Saturday, September 15, 2012

Someone Wants To Hire You. Congratulations!? – Part 2 of 3

By Mary Salvino

In a perfect world, you apply for the job of your dreams, get a job offer that is more money than you expected, you realize your co-workers are going to be your new BFFs, and find out the company vacation package includes a time-share at some beach or mountain resort for employees to use.

Unfortunately, that is not always how it works. Sometimes the job offer isn’t right for you, and if that is the case, it’s better to decline than accept the offer, even in this tough economy. Taking a position that’s ultimately not a good fit can stress you out, keep you from finding the job you’re really meant to have as well as hurt both your résumé and your network if you don’t stay very long.

Saying, “Thanks, but no thanks” to a job offer can be complicated. Once you have sent in your résumé and participated in a series of interviews, your prospective employer is likely to assume that you want the job, so the last thing you want is for the hiring manager/prospective employer to think that you ‘played them’. 

Prospective employers like to be ‘strung along’ just about as much as you do.  If you realize during the interview process that there is a high chance you won't accept an offer, let the hiring manager know so s/he can focus on more viable candidates, and you can get on with your search. While it may be tempting to prove to yourself and others that you can get the job, it's also a waste of time to do it for your ego.  If you are unsure, by all means, proceed and stay the course.  I would urge you to be honest with yourself, express your concerns and desires along the way, listen more than talk, and remain open to the possibilities that come your way.   

If you do choose to decline the offer, you should remember that the prospective employer has spent a lot of time and effort into generating the offer.  NEVER imply that the job itself or the salary is to blame.  You should instead focus and articulate why the opportunity is not a good fit.  Being honest with prospective employers will earn you respect and keep the door open for other opportunities that may present themselves in the future.  Walk away in a manner that tells your prospective employer that if their needs change, or another opportunity that aligns with your experience or skill set presents itself, you would be delighted to be considered for the opportunity.  Always keep in mind that everyone you met during the interview process is now part of your network, so, it is always best not to be adversarial. 

Do you have anything to add to the discussion?  I would love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2012, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2012, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of the author, Mary Salvino. “Career Matters” is a blog authored by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career that is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. This blog is also dedicated to those who stand a little taller each time they picked themselves up after failing and those who gained the wisdom and humility from those experiences to help others do the same. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at