7 Good Reasons To Turn Down A Reasonable Job Offer

7 Good Reasons To Turn Down A Reasonable Job Offer

When to turn down a job offer

By Mark Swartz
Monster Senior Contributing Writer

What a great feeling to receive a job offer. Especially after a long, anxious search. Finally another employer has recognized that you’ve got the right stuff. Your feelings of relief and excitement can be huge.

 
But once you’ve finished negotiating the offer, take a deep breath before actually accepting. Is your gut telling you something you don’t necessarily want to hear? Like maybe the person you’ll be reporting to rubbed you the wrong way somehow. Or traffic on the way to the office was way worse than you’d imagined, making your commute much longer than expected.
 
There are some very good reasons to decline a job offer. Basically it comes down to an unavoidable fact: taking a job you’re unhappy with can end badly, and it’s hard to look for another job once you’ve started this new one.
 
Do any of the following seven reasons apply to your situation?
 
Reason 1: The Terms Of The Offer Are Unsatisfactory
 
You didn’t get the title you wanted. Not enough salary. A restrictive vacation policy. If there are serious gaps in how your negotiations turned out, these can lead to resentment and frustration. Remember that once you accept an offer, you may have to wait until a scheduled performance review to ask for changes. Will you last that long?
 
Reason 2: The Work Itself Is Too Difficult Or Too Easy
 
You could be setting yourself up for failure if the level of work is too complex or simple. If it’s overly complex, but you’ve talked a good game and oversold yourself, it won’t take long for your new employer to discover the truth. And if the work is boring you may end up climbing the walls, looking for a quick exit.
 
Reason 3: You’re Worried You Won’t Get Along With Your Manager
 
Your supervisor plays a vital role in your success at a new job. They can be your champion, or prison warden. Don’t ignore little signals that the two of you may not get along. These irritations could blossom into major frictions if your intuition is right.
 
Reason 4: The Corporate Culture Doesn’t Feel Right
 
What’s the new workplace “feel” like? If, for example, it’s slow-paced and quiet, but you prefer frantic and loud, it might not be a fit. Ask plenty of questions during your interviews about what it’s like to work there. Make sure they show you around and introduce you before you accept their offer. If the fit isn’t right you may end up getting squeezed out one way or another.
 
Reason 5: The Commute Is Too Difficult
 
Getting to and from work should not be the most exhausting part of your day. If it is, you’ll arrive to your job with frayed nerves and get home in a bad mood. Test out the commute by testing out the route beforehand, at the time of day you’d be expected to report in. Are you frazzled or focused?
 
Reason 6: There’s Too Much Travel Required In The Job
 
Travelling as part of your work can be fun. It can also become a drain if there’s too much of it. So consider carefully whether the amount of work-related travel is manageable for you. If you think it won’t be, try to renegotiate before giving your final response.
 
Reason 7: You’ve Accepted Another Job Offer
 
If you’re fortunate enough to receive multiple offers at the same time, you’re going to have to choose one and notify the others of your decision. It’s only fair to the employer: they need to go ahead and select from the remaining applicants.
 
How To Decline A Job Offer Graciously
 
Regardless of why you choose to turn down a job offer, there are ways of doing so that don’t slam the door shut for later. Here are some tips you might find helpful:
  • Let the employer know as soon as you’ve made your decision, so that you don’t unnecessarily keep them waiting (see Reason 7 above)
     
  • Use the personal touch. Speak directly to the person who made you the offer. Be brief and upbeat. There’s no reason for a lengthy conversation that gets into gritty details. You can say something like “I really had to think about this long and hard because you seem like a great place to work, and I want you to know how much I appreciate all the effort you’ve made on my behalf. However after taking everything into account, I’ve decided to continue my search elsewhere at this time.”
     
  • Mention that you would like to leave the door open for the future, when circumstances may have changed
 
Turning down a reasonable job offer shouldn’t be done lightly. Once the final version is on the table, you can ask for a day or two to think it over. During this period you can honestly assess the merits of this opportunity. If it doesn’t meet your minimum standards then you may be better off to politely decline and keep looking.