The 10 Times You Should Decline a Job Offer

These are the tell-tale signs the job might not be the one for you.

Photo Credit: EujarimPhotography/Getty Images
Photo Credit: EujarimPhotography/Getty Images

If you’ve been fortunate enough to receive a job offer, the tendency might be to quickly accept it. Sometimes it seems like a no-brainer: The offer is made, the salary is competitive, and everything sounded good during the interview process. Well, not so fast. Don’t make the mistake that so many people do and simply say “yes” because the money is better. There are times — many times actually — when an offer is NOT a sign that you should pack up your current job and make a move.

Here are ten reasons you should turn down a job offer:

1. You have the wrong motives.

People are motivated to either move away from negative things (bad boss, unhealthy work environment, long hours, etc.) or towards positive things (higher pay, opportunity to advance, interesting projects, etc.). Look at your motivation. Are you accepting an offer because you’re tired of your current job and simply want to get away from it, or are you feeling inspired by this new opportunity? Actions motivated by inspiration ultimately will be far more powerful than those made out of desperation.

2. There are discrepancies.

Are you noticing that things stated in the offer vary from what was discussed during the interview? Often terms of an offer including title, responsibilities, salary, and benefits will be different from what you were told earlier during the hiring process. This may suggest poor communication between the human resources department and the manager, or possibly even deception. Regardless, it’s a red flag as it could be a sign of things to come if you were to work there.

3. It sounds too good to be true.

Promises of good fortune, a fast track to success, or if you’re made to feel uniquely special with potential to earn unreasonable money, well, chances are, it is in fact too good to be true and you should move on.

4. The communication is unprofessional.

Are you getting late night calls or are they texting you as a means to communicate important information? Do they use language that sounds over-inflated and superfluous? For example, “We are so thrilled to have you as part of our team and look forward to you being the top-seller ever here!!” Notice the use of exclamation points. This is not only unprofessional but also indicates a lack of authenticity.

5. You don’t think you’d fit into the work environment or culture.

Just because an offer was made doesn’t mean you’ll feel comfortable there. I’ve had many clients tell me about how a job offer package sounded great, yet they simply didn’t feel they would fit into the work environment.

6. You don’t believe in the company.

Let’s say you’ve been using Apple products for the past decade, love them, and think all brands fall short. Then you’re offered a job selling Android phones. How do you set aside your personal beliefs and passion to sell a lesser quality product? The passion factor should not be ignored.

7. The company has a bad reputation.

Unless you’re being hired to troubleshoot and help revitalize a company, it’s usually unwise to make a move to a firm that is not well-liked, respected, or looked at favorably by the public and industry insiders. Furthermore, do your due diligence and research the company. Is a merger about to occur or will there be layoffs? Are stocks tumbling? These are signs that trouble is brewing.

8. The company has a high turnover rate.

Research the company, reach out to former employees via Linkedin, read online job forums such as Glassdoor, and know what former employees say about the company and why they left. High turnover suggests a negative work environment and not one you should be going to.

9. There’s no room for growth.

A job can sound great and an offer can be competitive, but if it’s a dead-ender, then that’s akin to meeting someone who looks great on paper but the relationship ends up remaining stagnant. You deserve progression and advancement.

10. There’s a chance you develop an unhealthy work-life balance. 

New jobs often require that the person work extra hours, travel overnight, prove him or herself, and impress upper management by doing whatever is necessary. Consider where you are in your life. Are you mid-career with two young kids at home who require your attention? Can you accept being a part-time mother, father, or spouse and delegating duties to nannies, daycare, and the like? Are you okay missing out on seeing your child participate in sports and school events and being unable to attend birthday parties?

If nothing else, do a gut-level check. So often it comes down to what you feel in your heart and gut. If it simply doesn’t feel right, then be strong and confidently and graciously decline the offer.

Originally published at www.inc.com

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