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Do You Know When to Turn Down a Job Offer?

You’ve spent numerous hours looking for a job that better suits your current needs, whether it’s professionally or personally driven. Either way, a job offer is headed in your direction, and with it comes the evaluation of the actual opportunity and the impact it will have on your life.

If you’re in a job you aren’t thrilled with or have been out of the workforce for a while and are anxious to get back in, it might be tempting to say yes to a new job when it isn’t exactly what you’re looking for.

Before proclaiming your commitment, consider the following reasons why you should turn down a job offer.

Salary Doesn’t Match Up

The role might be attractive, but there’s no getting around the financial component. If you haven’t created a budget, making a job or career switch is as good enough of a reason to. Figure out what you need to make ends meet, and don’t waver from covering that. Ideally, it would be nice to have a buffer, so evaluate the value you bring to the table and the job market. Are people interested in interviewing you? Is there a good amount of opportunities out there? If so, you might have the luxury of being pickier and turning down an offer or two until a more desirable situation presents itself.

Must-Haves Not Offered

As you look to make a potential move, create a list of what you cannot live without from your employer. Keep in mind that every job offer isn’t going to be perfect. You will need to give and take but prioritize your must-haves list and decide if certain sacrifices are worth the opportunity. Also, think ahead. It’s good to know what situation you are walking into at the moment, but will that be the same down the road? Do you accumulate additional benefits as seniority kicks in?

Benefits Take FOR-EV-ER

It’s expected that some jobs have a waiting period before certain benefits kick in. So make sure you have a clear picture of when you’ll receive health benefits, the opportunity to contribute to a 401k, or when vacation time is earned. An offer might look great on paper with ample PTO, excellent health benefits, and the mention of a 401k, but it’s important to figure out if those are an immediate reality or something you’ll have to wait for.

Turnover is High

Personnel changes are a part of the professional landscape but be aware of how often people leave a company. During the interview process, it’s worth asking about turnover and how often it’s something the company encounters. If the interviewer can’t give you the insight you’re looking for, ask why the position is open.

Clear Career Path is Nonexistent

When accepting a job offer, you should know where your career journey will lead you as a result of taking the job. For example, it’s clear how long you will be in the new job, what the next step up the ladder will be, what that entails, and where your eventual landing spot will be.

Job Offer Letter Doesn’t Match

Did you discuss different benefits or responsibilities not reflected in the offer letter? Be leery because if an employer is shady even before you sign on the dotted line, chances are it’s not going to get better.

Your Gut Instinct is Saying, “Walk away”

How did you feel during the interview? Did you have a pit in your stomach or an uneasy feeling about anything discussed? Those things can’t, and shouldn’t, be ignored. If the opportunity doesn’t feel right, walk away.

Have you ever turned down a job offer? If so, why? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out How to Use Social Media to Attract Employers.