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Why It’s Okay To Reject a Job Offer

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Guys… the other day I did something I thought I would never do.

I TURNED DOWN a job offer. *GASPS*. Considering the fact that I’ve been searching for a full-time job since January deciding to reject a job offer wasn’t easy. In fact, it was actually super freakin’ hard.

For those of you searching for a career, you’re in good company. While the market is super competitive, it’s actually okay to reject a job offer you feel isn’t worth your while. Keep reading below to learn why I turned down my offer and why turning down a job offer may be better for you in the long run.

Why You Might Want to Consider Rejecting a Job Offer

Why It’s Okay To Reject a Job Offer – My Story

The way I received my offer was…well…disorganized.

It all started with receiving an email regarding medical paperwork…all before getting a legit job offer. I responded within the hour that I had never received an actual offer for the position I interviewed for. Turns out, there was miscommunication between the branch office and human resources. Not to mention the hiring manager was away on vacation. Not a big deal, these things happen.

The next day I received a verbal tentative offer via phone call (assuming I would pass the needed druggo tests). She asked me if I was accepting the role. However, I hadn’t received any information regarding salary or benefits. I ain’t volunteering for this position…I’ve got 10 years of students loans and a Jeep from 1998 that’s on its last legs. I stated that I would like to know salary and benefit information before making a final decision. She told me she would get back to me soon with that info.

About five days later (red flag #2), I received salary information. I found it odd that it had not been determined prior to receiving an offer.

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Why It's Okay to Reject a Job Offer

This is where things got super funky.

I received my potential pay and I was satisfied with it. HOWEVER, the salary information was dependent on if my position as a graduate research assistant was required to receive my master’s degree (which it was).

I found that super crazy. While I was required to write a master’s thesis on my research, that does not take away from the fact that I completed the research! Rather than taking coursework alone, I had worked as a graduate research assistant, learning how to do research, experimental design, and write a [long-ass] thesis paper.

So, after being in communication with at least three different people, the salary dropped FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS per year…All because my M.S thesis was required for my education. It could not be counted as “years of experience.”

Being in California, the cost of living is more expensive than other regions of the country. The salary offered to me was 1.) only slightly higher than my current salary, 2.) before all those deductions for pension and other adulty things I still haven’t totally figured out yet and 3.) not enough to live out in Orange County.

Why It's Okay to Reject a Job Offer

I had a tough decision to make.

While the salary was below my expectations, it was a full-time job. It was the first offer I received since my search start in January, and it had benefits.

As you already know, I decided to turn it down.

There were too many red flags. Because it took over a week to get salary information [that was later dropped 15k] I was skeptical of the organization. Would that be the start of worse things to come?

I also felt devalued. My graduate research position was not considered “experience.” Regardless of it being required or not, it was done. I worked pretty damn hard to get my degree. Compared to a non-thesis M.S. path, I had greatly improved my research, statistical analysis, and data collection skillset.

As a result of that, the pay was dropped 15k a year—which makes a huge difference in a state with a higher cost of living, such as California.

Why It's Okay to Reject a Job Offer

I am confident that I made the right decision.

Because I have several months of my internship left, I have enough cushion to keep exploring better opportunities. If I was running out of time, I would have accepted the position regardless of the crazy circumstances. It’s easier to get a job when you have a job.

If you’re debating on accepting a position, know your worth! Do your research, and see how other companies are paying their employees for the same or similar position in your region.

Also, don’t be afraid to negotiate. If you are concerned about the money, speak up (in a professional manner). The squeaky wheel gets the grease!

And of course, do not relish on your past decision. The hardest part for me has been to not question my decision throughout this entire process. I don’t have a time machine to go back and change my decision. The only way to move is forward. You have control over your destiny and can create your own path to success. Always remember that!

Why It's Okay to Reject a Job Offer

I am looking forward to the future I am creating for myself. Have you ever decided to reject a job offer? How’d you feel? Comment below!

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  • Reply
    Jessica McKenna
    April 17, 2018 at 7:14 AM

    Love this. Having the confidence to turn down what others would view as a great job offer takes a lot of strength but there is something to be said for knowing when it doesn’t feel quite right. Good for you!

    • Reply
      April 17, 2018 at 12:21 PM

      Thank you so much Jessica! I was pretty scared, but I definitely made a gut decision that I’m proud of 🙂

  • Reply
    April 17, 2018 at 7:45 AM

    Being in a similar position I agree. I have learned by accepting two job offers that turned out to be detrimental to my life, that it is best to use all your information and go with your gut.

    • Reply
      April 17, 2018 at 12:23 PM

      I totally agree. I was super nervous to turn it down (especially since I’ve been searching for a while), but I knew I wouldn’t be happy with my decision if I decided to just accept it. Hope things work out for you Helene! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kasi (@curlyhairlove)
    April 18, 2018 at 11:29 AM

    I also have been job searching for a while now and totally respect your decision! Those are way too many red flags, especially when you still have time to figure things out. Good luck with your search! 🙂

    • Reply
      April 19, 2018 at 7:19 AM

      Thank you so much Kasi!!! Good luck with yours too 🙂

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