saying no say no

Tell-tale Signs That You Should Turn Down That Job Offer

saying no say no

When it comes to obtaining a job offer and securing a job, there are many factors that go into this process. Tasks such as filling out the application, finding the proper interview attire, preparing the correct responses for the interview, going over your resume… the list can appear to go on and on and be downright daunting for many.
So what happens after you’ve put endless time into what you thought was the job of your dreams, all to discover it’s not at all what you had in mind? Instead of rejoicing when you hear the words “you got the job,” you cringe as you are unsure of what your next steps should be. Career coach and owner of Rock Career Development Julia Rock breaks down a few factors to keep in mind when it comes to accepting the job offer or turning it down.

When you’re looking for work, is it important not to be too eager to accept a job offer? Why?

It is very important to ensure that you don’t appear too eager to accept a job as it can come across as desperation. If you appear as desperate, the employer may be unlikely to offer your worth in salary because you have indicated that you are in need of the role, therefore willing to accept the offer, regardless of salary. Furthermore, appearing overeager in accepting a job may be a warning sign to the employer that you aren’t necessarily excited to work for their company, but perhaps you are just happy to get any other position than you have right now. This can be a complete turnoff as the company wants to feel as if they are truly your employer of choice rather than just the first company to offer you a job.

How important is it to consider the costs of relocating for a job and the cost of housing at the new location? 

When accepting a job offer outside of your current location, it is critical to do your research on the cost of housing in the new area vs. your existing costs, as well as the costs of actually relocating. Housing is one of the largest expenses you have in your monthly budget and usually set the tone for the cost of living in a given area, therefore you will want to analyze the costs of housing and ensure that your new salary/compensation package is truly competitive for that region and accounts for cost of living adjustments from your current location.

It is also important to consider the costs of actually relocating because you will need to understand how much money you have to set aside upfront to cover these additional expenses to your static monthly bills. Paying for moving services, insurance, utility setup, storage, etc. can become quite costly, and therefore you will want to evaluate whether the benefit of moving from both a compensation and career perspective outweighs these incremental costs. But if possible, you should seek to negotiate a signing bonus or relocation package with your new employer to help either reduce or eliminate these out of pocket costs.
start a business

Should your ability to advance be considered before accepting a job? Why is this important?

If you have established clear career goals, any position you accept should be helping you to achieve those goals and attain your desired professional success. Therefore, it is important to understand opportunities for career development and progression before accepting a job as you don’t want to waste time with something that will prove to be a dead-end and can detour your career path. Furthermore, if you accept positions with no growth or advancement potential, you may find yourself job-hopping or constantly starting over with new companies, preventing you from gaining traction in your career and building a depth of knowledge.

If you have a bad feeling about a job, is it ever OK to “go with your gut” and reject it, even if you don’t have a specific reason? 

Yes, it is actually the right thing to do if you have a bad feeling or are in any way uncomfortable about the job being offered. You should feel confident that the job you are accepting is favorable to both your professional and personal goals. You should feel like you are walking into an environment where you will be set up for success. In addition, job decisions can have life-altering impacts, not just for you, but also on your family (should you have one), especially if you have to relocate or significantly change your work or travel schedule to accommodate. So if you don’t have a positive feeling about the job role, there is nothing wrong with turning it down and continuing your search elsewhere.

Older workers have less time to earn money before they retire. Why is it important for them to refuse a job offer that could be a poor financial move? 

Unfortunately, older workers no longer have the benefit of time in the workforce when planning for retirement and long-term financial stability. Given the fact that in many cases, Social Security only covers a moderate portion of monthly expenses, and not all companies provide pension plans, older workers will want to ensure that the job moves they make in their later years will have a positive impact on their financial position and will help ensure they are provided for upon retirement. A job that proves to be a wrong financial move can set their retirement earnings back, and it may cause them to continue working much longer than anticipated in order to establish the required financial base before leaving the workforce.

Why should job applicants ask about the rate of turnover for the job they are seeking? 

Job applicants should ask about the rate of turnover because you want to uncover any red flags prior to accepting a position. If turnover is high, that may mean there are issues with the actual job role, work environment, overall company culture, or some combination. Asking about the rate of turnover and the reasons behind the predecessor’s departure can help you gain insight as to what kind of environment you are walking into, and if that position and company truly represent the right next step for your career.

How should applicants react if they can’t get straight answers about such things as what duties the job will require and the rate of pay? 

If you are unable to get straight answers about the job responsibilities or compensation package, that can be a red flag. However, applicants should opt to ask the questions in a different way first to see if there may be an answer. Instead of asking “what is a typical day like?” or “what will this position be responsible for?”, try asking “what are the immediate priorities for this position?” and “what would you want this position to accomplish over the first 6-12 months?”

Sometimes if a position has been newly established, it may not be fully outlined before bringing in a new employee. Therefore, it may be difficult to answer direct questions about job responsibilities. But if you rather focus on the priorities and objectives of the role, you may get a better answer. In addition, if you aren’t getting answers about the pay rate as once again, this may be a new role with no historical pay baseline, you can ask about the pay range or incorporate market rates into your discussions to see if that helps to drive the conversation to a more concrete place on compensation.

However, if you are still not getting satisfactory answers to these basic, but yet critically important questions, you may want to ask yourself if this job is one you should pursue any further.


How important is it to find a reasonable work-life balance at a new job? If the boss assures you he won’t work you more than 60 hours a week, is that a warning sign?

Work-life balance is essential because, without it, you will be overworked and run the risk of becoming burned out, unmotivated, and ultimately unproductive. Working extended hours on a weekly basis can negatively impact both your physical and mental health. If your boss assures you that you will not work more than 60 hours per week, that may be a warning sign depending on the role. While the typical workweek is 40 hours, certain fields require longer weekly hours, but then offer a more robust vacation and paid holiday packages to help provide balance. However, if the role should only typically require 40 hours, and your boss is potentially asking for 20 additional hours per week, that can be a warning sign that the role may be too demanding on your life beyond the office. You may want to get some additional clarification to understand whether or not the 60 hours per week is standard, temporary, or just during peak periods. This can drive your decision on whether you want to accept the job offer or not.

This guest post was authored by Julia Rock

Julia Rock is the owner of Rock Career Development, a boutique consulting firm whose mission is to empower individuals to unlock and achieve their full professional potential while earning the money they want, no matter what career path they choose. She launched Rock Career Development in 2013 to help job seekers and career changers take the guesswork out of the job search process and reach their desired career goals. Julia is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), Certified Employment Interview Professional (CEIP), and a career, entrepreneurship, and leadership development expert. Furthermore, she has a true passion for economic empowerment and financial literacy in the Black community.

Julia has been featured in several publications, including xoNecole, AspireTV, Blavity, 21Ninety, and more. In addition to working with individual clients, Julia also serves as a speaker and workshop presenter for various professional, religious, and community organizations.

The post Tell-tale Signs That You Should Turn Down That Job Offer appeared first on Ms. Career Girl.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *