With really good jobs highly competitive, you’d have to be crazy to turn down a job offer. Or would you? Sure, you need a paycheck, and jobs don’t come around very often, but there some very good reasons why you should turn down a job. At least that’s what a Salary.com article said about weighing the pros and cons of a job and its long-term effect on your career.
It should be obvious that you wouldn’t take a job that you have no interest in or wouldn’t have a positive effect on your career path. Or one that you’re not qualified for. It is possible to be so convincing and engaging that you literally talk your way into a job. Or, you could just be at the right place at the right time for a desperate employer who needs a warm body with some minimal qualifications to start Right Now!
Before you sign that offer letter, consider some situations where it may not be in your best career interest to take a job, no matter how much it pays and how desperate you are. Salary.com came up with eight, but there can be more.
Dead end jobs with no opportunity for advancement should be avoided at all costs. Once you take one, there isn’t much chance of moving up. Dead end jobs are also those that won’t advance your career path. Delivering pizzas may not be much of a career move, but if it pays for classes in your career field or leaves your days open for volunteer opportunities in your career field, it may actually help get you where you need to go.
Delivering mail in a large organization may not look like much of a career move, but you get to travel around the entire organization meeting just about everyone. You also get to see how different departments work, who’s coming and going, and what desks are vacant (is there a great job opening?). Some “good” jobs limit exposure by keeping you tied to a computer or isolated in a remote office. Become isolated and you can miss out on networking opportunities.
There are entry-level jobs in every profession, so try to find one that relates to your overall career goals. If you take a job in fast-food, a management position may open up, but if you want to get into digital design or architecture, you’ll just be getting farther away from your path. Instead of being motivating, some jobs can destroy your confidence, motivation and hope of ever getting your dream job. And the longer you stay in a dead-end job, the harder it is to move out. You can get used to the steady paycheck (however small). You can even talk yourself into believing that for you, this is all there is.
Some jobs are great, in your career path, pay well and have job growth opportunities. They just don’t fit your lifestyle. Moving up may mean moving out every few years. If you have a family with children in school and a spouse or partner with a career, you can keep a great job but lose your family. Money isn’t everything. Neither are a title and a company car. If a job situation doesn’t align with your values, it can be a dead-end for you.
Before you take any job, or start interviewing, make a list of your needs, values and must-haves. How much money do you need to maintain your lifestyle? What about future needs? Will the job grow with you and your family, or is it a temporary stepping stone to bigger and better things? Knowing what you want and need and what your limits are ahead of time will help avoid getting seduced by a job title, salary or a heavy sales pitch by a recruiter. It will help you avoid dead-ends and move you along your own career path.
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