Careers Advice Blog

Should I turn down a job offer?

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When you turn 16, chances are you’ll start looking for a job – it won’t be the job of a lifetime, and you won’t exactly be raking in the cash.

Chances are you’ve been told you can’t afford to be fussy, and in truth, you can’t. But you can have standards.

Studies come first

Remember that you’re still at school, and that has to come first. Only idiots let the part time job become more important. In the interview, don’t be afraid to lay down your availability. Make it clear that you’re not there to further your career in retail – if they’re going to pay you like a part-timer, you might as well act like one!

In short, if the job expects too much of your time or energy, it’s probably a smart move not to take it – you’ll only end up stressed trying to balance yourself between the two! This holds true throughout university. When you leave, it gets even more complicated. Jobs start becoming careers. You can’t use any of the old excuses anymore. But you might be about to meet some crazy people.

Looking to the future

Let’s face it, it’s rare that you’ll be doing something that relates to your degree in the end. The ratio of humanities students to jobs is not good. So you’ve got to ask yourself if you’re prepared to work for a bankers with an English degree. If you think you’re going to hate it, turn it down. Only the truly materialistic will be able to cope (if you are, then fair play, take that job).

Assess in the interview

When you’re in the interview, try to assess both your manager and company – you’ll be working with these people after all. If the interviewers seem like bigoted idiots or the company seems so inefficiently run that you’d struggle to be happy working there, it’s better to walk away. If the pay is terrible when you look at your job role, it’s probably best to just leave it – you’re better than minimum wage now.

Despite all this, it’s worth bearing in mind that the job market isn’t exactly overflowing. If you do end up having to look for something that merely makes ends meet, then pick something easy. After all, you’ve still got a degree, and your perfect job will turn up one day! Just keep on searching, and go to interviews prepared. After all, when it comes to your career, try not to settle for anything other than ideal.

Do you have any advice on when to turn down a job offer? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo: hobvias sudoneighm / Flickr

Nicholas BuxeyShould I turn down a job offer?

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