While having a job of most any kind is a great thing, there are going to be times in life when a particular offer just isn’t right for you. Also, there may even be times when an employer is offering to hire you not because of what you have to offer, but because they are so desperate for someone to fill a particular role. If any of the following things jump out at you, you may need to respectfully decline the offer being presented to you.

The Company’s Financials are in Ruins

When you work for a company, in a sense you become an investor in it. While you aren’t investing your money like a stock buyer would, you’re investing something even more valuable — your time and energy. If you don’t feel like you’d be putting your time and energy into a company that would use these things responsibly, you have a responsibility to yourself to decline the offer. Find a place that will let you help the company grow instead of trying to save it.

The Boss Asks Scary Questions

Questions like, “how comfortable are you with swearing” should raise red flags. Usually, if something sticks out a little bit in a job interview, it will become a massive issue once you work there every day. Keep in mind that during the interview process, you need to be evaluating whether the company can help you as much as they’re evaluating your potential contribution.

The Workplace is a Pig Sty

A little bit of a mess isn’t too big a deal, particularly if everyone knows where the important things are. However, there is a definite line between “lived in” and “biohazard.” This is particularly true if there are office pets. If there’s a cat in the office that can subsist very well on the local rat population, don’t torture yourself this way. Cleanliness is peace.

You’re Not Qualified at All

If you’re offered a job for which you have absolutely no qualifications, you need to move on. There’s a reason a company would take such a desperate action, and that reason is undoubtedly very bad. While work experience may be tempting, it isn’t a good experience if you end up getting blamed for crashing the company if it becomes insolvent on your watch.

You’re Afraid to Go There

If you can hear gunshots outside, if the security detail looks like a SWAT team or the boss looks like he’s on PCP, it’s okay to decline. Your personal safety is very important, and anything that threatens your safety is reason enough to look elsewhere for your employment.

A job offer is a good thing, but there are times to decline. If there are good reasons not to go to this potential workplace, listen to your instincts. It’s not worth being hurt or staining your career, regardless of the compensation.

About the Author: Cliff Govero works in a college guidance office and often helps students find jobs after graduation. He also helps locate grants for single mothers, scholarships, and other methods of financial aid for all students.


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