Just because you got the job offer, doesn’t mean you need to accept it.
You've been applying for job openings like crazy, going in for one interview after another and trying your hardest to land the job of your dreams. Perhaps you're unemployed at the moment, or maybe you're trying to get out of the toxic work environment in your current office. Regardless of the reason you're exploring other job opportunities, the job search can be a painful process.
So, what do you do when you receive multiple good offers or an offer that you can't imagine accepting in a million years? This won't be easy, but you have to learn to graciously say “Thanks, but no thanks.” Here are five good and perfectly valid reasons to decline a job offer.
Sometimes, you end up landing a job that is a perfect fit for you ‒‒ one that offers exciting growth opportunities. But then you find that the salary is way below your expectations. Of course, money isn't everything and shouldn't be the ultimate deciding factor; you should always consider whether a job is going to be both professionally and personally fulfilling.
That being said, keep in mind that some companies are known for the notorious habit of trying to get more for less. Do your research and make sure that the proposed salary is not below market value. Even if it is on par with market value, evaluate whether that salary is enough to support your family, your expenses, and other budgetary needs. If the answer is a clear no, then you might be scratching your head, thinking about how to decline a job offer due to salary. Before declining, try to negotiate for a better starting salary. If that doesn't work out, politely decline the offer and seek out greener pastures. You can even recommend someone for the job, as long as that person is okay with it, to keep from burning any bridges.
Your direct supervisor gives off a bad vibe
Sometimes, you get a gut feeling that you won't get along with someone you've just met. Your gut feeling is usually right, and I personally believe in following this instinct when it comes to new people. This is especially important when it comes to your direct manager, as they play a critical role in your success at a new company; your supervisor can be your mentor or a downright micromanaging boss from hell. If your interaction with them says more of the latter, then it's time to reconsider this job offer. Even if the pay is amazing and the job scope is exciting, it might not be worth sacrificing your mental health and happiness by working with a malicious boss.
Lack of growth
Every job that you take should add something valuable to your resume. When you consider moving to a different job, be sure to evaluate whether you will have growth opportunities, like bigger responsibilities, challenging projects, and capacity development. Will this new job allow you to meet bigger clients and expand your skills? Will you have the opportunity to lead teams on important projects?
If this job doesn't offer you opportunities to better yourself, then chances are you'll end up getting bored in a few months. A job that is not intellectually challenging will eventually lead you to be stuck in your comfort zone, churning out report after report with zero passion. Consequently, you might be passed on for promotions, which will definitely not help your case! Have a thorough look at your new job description and talk to your potential colleagues to determine if this will be a good fit for you.
A high turnover rate
Before applying to a job, you should research the company thoroughly. It's always a great idea to talk to the current employees in the company, and, if possible, friends who are familiar with the company and industry you're aiming for. A small rate of employee turnover is normal in any company, but a high turnover rate should immediately raise a red flag. In today's economy, people rarely leave a job they really like, unless they got a better offer elsewhere. A high turnover rate implies that employees are highly unhappy at work, which speaks volumes about the work environment and office politics. Be sure not to jump in at the offer before getting a better sense of why there's a vacancy to begin with!
There's no work-life balance
Everyone goes through long working hours and exhaustion at some point in their career. This is especially true if you just started your career or navigating your way in a new company. You can very well expect to put in extra hours to catch up in a new work environment. However, if you're an experienced professional with a family and other personal commitments, it might not be the best idea to accept a 70-hour-per-week job offer.
Consider the impact this move will have on you and your loved ones. Will you be able to attend your son's soccer practice? Or your wife's medical appointments? Will the extra money be worth not being there for your family in times of need? Perhaps the new company could offer you generous vacation days to make up for the long working hours, or maybe you could request for flexible working hours and work-from-home opportunities. If the new manager is not open to negotiations, then a lack of work-life balance is a perfectly valid reason to decline a job offer.
With these reasons given, evaluate each and every job offer you receive before making a final decision — you will benefit in the long run.
Before you can receive the job offer, you need to ace the interview. Luckily, our expert interview coaches can help you prepare!