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5 Signs You Should Say No to a Job Offer

By Krisha Maclang on July 7, 2015

So you think you’re done with the hard part: you’ve submitted your resume to several companies, gone through several rounds of interviews, and you’ve even landed a job. Awesome! But here’s the harder part: you’re not sure if you’re going to accept the job.

It’s natural to feel a little apprehensive with signing a job contract. Not only is your career shaped by each job you accept, but you will also commit to something you’ll spend at least 40 hours a week on. But at the same time, you don’t want to turn down an opportunity. You don’t want to be unemployed so why would you turn down a job that is readily offered to you?

Many things are determined by your job, whether you see it right away or not. It’s not a decision to take lightly.

How do you know if it’s just a case of cold feet or if you really should say no to a job offer? Here are signs to help you out:

You didn’t build a good rapport with your manager.

Your relationship with your boss can make or break your career. Your interviews with your potential boss can tell you a lot about the dynamic that the two of you will have at work. It can also give you an idea of what the work culture is like at the company. Did you feel like the tone of your conversation was positive? At any moment during the interview, did you feel attacked in any way?

If you feel like your experience with your future manager was negative or that your personalities or working styles could clash, then it’s possible that the job isn’t for you.

Personally, I believe in trusting your gut on this one. I once had an interview where I felt a really awkward vibe with my future managers. Talking to them felt almost antagonistic so I was surprised to get a phone call a few days later telling me I got the job.  My first ever job offer should have excited me but I felt trepidation instead. I took that as a sign to say no. Months later, a friend who wound up working for the same company told me that new employees who worked for that team often quit after a couple of months because of the toxic work culture.

The company’s reputation as an employer is a little lacking.

What people say about the company you’re planning to work for matters a lot. If people who previously worked at the company cannot say good things about working there then consider that a big, red flag.

Sometimes a company might have a prestigious brand name so you’ll naturally be interested in working there, but you should also consider what goes on behind the scenes. Do some research on what companies are really like by talking to previous and current employees. They know how things really work behind the glitz and glamour of a prestigious company.

These employees also have the inside track on how the company’s finances are doing. You’ll want to invest your time and career a company that is stable and has a long-term future. If the company’s financial condition seems to be in jeopardy, your future with them will be uncertain and you might find yourself without a job soon.  Know what you’re getting yourself into before you commit to anything.

The position has a high turnover rate.

If you find out that the company is frequently looking for new employees to replace the position offered to you, then it’s likely that you won’t last that long in the position either. A position with a high turnover rate usually has many issues plaguing it, and if people can’t last more than a few years (or months) on the job, it is probably a serious issue.

You might be tempted to think that you can do a better job than everyone before you, and that might be true. However, consider it a warning sign that many others were so unsatisfied that they left the job so quickly even if it could look bad on their resumes.

You should be able to see a future in every company you join, so taking on a job that has a history of people fleeing quickly might not be a good idea.

The job offer suddenly looks different from what was initially discussed.

Signing an employment contract is legally binding. You will be liable for whatever is written on it, no matter what was verbally discussed by you and the employer.

Be cautious about signing your offer if the terms of your employment are suddenly different. Review the details of your job description and make sure it’s the same job you discussed with hiring specialists or supervisors at your interviews. Make sure that the listed supervisor on your contract is the same supervisor that was introduced to you. Look very closely at the compensation package listed n your contract and make sure that nothing has changed from what was discussed before.

The terms of your employment may not be totally legal.

Yes, everyone needs a job but if you think you’ll be employed under shady and possibly illegal conditions then it’s more than advisable to say no to the job. By no means should you be employed under abusive conditions that will take advantage of you.

As always, do some research into the terms of your employment. Research into the Labor Code and other Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) provisions to make sure everything is aboveboard.

Is there anything in your job description that wouldn’t be allowed for any other job position? For example, would you be subjected to an unhealthy work environment without proper training and equipment? Will the job force you to perform anything illegal or dangerous? Look closely at your compensation package. Make sure you will be paid what is due to you when it is due to you.

There are countless reasons why you should or should not accept a job offer. Do what you think will be best for your well-being and your career. Ultimately, it all boils down to the basics: accept the job if you think you can be work safely, treated well, compensated justly.

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