Having second thoughts about accepting a job offer?
Don’t panic. You’re allowed to change your mind! No matter what stage of your career you’re in, it’s important to find a role that matches your career goals and personal priorities. So taking your time to ensure a job ticks all the right boxes is always important – even if you’ve already been offered the position in question.
If you’re on the fence about accepting a job, here are six reasons you might decide to reject a job offer:
You’ve accepted a job elsewhere
Throughout the process of applying and interviewing, you may realise that companies employ different hiring practices.
Some businesses prefer to conduct one interview before deciding who to hire. Others may hold a series of interviews. Some may move quickly with the hiring process, while others go at a slower pace. So, it’s not uncommon to receive a job offer from a company while you’re still interviewing with others.
If you do accept a job elsewhere, inform other interested companies of your decision. But before doing so, wait until you receive the offer in writing and all background checks are completed.
You’ve received a counter offer from your current employer
OK, so you’ve told your employer that you’ve got another job and you’re mentally ready to move on. But then your boss comes back to you with a great offer to try and convince you to stay. It happens.
But before you say ‘yes’, be certain that the extra money or benefits will be enough to keep you satisfied in your current job for the long term.
A simple way to do this is to make a list of all the reasons you wanted to leave and a list of what is included with the counter offer. If the counter offer cancels out some or most of these reason-to-leave points, it seems reasonable to accept.
It’s also better to negotiate with your employer on what’s included in the counter offer before accepting it, as once agreed, your boss may not be keen to amend it later on.
You aren’t sure it’s the right role
On paper, the job may seem perfect; your experience is a match and so are your skills. The company ethos matches your own – but something has made you question if this is the right role for you.
There could be a number of reasons. Maybe it’s something the hiring manager mentioned or a point that was made in the interview. Maybe you just weren’t too sure what the job actually entailed. Whatever it is, it’s better to act now. While turning down a job offer can seem scary, it’s easier to say no than to accept a role that isn’t right for you.
Our advice is to think through your concerns, perhaps discuss them with the hiring manager to see if they can settle your doubts. If you’re still in two minds, it might be that this just isn’t the job for you.
You aren’t sure the company is the right fit
While most companies put great effort into ensuring the hiring process is a pleasant and straightforward experience for candidates, sadly this isn’t always the case.
It’s important not to make any snap decisions based on the interview process alone. However, if you’re having to constantly chase the hiring manager for updates on your application, or if you’re worried about the attitude of any of your interviewers, for example, these could be seen as potential red flags.
Another concern could be around the company culture not aligning with your own personal views. Something which you may pick up during the hiring process, or even just through your own research.
If you’re having doubts, you could try speaking to the company’s HR team to allay your concerns. But if this doesn’t reassure you, don’t be afraid to see what else is out there.
You aren’t sure on the salary
Money doesn’t make the world go round, but a higher salary certainly makes it easier to pay your bills. If you’re looking to leave your current role for a job that pays more, be sure to know what salary is on offer before applying.
The job description may give a salary range for the role or mention ‘salary dependent on experience’. Either way, ask about the salary at the earliest opportunity. If the salary is lower than what you’re expecting, there are a couple of options you could consider:
- Try to negotiate with the employer
- Request that a salary review is done a few months into the job
- Decide if the employee benefits on offer compensate for the salary
If the salary still falls short of what you’re looking for, or if your take home pay just doesn’t measure up when you take other factors (such as tax) into account, it might not be the right role for you.
You want more flexibility
The pandemic might have led you to re-evaluate your work-life balance, or made you want to dedicate more time to outside of work interests. If so, then before accepting a job offer, try to find out if the company offers flexible working.
To discover if they do, scour the job description, speak to the hiring manager or recruiter, and read company reviews left by employees to ascertain if flexi or hybrid working is available. Also, if the hiring manager doesn’t mention it during the interview, ask them directly. If they don’t offer the level of flexibility you need, don’t be scared to walk away.
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