It's ok to turn down a job opportunity - 5 reasons why!

I was raised by a generation of parents who were often struggling and as such, you needed a hustler mentality to get through.

This hustler mentality HELPED shape a big part of my career path and I am sure you could probably say the same thing for you. That being said, it has also meant that there is this pressure to not turn down any and every opportunity that comes your way. We are currently in an employee market meaning that there is a low supply of quality candidates. This means that there are likely more opportunities showing around than there are people to fill them.


I am going to give you some counter-intuitive unsolicited advice that you will likely not hear from your parents:


It is OK to turn down a job opportunity

Sounds revolutionary right?!


Well I am backing it with 5 reasons why so it's not just your gut that is telling you!


1. The timing isn't right

You may have an opportunity pop up that doesn't line up with the season in life that you are in. When I had small kids (toddler & pre-schooler) I steered away from manager roles because I didn't have the bandwidth to take care of a team on top of my home responsibilities. You may also be in a season where you are juggling multiple life events - purchasing a home, getting married, just returning to work from maternity/parental leave, you may need to have the health benefits for you or your family members. While I am not saying that you can't do it, it is worth assessing whether the season you are in would allow you to really make the most of a new opportunity.


2. It isn't the right fit

Have you ever had a job interview and just felt that the vibe was off? There may be something missing or the vibe you got from the team was just not right. Right fit isn't just for the person who is hiring - as a candidate you have the right to turn down an opportunity because it the team doesn't align with your values. It could also be that the opportunity is taking you in a different direction from where you would like to be in 3-5 years. Even if the role is promotional if it is not aligned, it is ok to say no.


3. You're still growing

Are you still growing and are you still challenged in your current role? Then it likely makes sense that you stay in your current role. The main reason to move on is if you have plateaued and if you are no longer challenged and no longer growing. If there is still a lot to learn and you have a manager and a team that is supporting your growth then this is enough reason to turn down a new potential opportunity.


4. You see a future in your organization

While you have mastered what you are currently responsible for, you can choose to stay because you see a future in the organization. Be mindful of moving targets - if you are getting promises with no action its time to move. However if there is goodwill where you are at, then it is worth staying.


5. You're just not ready

There is so much temptation to get in the rat race and go for more and more and MORE! Make a move when you're ready - stay put when you're not.

Sometimes it's not just a syndrome - sometimes you're a legit imposter because you're legit just not ready!

What we often call Imposter Syndrome happens when you move too fast and too soon and you're left second guessing your worth and your suitability for the job. You can save yourself a lot of grief and pain by taking it slow and yes, turning down some opportunities while you give yourself time to not just build the skills, competencies and experience, but also the confidence!


Bottom line: You don't have to say YES to every opportunity that comes your way: It's ok to say NO. (p.s. your family might think otherwise: send them to me!)


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