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Why You Should Decline That Job Offer

Who, what, why!? Yes, we said it. Sometimes job offers should be declined. While this may feel like a far off and distant reality, it’s important to be able to identify offers that should not be accepted. Not every job is going to be right for you, and the sooner you come to terms with that, the sooner you will find yourself on your way to finding the job that is right for you. We know you’re putting in a lot of effort and hard work, but a job offer should be worth accepting.

Let’s take a look at a few instances where a job offer should be declined.

1. The company has a bad reputation.

Oh, no! The last thing you want to do is settle for a company who has worked hard at solidifying a poor reputation. Employer review websites often post ratings and comments about companies. If the company that has offered you employment has a long list of disgruntled employees, it’s probably best to forgo that job offer. Why throw away your effort and hard work on a company that will likely not treat you well in the future? Take a deep breath, assess the situation, and be prepared to hop back on the job search train.

2. It’s not what you want.

If the job offer you got is in an industry or department you have no interest in working in, it might be a good idea to politely decline the offer. Part of finding job success is being happy with the career you choose If you have left marketing, because it brings you no joy, then why accept a position in the marketing department of another company? Hang in there and keep working toward the jobs you really want. It will be worth it in the long run.

3. The company could be on the way out.

So, the job offer seems solid, but the company itself is holding on by a thread? It’s probably not the best idea to take an offer with this company. While there’s always the chance that the company will do a 180 and recover from whatever issues it’s facing, we don’t recommend banking on that chance. Understanding a company’s position in the marketplace is so important when deciding whether or not to accept a job offer. Do your homework and look for any signs of financial trouble within the company. Has it recently undergone a major leadership change? Has it downsized immensely? Staying as informed as possible will be to your advantage.

4. The commute is too difficult.

Some people don’t mind commuting, but if you’re someone who resents spending hours sitting on a train or bus during high traffic commuting hours, then don’t accept a job that involves precisely that kind of situation. Traveling to and from work should not be the most tiring part of your day. Furthermore, as time goes on, what once seemed like a relaxing commute can transform into a daily hassle. An unsatisfactory commute can really negatively impact your lifestyle, so think hard before accepting a job that involves one.

5. The work seems too difficult.

While we are all for challenging yourself, we don’t think it’s wise to accept a job offer that involves work that’s instantly overwhelming. If it’s out of your realm of comfort or experience and you’re feeling negative about it from the get-go, then you should probably follow your intuition. If you don’t think you will do a good job, then chances are your boss won’t either, and you’re better off saving everyone from having to make that unpleasant discovery.

My name is Joost and I have been active as a recruiter for the past 5 years. At, I share my experience, tips and the "secret" tricks to help you get a job. Do you have questions? Please send me an email via the contact form.