Career Advice: 10 Reasons to Turn Down a Job Offer

There are always situations when you’ll have to take the first job offer even if you know it’s not the right job for you. Usually, this is because you’ve been out of work for a long time. However, if you’re career is heading in the right direction, you need to be selective when choosing your next position to keep your career on track.

Professionals typically think about switching roles after becoming frustrated at a lack of opportunities for promotion. However, what starts as a great opportunity can quickly move into a completely different direction than you’d initially planned. Before you’ve realised you’re in trouble, your either stuck in a dead-end position going no-where fast or worse still, you’re out of work trying to find a company that will take you.

If you’re looking for a new role, it’s important that you seriously think about why you’re taking this role and what the experience will bring to your long-term career. Below are ten reasons that you should not accept a job offer.

You Dislike Your Boss

The Number One reason people leave their job is they dislike their boss. If you’re thinking of taking a new job, make sure that you get on well with your manager. Working with a manager that you dislike or do not have respect for, will make your working life difficult and career prospects limited.

The Work Is Too Easy

The Second reason that reason that candidates leave their job is they’re not being challenged on a day-to-day basis. Often an easy job sounds fantastic from the outset, however usually candidates get bored quickly knowing that they’re not learning anything new.

The Work Is Too Difficult

The third reason that candidates leave their job or have been sacked from their current position is the work is too complicated, and they cannot do it. Before you sign on the dotted line, ask yourself this question; Can you do the job that your being offered? If it’s a challenge, it’s one thing, but if you really cannot do it, you need to think whether this is the right job for you.

It Takes You In A Different Career Path Than Originally Planned

Often recruiters will meet with candidates who’ve veered off a specific career path and on to another, just because in the short term it offered promotions and salary increases. The real problem comes apparent when the candidate wants to correct this mistake. How easy is it to get back to what you wanted to do initially? It can be challenging with recruiters meeting candidates that have to take a step backwards, merely to get their career back in the direction they wanted.

Employee Turn Over

It’s crucial you ask at the end of your job interview why the current candidate is leaving. Maybe your hiring manager has had four of their team members leave in the last year which could be a sign of a poor manager.

You’re Only Moving For Money

Money talks, but it only lasts so long. What happens if you hate your job? No matter how much your being paid, you’re going to get bored quickly. Recruiters meet candidates who have left college purely because they wanted money quickly. The problem is their peers who have gained both qualifications and experience allow them to earn much more over the longer term.

The Percentage Of Travelling Required

Travelling is one of those things that either you’re going to love or hate. Recruiters often meet candidates that start loving living on a plane, visiting the world, but soon grow frustrated with the sheer amount of travelling they must do. Before you take any job, ask the question and make sure that you’re happy with the answer.

The Commute Is Too Far

Very similar to the above, before you accept a new role, make sure that you can get to your office each morning easily. Personally, forty-five minutes is about my limit whether it be by car or train. Any longer and I would probably have to think about relocating closer to the office. Have you thought about yours? Not seeing your family each day might be suitable in the short term, but have you thought about what happens over the longer term?

The Company Has No Future

A great example of this could be a start-up company that you don’t believe in or one that is not moving forward. If the company is not growing, then you’re going to either have to leave to be promoted or wait for your manager to leave. Either way probably, this is not the job for you.

Be Proud Of What You Do

I thoroughly enjoy recruitment to such an extent it has become an extension of me. I can speak all day and night about recruitment and job search strategies. If you’re thinking to accept a job offer that comes with a fantastic job title, excellent salary, but embarrassed about the company, then it’s a question you need to ask yourself.


It’s no problem to turn down a job offer if you remember one fact. Don’t whatever you do, burn your bridges with a company or hiring manager.

Remember we talked about the six degrees of separation? What happens if that hiring manager becomes your manager in the future. Do you think you’ve got a successful career ahead of you?

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Nick Jones

My name Nick Jones, I am a professional Head-Hunter with over 20 years of experience working all over the world. I specialise in out-of-the-box job search strategies to get your CV directly to the hiring manager, thus skipping any ATS portals or recruiters who think they're important.

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