Got a New Job Offer? 7 Signs You Should Say “No”


No matter where you are in your professional career, whether you have years of experience or you’re just starting out, you’ll eventually come face to face with a super-shiny, incredibly alluring job offer.

Naturally, you’ll say yes to some offers and choose to walk away from others.

But it’s not always as easy as it sounds. Sometimes, even the best job offer won’t seem so great at first. Other times, the worst offer seems to be your best choice.

So how do you know when to say “no”?

Here are a few methods to help determine whether that shiny job offer fits the bill, or whether it’s time to walk away.

1. It doesn’t help you reach your long-term career goals.

Sometimes the most seemingly attractive job offers are only attractive in the short term. Perhaps the benefits seem alluring, or the pay is higher than you originally expected. That’s all well and good, but only if the position helps your long-term goals become a reality.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking the vacation time or the pay is going to make up for the fact the job offer isn’t in line with your goals. You’ll enjoy the honeymoon period for a brief while, but once that goodness wears off, you’ll find yourself upset and frustrated, because you’re not progressing toward your long-term goal.

Ask yourself whether the position being offered is a stepping-stone towards your goal or going to take you in a different direction – if it’s blowing you off-course – walk away.

The truth is, jobs that are shiny but don’t help you reach your goals, aren’t so shiny after all.

2. If it were your friend in the same position, you’d advise them not to take the job.

Sometimes emotions can get in the way of logical thinking. While there is definitely an emotional component that plays a role in your career choices, it most definitely shouldn’t overshadow logical reasoning.

Try and remove all emotion from the situation. Think about your job offer logically. Imagine a close friend or family member in your position; what would you advise your friend/family member to do?  If you would advise them to walk away, then you might need to be prepared to walk away too.

3. The company culture doesn’t suit your personality.

Despite the job being your “dream job,” it will only ever last if you are a good fit for the company. Do some research online and try to determine whether you’ll feel comfortable with the office culture. Determine your own values – workplace education, transparency, etc. and decide if the company’s values align with your own. If it’s not for you, just accept that it’s not for you. Don’t waste your time working for a company you won’t feel comfortable at – it won’t be good for you or anyone involved.

4. You’re not a fan of the people you interviewed with.

If you’re feeling negative about the staff you met with during your interview, chances are that you should just walk away.

Sure, everyone has off days here and there; that being said, many times your “gut” instinct is right. If the vibe was off and you’re not sure you can work with the people who interviewed you, it might be time to say “thanks, but no thanks” and for you to move on.

5. You’ll be expected to take a major benefit/pay cut.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a minor pay cut when the job offer helps you take a huge leap toward your ultimate career goals. A pay cut is never ideal, however, if it puts your financial health at true risk or if it’s for a lateral move that doesn’t boost your career or provide you with any additional professional value – just say no.

6. The money is the only driving force.

A bump in salary is always a perk, but if that’s the only reason you are considering the job – just say “no.” To that end, if the bump in salary is minor, making a career jump might not be that beneficial to you either.

7. The turnover rate is abnormally high.

Have you done your homework and looked into the company’s rate of turnover? While you might not be able to access these stats during the interview process, there are ways to notice whether there’s a constant revolving door.

  • Do your interviewers keep mentioning a handful of people who no longer work at the company?
  • Is there constant mention of “when so and so left…”?

If employee turnover is high, there might be a reason. While there will always be some degree of turnover at every company, you’ll want to think twice if that rate is abnormally higher than it should be.


Bottom line: if there are no short or long term benefits gained by working for the company that presented you with a lucrative offer, if the company culture is wrong, or if the people you interviewed with make you crawl out of your skin – why would you want to work there in the first place?

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