bad job offer

Four Times You Should Not Accept a Job Offer

The job search cycle: job boards, resumes, cover letters, interviews, thank you notes, repeat. That is until the day you receive that phone call. You got the job offer!

It might be tempting to just jump on the first job offer you receive – especially if you have been on the job hunt for a while – but before you accept, you need to remember that not every offer is worth accepting. There are times when saying “no” to an offer is a better step for your career than a “yes.” Here are four of those times:

It’s Not a Culture Fit

“Culture fit” is a broad term that is often heard in the workplace. It’s defined by TechTarget as, “The likelihood that a job candidate will be able to conform and adapt to the core values and collective behaviors that make up an organization.” Oftentimes, hiring managers are trained to spot this in candidates, but the candidates themselves should also be paying attention to fit. For example, if the company does not value work-life-balance, and it’s very important to you, it’s safe to say you would not be a good fit at that organization.

How do you learn about a company’s culture to determine your fit? Two great places to start are the company’s website – specifically the core purpose/values page – and their social media profiles. You should also as specific questions about the culture during your job interview. For example, “How would you describe the team?” or “What do you love about your job here?” After doing your due diligence in learning everything you can about the company’s culture and your gut tells you it’s not a fit, don’t take the job.

There is No Room for Growth

Regardless of the type of offer you receive (salary and benefits), if it’s a dead-end job, you should not accept. You will eventually grow bored and frustrated in the position. To get a feeling for the growth opportunities, ask the interviewer questions like, “Where have previous teammates in this position progressed to in the team or company?” or “What is the trajectory for this position within the company?” After asking specific questions like this, you should get a pretty obvious answer about the growth potential.

You’re Unsure about the Manager

This is another gut feeling thing, but if you meet your would-be-manager during the interview process, and you did not care for him/her or felt like he/she has the wrong managing style for you, don’t take the job. To emphasize, this does not necessarily mean you think the manager is a terrible person; it only means that he/she might not be the right boss for you. The wrong manager can make even the best job with the most enjoyable team difficult.

There are Discrepancies

Perhaps one of the biggest red flags for a job offer is if you have spotted any discrepancies between the initial the job description with conversations in the interview or work mentioned in the offer. This could mean anything from A.) the description was purposefully painting a rosy/misleading picture of unpleasant work to B.) the description isn’t really defined because the company is disorganized.

To spot possible discrepancies, ask specifically about a “day in the life” or certain portions of the position’s responsibilities. If you get differing, confusing or ambiguous answers, the red flag should be raised.

Not every job offer is good, and you do not want to be stuck in the wrong position, so keep these four scenarios in mind as you continue your search.

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