There will come a time in your job search or just life in general where you will consider declining a job offer. You will often times hear people say that it is an opportunity that you can not pass up. However, is it truly an opportunity that you can not pass up? Is it an opportunity that you can afford to take?
When you begin looking for a job you should take the time to set some parameters as to what type of job you will accept, what are the minimum benefits you need and what is the minimum salary you will accept. If you define this right from the start, then you should not have any issues declining an offer that does not meet your minimum requirements.
For the unemployed
If you are currently unemployed for whatever reason (layoff, terminated, quit job, etc.), you tend to forget that you can still decline a job offer. Although some circumstances may not allow you to decline any offer if you are in desperate need, you still need to evaluate the offer to see if it meets those minimum needs.
If you receive an offer that pays so little and offers terrible benefits, you may end up costing yourself more in the long run. If you limit the amount of time you are able to spend looking for a good job, you might end up stuck in a position that does not meet your needs.
When you receive an offer that you are not sure of, try doing some calculations to see how much extra money you will need to make ends meet. If you need to get an extra part time job on the weekends, you may want to wait for a better offer. If you are so far below meeting your needs, you may want to consider a career change. All in all, even if you are unemployed, you should evaluate very carefully any offer and decide if you can afford to decline it.
What to consider
If you receive an offer for a good company but the salary is not great and you will have to drive an hour and a half each way, you may want to reconsider accepting it. With the cost of gas being so high, you will end up losing money by taking this job.
If you are married with kids and need to provide health coverage for your family, you should evaluate the benefits offered before accepting a position, even if they offer you a great salary. Just one mishap or one surgery can cost you tens of thousands of dollars and that money will have to come out of your pocket.
Finally, if you just don't think you could work for the people you met with or you do not like the company that made the offer, think hard before accepting. Your ultimate goal in life is to find a job where you enjoy what you do, you enjoy who you work with and you feel like you will be able to stay a while.
Whether you are working or not you should define some minimum requirements for your next job and stick to them. When an offer comes along, compare it to your minimum requirements and decide whether to accept or decline. Sometimes that offer that is too good to pass up becomes the worst decision you ever made. Don't get stuck in a job that costs you more than it pays. Don't be afraid to decline an offer.