What should you do if offered a job that really doesn’t excite you? Should you even entertain a position that barely piques your interest? You could, but there are some things to consider even when your ideal job may be hard to come by. In a job market like the U.S. has experienced over the past several years, many people have been challenged to find “the” job or any job for that matter. You would be crazy to turn down a good job wouldn’t you? Maybe not.
It’s hard to display enthusiasm during an interview when you truly don’t want the job, even if it is a “good” job by some standards. I learned from a friend that once she did everything she could think of to dissuade an employer during an interview and she still got the job!
You do have to make up your own mind about this topic of course, but once you accept a job you are agreeing that you will do your part and do it to the best of your ability. National board-certified counselor and blogger Kimberly Thompson says that one of the mistakes that job candidates make is taking a job for the sake of having one rather than considering what they are feeling about the opportunity. Sometimes this happens even when considering internal job changes. Do you really want to move or go back to a job you detest in order to stay with your company? Some might say “yes.” However, if you are leaning in that direction, keep in mind a number of things such as why you didn’t like the job the first time around; the pros and cons and whether you can work with the “cons.” Be honest with yourself. When I made the decision to move away from HR generalist roles, I was tempted during the job hunt to apply for generalist positions although I knew that a change was my goal. Against my better judgment, a few times I did apply halfheartedly for positions I didn’t want thinking that if worse came to worse, I could still go back.
If you are offered a position that causes you doubt, according to Thompson there are a number of reasons why you should walk away. One reason is that you probably won’t stay in the position for long. “When candidates accept a job they know is not the best fit, within a matter of time they are back in the market job searching,” says Thompson. Do you really want to be back out there on the market after three months? A pattern of changing jobs within short time frames can send a questionable perception to future employers, Thompson suggests. She makes another important point to be considered and that is incumbent turnover. When in doubt, ask about the turnover rate associated with the position. If there have been three managers in the position during the last 12 months, you might want to walk away.
Thompson offers the following: “In the long run, turning down a bad opportunity is a good decision. Employers catch on quickly when you dislike your job.”