Coming right out of graduation, the idea of actually rejecting a job offer can make some people very confused. After working hard for four years – or more – the notion of not accepting the first opportunity handed out to you can seem irrational and risky. However, there are definitely some logical reasons to turn down an offer that merit review.
Accepting the very first offer
The very first time you receive a job offer from a company can be so exciting and thrilling that you forego any more research into the position. Rather than actually figuring out why they want to work there, some people just accept the job because it means they get a paycheck and their parents finally ease off the pressure of the job search. That’s not to say all initial job offers should be rejected, but it’s important that you take the time to continue reviewing and thinking about if you truly want to do this specific job for that specific company. As an upcoming or recent graduate, you should be applying to a lot of positions and shouldn’t be quick to pull the trigger on the first offer you receive. Take your time, breathe deep and really look into the job before accepting.
It can be silly to consider your first official job a dead end position, but sometimes entry level college jobs can lead you nowhere. It might be presumptuous but you don’t want to feel stuck at a position before you even start working it. This is when you need to look past the benefits such as dress code, length of commute and environment, and focus solely on the job itself. Examine the daily responsibilities at length to get a good idea of what kind of contributions you’ll be making to the company at the start. Typically, your first job isn’t going to be glorious and noteworthy. In fact, according to a 2012 survey conducted by Future Workplace, 91 percent of Millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years. Make sure your first position isn’t your last position. Growth is important, so if the company doesn’t offer a lot of internal promotion in a fair amount of time, wait for something better.
Wrong piece of the puzzle
One of the most daunting parts of graduating into the professional working world can be moving well outside of your comfort zone into an unfamiliar environment. Gone are the summers of working landscaping or camp counselor jobs with your best friends. It’s very likely that you won’t know a single person in the company beyond the hiring manager or recruiter you’ve interviewed with. As a result, it’s important that you take the environment into account when considering a job offer. Rather than try to change your social or professional style to fit into an office, you should be looking to work for a company that’s a natural fit for you. If you’re shy or slightly introverted, you don’t want to go into sales. If you’re outgoing and personable, you don’t want to sit in a cubicle crunching numbers and talking to no one. There are some helpful websites for job seekers such as Glassdoor, where former employees provide insight into everything from the company’s work environment to daily duties. You can also check out LinkedIn to find people who used to work at the company and ask them directly about the job or culture of the office. There are multiple resources available to you – don’t hesitate to use them.
Knowing your worth
More than anything else, it’s essential that you know your value to a company and the job its offering. Just because you haven’t worked a full-time professional job yet doesn’t mean a company can pay you dirt to work for them. Companies are looking to recruit college students for low-pay, high-volume positions and you need to understand your own value as a potential applicant. Much like Glassdoor, there are resources on the Internet that allow you to research how much a position should make in your geographical location. While the data isn’t 100 percent accurate, it can give you a better idea of which job is worth your time and which ones can easily be passed on.
There’s no denying the intensity and uneasiness that go along with job hunting after college. As much as you don’t want to turn down the first job you’re offered, it’s imperative that your review both the offer at hand and the other opportunities around you. Stepping through one door may actually close and lock three others that were better options for you. Take your time to consider the offer rationally and you’ll be happy with your decision.
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