Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Learn How to Say 'No' to a Job Offer


It happens more often than you might think. Sometimes it doesn’t just rain, it pours. You are on a roll with interviewing and you get offered a job and then accept it. Great news, isn’t it? After all, it feels great being employed, right? But then it happens.  You really didn’t see it coming.  You’re all ready to go with the first job you’ve accepted when another offer comes from left field. This time the offer is from the company you’ve had your heart set on working for forever.  Quite the dilemma. So, how do you say no, after you’ve said yes?


First of all, leave the guilt at the back door, because you can. This is your future we’re talking about. You have to go where you are offered the best opportunity and where you‘ll be the happiest. (Never mind that you just stated in your interview that one of your attributes is that you are loyal to a fault). When you accept a job you have to take your long-term career goals into consideration. Which position will lead to your long-term success? To have the ability to work for your preferred company in your preferred position is reason enough to say no after you’ve said yes.

It’s as simple as rescinding your offer of acceptance and accepting the position with the company of your choice. You do not want to do this by text nor email. It is a mark of courtesy to phone the hiring influences and let them know of your decision. You need not go into a great deal of detail. There is no need to tell them the name of the company nor about your offer. Keep it simple. You can just tell them that another position has presented itself that is a perfect fit for the next step in your career path. One that you just could not pass up. Thank them for their time and be respectful.

They may be a little taken aback by the rescinded offer but after the dust settles, in hind-sight, they will probably appreciate the fact that you were upfront with them. They should be thankful that your honestly up front saved them a lot of time, money and effort in training you. So don’t be afraid to say no, after you’ve said yes. It’s best for all concerned.

Cathy L. Sage is President of Robert Sage Careers, LLC; an Executive Search Firm and Job Board Publisher who specializes in the Factory-Built Structures Industries. Cathy can be reached at Cathy@robertsagecareers.com or 727/504-5350. For more information about the company and to visit the job board, access http://www.robersagecareers.com.        

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