, but at heart all clichés have some truth, and being happy is vital to future job success.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by comedy_nose

Jen Schiller

Jen works as a Marketing Project Manager for a restaurant, a kitchen assistant for cooking classes, helps with database management, does some freelance writing, and more. She received her B.A. from the University of Maryland in Government & Politics in 2011. Currently, she resides in the Washington, D.C. area and is an avid sports fan.