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When to Say "No Thank You" to a Job Offer


When to Say

Think twice before turning down an offer or accepting one.

Thomas Phelps
Unemployment numbers be what they may, there are jobs offered and accepted thousands of times every day. There are also job offers declined everyday. For someone who desperately needs a job, any job is a good job. But for those who are fortunate enough to find themselves in a more secure financial position, saying "no" to a job offer may be the smartest move they can make. Or it could be the worst move.

First Step: Realize That Money Isn't Everything

While it is certainly true that earning a significant income is no guarantee of job satisfaction, a high salary certainly can aid in your overall happiness. But highly paid positions often demand a trade-off. Whether what you need to trade is less time with family, more stress, higher risk or doing less enjoyable work, you need to consider what is of more value to you: More money or more of whatever it is that you will have to either give up or accept into your life.

If accepting a new job or position will create a significant amount of stress in your life, you need to always keep in mind that it should never be your goal to be the richest man in the cemetery.

Ask Yourself a Question

What is it about the new job or position that attracts you? If you've determined that it's not all about the salary, determine exactly why you are considering the position. Often times, promotions are accepted to feed an ego or because doing so would make someone significant to you feel proud. The truth is that unless you want to complete the requirements of the position for yourself or for people close to you, then you most likely will experience a lack of job fulfillment.

You also need to be confident that you can succeed at the position. While keeping in mind that people often rise to a position one step beyond their level of competence may not be the most motivating thought, it does remind you to be fully honest with yourself.

If you've honestly determined that the reason the position attracts you is that you are certain that it will bring you closer to your goals and help you become a more complete person, then the job may be worth whatever it is that you need to trade in order to hold the position.

Will Saying "no" Make Your More Attractive?

There is something about human nature that makes us want that which we feel we can not have. While it is dangerous to turn down a position in order to force the employer to make a counter-offer, it is an effective strategy for those with the intestinal fortitude. Saying "no" to an reasonable offer may just land you a much higher offer, or it may find you back on the streets knocking on doors.

It comes down to your attitude about the job market. If you feel that there are very few jobs available and that you musttake any reasonable offer, then saying "no" should not have any part in your salary negotiations.

If, however, you feel that your skills and experience make you a prime candidate for many positions, and walking away from a reasonable offer will not cause you regret, then saying "no" may be a powerful negotiating tool.

How Many Will Your Decision Effect?

The final thing to consider is how many people may be counting on you for their financial well-being. If you are young and single, you pretty much need to be concerned with your finances alone. For those with families waiting for them at home, your negotiating aggressiveness may need to be tempered. Assertiveness should remain and travel right along the side of confidence.

Saying "no" takes courage, conviction and a significant amount of thinking. While searching for a new position, many forget that despite whatever circumstances they find themselves in, they always have the ability to think before acting.

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