What Do You Do If The Job Offer Doesn’t Feel Right


After a long job search, you finally received an offer. It should be the most exciting part of the process. But something is off. You’re not as ecstatic as you expected. Something about the position doesn’t feel right. What do you do? 

It can be a complicated decision. This is especially true if you’ve been out of work for a long time or are staring down a tough financial situation. You might have to grab that paycheck just to stay solvent. 

Turning down a job offer can feel wrong, even when the position seems fishy. After all, you put in a significant amount of work just to get to that point. It would feel like a waste if you turned down the opportunity now. 

Experts suggest that, for every 10 resumes you send out, you should likely expect just 1 or 2 interviews. Maybe 1 out of every 5 or 6 of those interviews will become a job offer. No doubt about it: it’s an uphill march to get to this decision point. That’s what makes it so painful to have to say “no.” 

But sometimes “no” is the right answer. Remember: there are downsides to accepting the wrong job offer. A bad decision can lead to wasted time, added aggravation, and significant opportunity costs. 

Signs a Job Offer Might Not Be Right For You 

Given the intricacies of the decision, how do you know whether to accept a job offer? First, let’s look at a few warning signs that a position might not suit you. 

Not Enough Money 

Your salary requirements shouldn’t represent a hard number. They exist more as a sliding scale. For your dream job, you might take less. For something soul-crushing, you’d need a dump truck full of hundred-dollar bills delivered to your house each month. If the company isn’t offering enough to overcome your uneasy feeling, don’t consider the position. 

You Can’t Imagine the Next Step 

Say you take the job. Now what? Careers are built on forward moving momentum. If the position you’re considering doesn’t naturally flow into a further progression, it could become a dead end. 

Cultural Fit 

Jobs aren’t just a place to grab a paycheck. You also have to spend most of your waking time there. It’s important to feel good about what you’re doing and excited to work with your coworkers. If you get a bad vibe about a company’s culture, you should probably move on. 

What To Do When a Job Offer Doesn’t Feel Right 

You’ve gotten the job offer, but you’re stuck with a gut feeling that the position isn’t for you. At least one of the red flags above has tipped you off that something is wrong. Or you just got a vibe from the hiring process that you didn’t like.  

What do you do now? Here are a few steps to take: 

Ask Yourself “Why?” 

A gut feeling can give you a clue that something is off about a position. However, it shouldn’t completely define your decision-making process. You can’t run your career on instincts. Try to express your specific concerns in as much detail as possible. By laying the case out in an organized way, you can go beyond the gut-reaction stage and investigate the situation more scientifically. 

Do More Research 

If something doesn’t feel right about a particular position, dig a little deeper. Look at the company’s reviews on sites like Glassdoor. Search for media mentions of the firm to get an idea of its reputation. And ask around in your network to see if anyone you know has a perspective on the situation. 

Consider the Big Picture 

Your decision whether to take the job doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You need to think about the context. Do you need a job immediately or can you afford to wait? Are the warning signs glaring or extremely subtle? Weigh the details of the situation and make a decision from there. 

Finding the perfect position can represent a complicated process. Simplify it by partnering with a string staffing agency, like DHR.  

Contact DHR today to discover the ideal placement for your skills and background. 

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