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How to ‘Take Back’ Accepting a Job Offer

Last month, we posted about the odd time between receiving a job offer and actually having the job. This time around, we want to talk about a bit of awkwardness that can occur during that time.

Let’s say you received a job offer and accepted it. But after looking over the terms of the offer, you decide that this opportunity isn’t for you after all. How can you gracefully (and ethically) say “No thanks!”? The good news is that in most cases, unless you’ve signed an employment contract, you’re not obligated to take a job, even if you accepted the initial offer. Here’s a step-by-step guide to using an escape hatch and refocusing your job search elsewhere.

1.      Make Sure You Don’t Want the Job

Think it through before you decline a job offer. Once you change your “yes” to a “no,” there’s likely no going back. You don’t have to burn the bridge you’ve crossed, but turning down a job offer is probably the last interaction you’ll have with what was a potential employer. So, make sure your misgivings with the position you’ve been offered are truly deal breakers.

2.      Read Your Contract Carefully

Once you’ve made a firm decision to leave a job offer behind, make sure there’s nothing in any contract or agreement you’ve already signed that could come back to bite you. Make sure you are still within the time frame given to reconsider to avoid any legal issues.

3.      Pick a Form of Sending the Message and Decline ASAP

Ideally, you should break the news that you’ve changed your mind personally – either face-to-face or on the phone. That gives you an opportunity to explain your decision and make sure there are no hard feelings – which could come in handy down the road. You can also send an email or letter with your decision. Either way, do it as soon as possible, both to avoid legal entanglements and to display professional courtesy to a company that may be forced to start over in filling the position.

4.      Be Honest, Concise and Grateful

Speaking of professional courtesy, you owe it to the company you’re turning down to be honest about why you’ve changed your mind. Keep it concise, but be candid, as any problems you bring up could help the company moving forward. And don’t forget to thank the employer for the opportunity!

Looking for a Better Fit?

Once you have declined a job offer, you can start looking for a better opportunity. Mega Force can help. We help job seekers in Greenville and throughout North Carolina find the best job for them. To get started, visit our job search page.


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