Saturday, September 22, 2012

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

 By Mary Salvino

If you are unemployed, is it ever a good idea to turn down a job you don't like? Clearly, there is no answer that applies to everyone all of the time. Accepting or declining a job offer depends on your personal set of circumstances as well as the job itself. It should also be noted that while financial distress is certainly a major factor in accepting an offer you don't like, money should not be the decision-making factor when it comes to your career.  If, however, you're out of work and financially squeezed, you would be classified as an unusual person if you didn't rate the importance of money highly and accept a job you didn't like.

So, how do you know when to say, “Yes” to a job offer and when to say, “No”? Check out the job tips below:

Tip #1: If the money isn’t right, say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

This one might seem like a ‘no-brainer’, especially in a down economy, however, you would be surprised at how many people accept job offers that don’t even come close to meeting their needs.
The problem with accepting an offer wherein the financial compensation is well below your  needs or expectations, is that it’s easy to become resentful of your new employer if you don’t feel you’re getting what you’re worth.  This mental state of affairs will affect your morale and performance. (Not to mention that it is also extremely difficult to perform well when you are always stressed about money.)

Tip #2: If you don’t actually want to do the job, say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Job interviews are like two-way streets.  The ultimate goal of any job interview is to find out if you, the candidate, are a good fit for the company the company and for you to see if you are a good fit for the company.  It is only at the interview stage that you can find out if the job opportunity is, ‘as advertised’, i.e. the job description matches the actual job.  Every now and then, you will apply for a position and will assume that the job, based upon the job description,  will have one set of responsibilities and then, during the interview process, it becomes clear that the company’s expectations are very different from what was advertised.

Tip #3: If you don’t ‘fit in’ with the company culture, say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Even if the job sounds great and the offer is fantastic, if you are looking for a business casual work environment and the company’s culture screams, shirt and tie, you  firmly believe in work/life balance, and your new boss is expecting you to start at 60 hours per week, this is not the job for you.
Company culture is a large part of everyone’s job satisfaction level. If, at the end of the day, you do not fit in with the company’s culture, you are not going to be happy, and, you are likely to be back out on the job market far sooner than you had planned.

Tip #4: If you are not comfortable with the company’s position from a moral, environment or political perspective, say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Accepting a role or position that is ‘wrong’ for you may freeze you in place and make it difficult for other employers to imagine seeing you in a different role. The ‘wrong’ field may develop you in a direction that closes you off to other possibilities.  Being in an ethically-challenged organization can affect your résumé going forward. Even if you really need a job, don't take one where you have doubts about ethics.

Tip #5: If you cannot convince a trusted mentor/advisor/coach/friend that this job is a good fit for you, say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Business cases are meant to capture the reasoning for initiating a project or task. Traditionally, business cases are usually well-structured written documents although they can also come in the form of short verbal arguments or presentations.  The logic of the business case is that, whenever resources such as money (time) or effort are consumed.  The rationale for the business case should be to support a specific business need, in this case, why you should take the job.  It is always a good idea to get an objective opinion from someone you trust.  If you cannot provide a convincing business case for taking the job, then perhaps you should reconsider accepting the opportunity.

Closing thoughts and considerations:

If you are unemployed and deciding whether to accept an offer, it is critical for you to consider all the factors in play. It is important that you take the time to weigh culture, money, and your feelings about being out of work against the field, your prospective role, the content of the job, and the potential for accomplishment and personal growth over time. You should also think about other opportunities in the works and determine whether the job opportunity meets your collective needs better than staying focused on your job search.

Taking these steps may lead you to reconsider whether you really "must" take the offer, or say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” If you ultimately take the offer, you will know why you made the decision and you will be well-positioned to evaluate the new opportunity from a more balanced perspective.

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