This post originally appeared on The Daily Muse.
You’ve been offered a job—and with the unemployment rate these days, that’s a feat—so, why would you turn it down?
Well, there are a few reasons.
Take it from me. About a year ago, I received an offer for a position that was, in theory, a perfect fit for my skills and goals. Plus, the company would increase my salary by 25% and promised mentorship and travel. But something just didn’t feel right, and after a good deal of back and forth, I said no.
I was unemployed for another two months, but a better opportunity came along (with an even higher salary, to boot), and I haven’t regretted it a day since. When I asked my friends if anyone else had ever turned down a job offer, I was surprised to hear how many had made the difficult decision when they knew something just wasn’t right.
Of course, turning down a job offer is a privileged circumstance to have, and that decision as well as all of the following advice should be taken with a dose of reality that the perfect job—the one that fulfills every item on your wish list—rarely exists. That said, finding yourself in the wrong job can have a big impact on your long-term career and happiness, and it’s important to make sure you’re not missing out on what you’re really looking for just to have nailed down something.
Learn from my experience, and consider these reasons why turning down a job offer might make sense for you.
You need to care, to some degree, about what your company is hoping to achieve, but it’s easy to get too excited by any great-sounding job and overlook when an organization is not the best fit. It’s also easy to take the company’s mission statement at face value, without digging further. In fact, the job I turned down at first seemed perfectly aligned with the type of work I was hoping to do. But when I spoke with former employees, individuals at similar organizations, and mentors who work in the space, and when I compared its model to other organizations I trusted, I realized that it was not one I completely respected.
So, do your research beyond what you read on the company website—by talking to people who are familiar with the company, reading up on its current news, and browsing reviews on Glassdoor. Many conversations and further research helped me realize that I couldn’t work at 100% and be my best self if I didn’t believe in what I was working toward.