a note on saying no


Since graduating from college last May, I have applied for countless jobs, interviewed for 8 (I think?) positions, and turned down 4 offers. Maybe this sounds crazy to you. Maybe you think I should jump at any offer in this struggling economy. Maybe you've been taught to say yes to every opportunity. Maybe that works for you.

I'm not saying that saying no is always the best choice, but when you know it is, I want you to know that it's okay to say it. Interviews are just as much about you getting to know a company or position better as it is for the company to get to know you. I notice my interviewer's body language (do they give me eye contact?), I get an idea of how employees feel about the higher ups (is there strong communication across the hierarchy?), I pay attention to how management treats customers (did they really just tell that women she was wrong? ONTD!). When I'm not impressed with the structure, ethics, and support of a company on the day of an interview, I can pretty much guarantee that I'll be declining any offer, no matter how much they want to pay me. Knowing that I can't thrive in a negative environment has saved me from getting stuck in jobs I would eventually hate anyway.

Knowing your value is a big part in getting the job you want. If you're willing to work for anyone doing anything for any amount of money, you may not have a lot of confidence in your abilities or you may not have a sense of direction for what you want to do, but either way you're likely settling on something that takes time away from your happiness and your future endeavors. This isn't to say that there won't be a handful of jobs that you'll work that won't be related to your interests or won't make you jump for joy; what I'm saying is that it's okay to be selective.

After assessing the reality of my financial situation, tossing out pros and cons, and being really in tune with both my personal and professional needs, I've been able to turn down 4 jobs that, for one reason or another, weren't the right fit. I've been trying to find the right third job help myself cross the line into 'financially stable' territory, but I've had to be super selective as to not mess up the good things I have going for me. I know that both my skills and time are valuable, so I can't just throw them at anything that comes along. Saying no reminds me that my standards come first. Saying no makes me appreciate my "yeses" so much more.

6 comments

  1. WOW.....very insightful, even for an older reader. Rock on, young woman, that job with your name on it will come through and from reading your blog, I know that you will know when it arrives!

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  2. So well written girl! You are so right....it's not only about whether the employer thinks you are the right candidate/fit for the company. It goes both ways! Good things come to those who wait:)! I know you will land your dream job! Btw...I just randomly came upon your blog and I love it! I'm a feminist at heart, but I have such a hard time expressing what I'm feeling! I'm so glad I found your blog! I'm following you now on GFC! It would be great if you could check out my blog too:)!

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    1. i'd love to check out your blog, but blogger is telling me that your profile isn't set up yet! reply with the link and i'll def visit!

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  3. Great post! You are right! I am following you <3<3

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  4. You make some awesome points here. I always tend to be on the cautious side financially, so I probably would be one of the first people to say "girllll take that job!" but in all honesty, if something rubs you the wrong way that's so important to pay attention to. We all have to do some things we don't want to to make a name and get a foot in the door (I'm a big believer in putting in your time), but you should NEVER have to lower yourself to do so.

    PS-sooo how far is austin from all of my boring destination cities?? Close enough for a meet up? Why is Texas so GIANT!

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  5. I agree that saying no to the wrong opportunity is the best choice - definitely not the easiest, but the best. I was a miserable job for 2 years, and spent 6 months going on interviews before I found my current job. Some of the jobs that I interviewed for passed on me, but I passed on most of them. I didn't want to go from one crappy job to the next.

    Good for you!

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