Part IV: How and Why to Turn Down an Offer When You Could Really Use a Job
Recently I stumbled upon a job posting for a Contract Resume Writer position with a large online job search services website that shall remain nameless. Find out how I came to find this opportunity and why I went ahead and applied for it by requesting the cover letter (as a sample with strategy commentary just for you!) I sent in for this position.
This experience was really just a strong, first-hand rerun of things I already knew but just hadn’t had happen directly TO me in awhile. I’m so glad I did this because it turned out to be a great way to keep myself in my clients shoes, feeling what many of you may feel during the job search process.
I’m sharing all about my experience in a 4-part blog series: Part I – Applying, Part II – Interviewing (and Interview-ers), Part III -3 Steps to Evaluating a Company & Job Offer and Part IV- Turning Down a Job When You Could Really Use One.
This week: How and Why to Turn Down an Offer When You Could Really Use a Job
Think it’s certifiably C.R.A.Z.Y. to turn down a job offer, any job offer, when you really need one?
I would like to get you to at least consider thinking it’s just the opposite – that it is in fact, okay, maybe not CRAZY, but just not a good decision to take a job you don’t feel good about, ever, even if you feel like you really need one.
And I’m going to be completely & maybe unnecessarily honest about why I both refused this job offer, and why it was difficult financially and personally to do so in the hopes this honesty will really get to you. It’s that important to me.
I wrote to a friend who is healing from cancer, about my decision to not take the contract job offer:
“When you say cancer is ‘simple and honest’ my opinion would be that extreme circumstances strip away the superfulous & leaves us to really see and prioritize the essentials, and yes, those are really quite simple.
I’m so not willing to put up with “less than” anymore; I am only following the good and the love and the sense of possibility and WHAT I WANT in my life, not what I feel I HAVE to do out of fear or obligation or a sense of lack & that I have limited choices — hell no! Enough of that!
My heart and life have been ripped open & somehow that means no more settling, it’s time for trust & knowing I know what’s best for me intrinsically, and Life itself, Spirit supports us in knowing and following that — our BEST life for US according to what makes our hearts sing and is full of love and laughter — so just DO THAT.”
You see, the reason I could really use another source of referrals and clients (that of course would not be appropriate to tell the employer in my cover letter!) is that I’ve barely worked in the wake of losing my life partner, my beloved, to a drunk driver.
My sweetie was on his way home from work – from a job he did NOT like when he was killed (though, I am happy to add, was a conscious stepping stone to the life he & I envisioned and work he would love.)
My emergency fund, like many of you who are suffering a sudden job loss and had to rely upon your savings, has been more than strained from my deep need to honor my grieving process and significantly scale back my work for awhile.
I share this with you all just so you know that I *understand*, first hand again, how challenging a job search and the decisions, financial and personal, that come with it and losing a job (or any loss, for that matter) can bring.
I share this because it is the truest reason of WHY I turned down this less than appealing job offer when I could really use one– because losing the most important person in my life has eventually brought me to simply INSISTING on a creating my life the way I want and need it to be. You see me say this candidly to my friend who said the same to me (in a section of our email I didn’t share here), that he feels that way, too – that in the wake of him surviving cancer (we are both around 40, by the way) – there is a freedom, even a demand that comes on the other side of surviving the seemingly impossible, the freedom of ‘nothing left to lose’.
This is the life we all have – NOW. Right now. This moment.
How do you want to spend the time you have? What do you want it to feel and look like?
Our choice of jobs and work life are such an integral part of our whole life experience!
Be EMPOWERED in those decisions to believe in yourself and your abilities, including your ability to find and be wanted by a company that offers what you deeply want and seek in your life, and your work.
Go towards THAT. The offers, the companies, the people, the experiences that inspire and excite you.
Do your VERY BEST to trust this CAN and WILL happen and to not choose from a fear based place of lack and limitations (like, “what if I don’t get another job offer anytime soon? What if this is about the best that’s out there & I reject it? Then what?”)
Believe me, it can be CHALLENGING to do this, I get it. I took some serious time to grapple with myself before I turned down that offer!
But I have learned to be honest enough with myself that I recognized early on that I didn’t feel good about what I perceived about the company and their processes – so the grappling was really with becoming strong and confident enough to turn it down (and not about whether to take it or not). I wanted to decide and act upon that decision from a place of gratitude for having the offer/the option in the first place, and with the renewed intention to find and create the types of opportunities that I just KNOW are good ones for me.
Please at least consider doing the same with your job options. And if you decide it is right enough for you to choose as a “for now” job (I wrote recently about Surviving the “For Now Job”), and/or a stepping stone to what you really want (as my beloved was doing when he passed), then do that consciously from a sense of choice and empowerment, and not feeling or acting as if you are a victim of lack of a better option.
The late Steve Jobs said, “Your time is limited..don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
Don’t waste it working somebody else’s job, either.
What’s right for you? Do THAT.
(Dedicated to my beloved, Kelly, whose motto has always been “Love and Laughs“)
Read the previous three posts of this series “What I Learned From Applying for (and Turning Down) a Job Offer to be a Contract Resume Writer for a Large Job SearchWebsite“: Part I: Applying Online, Part II: Interviewing and Interview-ers, Part III: Evaluating the Company and Job Offer