Maybe I’m just triggered by this Simon Sinek video or a little sensitive about the coverage of millennials in the media, but I’ve been having some job search-related feels lately. As someone who freelanced for several years, I spent a lot of time looking for clients and contract work. Thanks to that, my resume looks like a job-hopping mess. Which to some extent, it is. Job hopping is something millennials are constantly dinged for + I am no exception. While I think most of this video misses the mark, one point I do agree with is that we should be more discerning in the job offer we do except, no matter how hard that may be.
FIrst + foremost, the ability to scrutinize job offers is a privilege not everyone has. And if that’s the case for you, I would take Simon’s advice + look at it as a learning experience until you can move on. Whether we like it or not, employers frown upon short tenure at previous employment. If you do have the privilege to field multiple job offers or take the time to be more discerning, I have some news for you: it is okay to turn down a job offer. It’s okay to not settle for just any job + to wait for one that is better suited to where you are in your career + what you need.
This fact is scary. Being unemployed is terrifying, even with the safety net of savings, income from a spouse, or help from parents. Fielding offers when you currently have a job can be stressful. Even if you aren’t looking for new employment, you may have some job offers or at least interview offers rolling in. If you’ve been at your job for a while, these offers may be something to consider. Give offers you receive while employed even more scrutiny since you have something to compare them to. In both cases, whether employed or unemployed there are some obvious red flags + reasons to say no to a job offer.
Reasons to Turn Down a Job Offer
While you can, of course, turn down any job for any reason, there are some reasons that are more socially acceptable than others. If you’re on the fence with a job offer, see if any of these reasons might apply to you.
- You have another, better offer.
- It doesn’t meet your salary expectations. If it won’t pay the bills, it won’t pay the bills.
- The company culture isn’t a fit.
- You don’t believe in the company’s products or mission.
- You’ve heard horror stories about the management or just get a bad vibe.
- The commute is too long or there is too much travel.
- It doesn’t have the flexibility to work within your schedule (ex. family obligations).
- You know you will hate more than 30% of your duties.
- The company is shady about the duties or the actual job offer. Get it in writing.
- There is no room for growth either in your skill set or within your company.
Any of the above reasons are red flags that should lead you to not accept a job offer. Discernment is a two-way street. If you feel really strongly about a role + are able to overlook some of these issues, follow your gut. But don’t just take a job because it will be easy, the pay is insane, the commute will be short, or because it’s “cool.” From personal experience, working at a job where you enjoy the work + where the people appreciate what you do is a million times better than one that is cool. Your self-esteem + professional confidence will carry you so far in a role where you are enabled to excel.
Before you sign on that dotted line, take a deep breath + carefully scrutinize your job offer. If you’re lucky, you’ll end up at a company you love + not one that makes you doubt yourself daily. Happy job hunting!