Is It a Good Job Offer?

Several years ago I had a client who had been laid off from her sales position.  She was clear that she wanted a new sales job in the travel industry.  Frustrated by her inability to get a job offer she sought my help.  Just as we began our work, she got a seemingly good job offer.

I recommended she talk to others who worked for the company and if possible find someone who had the same job.  She soon got an earful about the tyrannical boss who as they said, “chewed up salespeople and spit them out.” Turnover in sales was high.  Unfortunately the boss was also the owner of the company.  Doesn’t sound like a job anyone would want, right?

You can imagine my surprise when she continued to pursue the offer.  The company sent her a non-compete agreement that limited her ability to get another sales job if she stayed in the same geographical area.  Her boyfriend at the time and her lawyer recommended changes to the agreement which she ignored.  She actually accepted the job.  Needless to say she was miserable.

To Accept or reject a job offer?

Why would anyone do that?  The hardest thing to do when you have been looking for a job for a while (as many are doing today) is to turn down an opportunity.  My client told me she was going to tough it out.  She said she needed a pay check even though she had savings and a boyfriend willing to loan her money.  She also admitted she felt useless unless she had a job and was making money.

More recently a former client told me about a good job offer she had from a company she had been doing contract work for.  The offer was at a salary much higher than any she had ever had before.  She too surprised me.  But this time it was because she turned down the offer.

Why would she do that?  She made her reasons clear to me.  First there was no job description for the job. That told her they were not sure what they wanted her to do.  What they told her she would be doing did not play to her strengths and was not work she was really excited about.  Finally the man she would work for had recently treated her more like an administrative support person than an experienced professional.  She admitted it was scary saying no to such good money but she had to.

Learn from the experience of others

What can you learn from all this?  First with any job you take you want to know that you can leverage your experience from it to an even more responsible position in a few years.  A restrictive non- compete or a job that doesn’t use your strengths will hold you back.

Second a boss who is tyrannical or does not treat you as an equal can sap your confidence and make life miserable for you.  It will be hard to recover.

Finally to get up in the morning and go to work each day you need to really be excited about the work and the workplace.  Neither of these clients had offers that would do that for them.

Saying no to a job offer when times are tough and job offers are scarce is hard to do.  Before you say yes however do consider whether in accepting the job you will lose more than you will gain.

Coaching can help

Are you interested in finding “the right job” rather than just “a job”?   Do you know yourself well enough to know what the right job is when it is offered to you?  That can be very confusing when you really want to get back to work and feel just about any job will do.  Inside while you know that is not true  it is so hard to be sitting on the sidelines.

Instead I suggest that you start your job search from a position of strength.  Learn to feel good about what you have to offer an employer. There is a lot, you know there is, but it may be hidden even from you!  Define the best job for you and then find it. If this is the attitude you want to foster and you would like support from a coach whose only goal will be to help you find meaningful fulfilling work, call me at 781-598-0388 or email me at  Ask me about my VALUE program for Career Changers.


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