Should you ever turn down a job offer?


Sarawak-Yes-LogoBEING offered a job can be incredibly satisfying, especially after all the hard work of preparing an application and making it through the interview process. But what if you’ve changed your mind and no longer want the position? Can you turn down the offer?

Of course you have every right to decline any job offer, but the issue is the manner in which you do so.

There are a variety of reasons why you may change your mind about a particular position. If you’re lucky you may have received more than one job offer, or perhaps your personal situation has changed, which makes it difficult to switch jobs at the time.

Whatever the reasons, it’s important that you remain professional to ensure you don’t burn any bridges or cause damage to your own reputation.

Below are some of our recommendations on how you should manage the process should you ever be placed in such a situation.

1. Be thankful. This should probably be at the top of your list, making sure you express appreciation to the hiring manager for being offered the role. While your job interview may have lasted just 30 minutes, the recruiter most likely spent a considerable time reviewing your application, perhaps taking a peek at your social media profiles to see if there are any red flags, and also preparing for the interview. So thank them for their time and for having considered you as the best candidate.

2. Provide a good reason. In addition to thanking the hiring manager for their time and effort, you should also provide them with an honest reason why you have decided to turn down the offer – whether your circumstances have changed, or the job doesn’t fit in with your career goals as you thought it would, or financially it’s not quite right. There’s no need to go into great detail or tell them how you agonised over the decision, but providing them with a simple explanation is respectful. And don’t take too long in letting the company know – they will want to move on to the next candidate before it’s too late. Sincere, short, and straight to the point is the best approach.

3. Stay in touch. While it may seem awkward to keep in contact with a hiring manager after turning down an offer, it may prove beneficial over the long term. Offering to stay in touch is not only a positive and professional approach, but it may allow for networking in future that could be mutually beneficial. Whether you connect on LinkedIn, or occasionally send them an email, you never know when another career opportunity may come up, even if that recruiter has since moved on to another company.

4. Be certain. A final thing you need to consider before rejecting a job offer is to make sure you are 100 per cent certain about saying no. You don’t want to live with the regret of giving up a great opportunity – so you need to be absolutely clear in your own mind about whether the decision you are making is the right one, and that your decision for not accepting the offer is for the right reasons.
* This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.