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When Should You Turn Down a Job Offer?

when should you turn down a job offer What are some of the warning signs to look out for when applying for a job? When should you turn down a job offer? How do you know is it the right decision to turn down a job offer? Just because you have an interview at a company and things seem to have gone well doesn't mean that taking that job won't be one of the worst mistakes of your life.

Are You Considering Turning Down a Job Offer?

This guide can give you some aspects to consider when advancing your career, but of course you will need to weigh the pros and cons to determine what is best for you. When you work at a job you are spending not only the majority of your day there, but potentially the majority of your life, so you want to make sure that you are happy with the place of employment that you choose.

So even though your interview may seem to be going well and you are offered a position at a company, you must first take into account certain warning signs to look out for that indicate how well this job might fit into your future.
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When Should You Turn Down a Job Offer?

Warning Signs: When to Back Out
  • They Are Too Eager to Hire You
    An interview is a process made up of many steps, and for good reason. A company should hire a candidate because their skills will make a valuable contribution to their workforce. People should not be hired simply to be a “warm body” in the room.

    A lot of times seasonal positions need to be filled right away so the company may skip out on interviewing or checking your references. This is a warning sign, because a lot of times these positions do not require much experience, and therefore may not be the ideal job for you.
  • There Is an Unhappy Work Environment
    Think about how much time you are going to be spending at your workplace. Taking a new job is like making an investment in yourself, an investment of your time. With that said, you should take a trip to the workplace and spend some time walking through the space to take note of the atmosphere.

    Seeing disgruntled employees and an overall unhappy morale in a place that you could be spending a large portion of your time is obviously going to change your outlook on the position. Take note of any signs directed toward employees and observe the tone in which they are written. Also, visit some of the common areas like a cafeteria if possible and see employee interactions. If they are speaking ill of the company that is an important factor to notice.
  • Taking Too Much of a Downgrade
    Sometimes a job offer opens up and you become so desperate you will accept almost anything. While taking a huge pay-cut isn't ideal, taking a job with a lesser title than your previous position is worse than accepting a salary that is less than what you used to get.

    If you must accept a title that is lesser than what you previously were responsible for it will be expected that you must work your way up back to the level that you already have reached.
  • Lost Opportunity
    The market is constantly changing no matter what the outlook of the economy is, so if you have any doubts about your employment, but you are already in a stable position, wait for better opportunities to emerge.

    You'd be surprised at just how many opportunities present themselves, and you don't want to squander them by accepting the first job that you come across. Don't think that you can accept this position (with all of your doubts about it) and in a few months quit because that can create resume employment gaps.
  • Simply Not a Good Fit
    Every aspect of this position should speak to you, and without any doubts, you should feel that it is a good fit for you. No matter how great the job offer may seem, you need to figure out how comfortable you are in just the few experiences that you had there.

    Based on your knowledge of the company and the interactions with the staff as well as your future manager, can you see yourself working there, being adequately challenged, and being happy with the work environment and staff? If you answered any of these questions with great uncertainty you may need to reevaluate your decision to accept the position. This in itself can tell you when should you turn down a job offer.
  • No Room for Improvement
    If you feel like a job is going to lead you to a dead end, steer clear. When you accept a position there should be room for the improvement of your skills, as well as room for your own personal advancement within the company.

    Everyone wants to move forward on their career path. What would be the point of working if you didn't maintain any professional goals? So if you are in a situation where it seems like there is minimal advancement, or the company has a reputation for dissuading employees from moving up, maybe it would be good to stay away.
How to Get Answers About a Questionable Job
  • Ask Questions
    It may seem too simple, but most of your qualms about a job can be settled by asking the recruiter about them. If you are at the point where a company has invested their time in you and is making you an offer, they will most likely be more than willing to address any of your concerns.

    If you have the chance you should also speak with current employees at the company. As you make one your visits to the workplace, stop a worker and ask them how they feel about working for the company and how long they have been there. If you speak with someone who has been employed at a company for 20+ years and they are satisfied that should mean something.
  • Research Online
    There are multiple websites that contain information written by the employees of companies who review their place of employment. Read any and all reviews you can find about the company and take these opinions into consideration. Most of the time you will find that what the majority of people state is the common perception.
It is much easier to decide, “When should you turn down a job offer?” when you have an idea of what you can look out for. You can compare jobs and benefits to determine which one is best for you to accept. The other career help tools and tips we provide can be of great help in advancing your career to the next level!