< Back

Keep Calm and Reject that Job Offer

25 July 2022

Categories: Career & Jobs   career   career change   career coach   career transition   clarity   get a job   job application   job interview   job search   resilience  
Keep Calm and Reject that Job Offer


Can you Keep Calm and Reject that Job Offer?

Too often the job search process is undertaken at a time when you are desperate. You desperately need a job (to bring income in), you desperately need a change from your current job, you desperately want this one particular job that seems like the perfect job (if ever there was such a thing!).
This can put you in the frame of mind that you are begging for a job and at the complete mercy of the potential employer. When I’m coaching I talk A LOT about how that can adversely affect your job search process, the job application and most commonly, your performance in a job interview.
What about when you are not desperate? When you are in the driver's seat and don’t desperately want or need a job you have applied for? This is definitely the headspace that I try to coach people into. When you are able to get to this place and you can hold lightly the outcome of a job application or interview, you are going to be much less affected by an adverse result. Holding the outcome lightly means that you are not so much attached to whether you get an interview from a job application or get a job offer after an interview. The outcome simply doesn’t matter as much as it might. This can free you up to perform much better and actually help you achieve your wanted outcome (a job offer).
Now when it comes to being offered a job, being less desperate or less attached to this outcome, you would think should free you up to evaluate the job offer and decide whether or not to accept it. I’ve found somewhat to my surprise, this is not always the case. Quite often we seem to be conditioned to just accept the offer. Our fears of not being offered another job, just having to accept whatever is offered, or being in the space of desperately needing this job or any job, get in the way. We forget we are still in the driver’s seat and still able to accept or reject the offer (either dismiss it completely, or counter offer). We just need to Keep Calm and Reject that Job Offer.

KATHLEEN... A recent case study is of Kathleen who was on a career break and just starting to look at a few jobs to get back into things. There was no rush and no need financially, or otherwise, to accept a job offer immediately. Kathleen applied for a role that sparked her interest, and when she attended an interview, discussed with them the possibility of working part-time if she was successful. The interviewers advised this should be no problem.
Buoyed by this, Kathleen firmed up her requirements in her mind for this new job, as being 4 day per week maximum, with 3 days being ideal. When it came to job offer time, she was over the moon, she reminded them of her part-time preference and told them now of her firmed up requirements. They returned advising that it was now not possible to offer part-time, and that the role was only to be filled full-time.
Kathleen was put in a bit of a spin. Even though she had no pressure to take a job at all at this time, this role was a good fit in other areas, and of interest to her. All her fears of not being offered roles at all, of jobs in her sphere of experience being few and far between and that her expectations of part-time work were unrealistic led to an overwhelming instinct to unhappily and resentfully accept this job offer.
The coaching with Kathleen was around remaining in the driver’s seat and focussing on her Drop Dead List™ - what were the things that she really wanted and needed out of this next role. This was easy, she had already decided that working part-time was on her list. All she needed to do was Keep Calm and Reject the Job Offer. Gathering her courage to act despite her fears, she did just that. The immediate relief she reported feeling, after advising that she would not be able to accept the role, was for her the sign that she had made the right decision.

So for you, when the role you are offered is not exactly what you’re after, you weren’t sold on the organisation or the leadership or the role during the interview and job application process, when something doesn’t meet your requirements (on your Drop Dead List™) then identify your fears and face them by considering whether it is right for you in this instance, to Keep Calm and Reject that Job Offer