Business & EconomyWhen to say no to a job

When to say no to a job

The prospect of employment is always an exciting journey, right from interview stage to locking in that dream job. However sometimes there are early signs that the job simply isn’t right for you or the company may have some shaky policies that will not bode well for your long term career prospects.

Here are some reasons not to rush headlong into a job without asking yourself some important questions and key considerations:

1. The pay is less than what the market rate is

Before you start anywhere do your homework. You should be aware of the salary range and what’s a reasonable amount of money considering job scope, location and the designation.

Have a salary expectation with a fluctuation for a downturn in the economy and stick to that range.

2. Benefits are nil

Sometimes it isn’t just about the cash. Will the company cover you when you get sick, are your dependents factored in? Is there dental or an equity distribution scheme perhaps even stocks for blue chip companies? This isn’t to say you shouldn’t join a smaller start up which invariably offers less benefits but weigh in the balance. If you get some autonomy or say in managing things you may be willing to forgo typical benefits but do consider that there must be something that works for you in the long run as benefits aren’t always quantifiable.

3. Promotion prospects

Are these clear and definable? If you’ve asked this question at the outset or interview stage and all you get is vague answers like maybe or perhaps then it’s time to re-evaluate your decision. This however has to be balanced with learning new skills or personal development which again maybe something worth considering and then moving on if there aren’t any long term prospects for advancement.

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4. Don’t look for a cushy gig

This one is simple if it looks to good to be true, it probably is! Don’t settle for an easy peasy job when you know you can do better. Challenge yourself and don’t buy into the hiring sales talk that makes a job seem easy when it probably isn’t.

5. Don’t make it just about the money

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Never take a job just because it comes with a big paycheck. As hard as it is to believe money isn’t everything. If you’re going to be unhappy and stretched very thin the money may not be worth it. Consider things like whether you have a smart leadership team, a chance to grow and increase your visibility as well as work in a dynamic environment.

6. Easy to get there

Many of us loathe long commutes to and from work but don’t refuse to take on something that will benefit you more in the long run just because you can’t be bothered to make a longer journey.

7. Security isn’t everything

Ironically the most secure jobs in the traditional sense (that is jobs that don’t lay people off as quickly) tend to be jobs that don’t grow your skills and business acumen as much. You’re likely to be a cog in the wheel of a giant corporation and this may spell trouble down the road if you have to look for a job elsewhere.

8. The company culture is bad

Different companies are run differently and there’s no right or wrong way. However if you’re someone who has a lot to handle outside of work, family responsibilities; a sick child or family member or health issues perhaps, you might not fare well in an environment where being five minutes late is seen as a capital offense. Conversely if you like structure, too much flexibility may affect your productivity. So weigh in on what’s right for you when you make your decision.

9. You dislike your boss

As the famous saying goes, “Workers don’t quit companies, they quit managers”. Research shows bad bosses are the top reasons that employees leave their jobs.

This maybe very difficult to judge in the initial stages when you’re considering whether or not to join the company as it’s not possible to tell but look out for tell tale signs and ask pertinent questions so you at least understand how your superior thinks.

10. Follow you instinct

This is a big one. Everything may seem right on paper but if your gut feeling is saying a hard no, give it a pass. Do not ignore your inner voice as only you know best about what’s right for you.

Lastly turn down the offer politely and don’t burn your bridges. Thank the human resource manager and explain why you need to say no without being offensive.


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