Clues you Should Decline a Job Offer

Looking For Clues (188 / 365)

Article by Wendy McCance

After several months at a temporary office, our company has moved back into our old office building.  I will be proud to meet with my clients in the newly remodeled office. The entire building is just beautiful.  I have my own office to work out of, and the mood of everyone who has dealt with the temporary office is extremely positive.

My co-workers feel like family and I thoroughly enjoy going to work (especially now that we are settled back in our original building).

The entire experience got me thinking of the path I had taken to get to the place I chose to work at.

I remember when I had gone on other job interviews.  Some of the experiences I had along the way were really interesting.  Looking back now, I am grateful that I listened to my inner voice and turned down positions that just felt off.

There is one job in particular that I am relieved I didn’t take.  It was on Twitter that this very successful realtor found me and began following me.  They were impressed that I had a real estate blog and liked the articles I was writing.

The realtor reached out and contacted me.  They were interested in having me work for them specifically.  I was definitely intrigued.  At the time, I had only worked in real estate for a couple of months.  This was a very successful realtor working in an exclusively white-collar community with million dollar homes.  I couldn’t believe that they wanted someone so new to real estate to work alongside them.  I saw myself making massive amounts of money if I worked for them.

I went in for an interview and was bowled away by the office.  There was marble everywhere.  Expensive paintings were hung on the wall.  The entire office screamed of being rich and successful.   My mind went into overdrive imagining what my future might be.

As I got to know the realtor and then one of the managers, I got a feeling that something was off.

Here are the reasons I declined the offer.

1.  The realtor who contacted me walked me into a conference room all the while bragging about what an extraordinary office these agents worked out of.  Just imagine what your clients would think coming into an office that looked like this?

It wasn’t that they mentioned this.  It was that this became a theme that was repeated over and over.  It was one of the big selling features to woo me.  It felt superficial and didn’t jive with my personality.  It began to turn me off.

2.  The realtor went through a history of all of the people before me who couldn’t handle the job.  I heard of at least three people in a one year period that had attempted the job but were then let go.  The realtor went on to mention a good friend of their’s who tried the job but who it didn’t work out for.  They felt the friend wasn’t on the ball and were disappointed in their performance.

Why would a realtor in an interview brag about so many people not working out?  At the same time, they tried to stroke my ego telling me all the reasons why I would be a perfect fit.  I had A COUPLE OF MONTHS in the industry.  What could I possibly know that would make a difference?  

I actually asked that exact question.  I was told it was my knowledge of social media that was so impressive.  I didn’t feel that was a good enough reason for a real estate agent’s job.

3.  I met with the manager who asked me several questions about my experience.

The realtor was sold on me.  Every time the manager asked a question, the realtor would jump in defensively and answer for me.  The realtor tried to sell my inexperience.  I on the other hand actually agreed with the manager and did point out that I hadn’t had many months in the field.

4.  The realtor walked me around the office and introduced me to the other agents.

The agents were a little cold.  Worse yet, I felt a lack of respect for the agent I was walking around with.

5.  I was told about trips out of the country to schmooze upper level management who used the real estate company for their relocation needs.  It was dangled like an incentive to work at that office.  At the same time, I was also told that maybe it was something I could aspire towards down the road once I learned more about being a relocation agent.

At this point, I still had no clear grasp on what my job would be.

6.  The realtor tried to appeal to the fact that like me, they had children.

I was then told that I would need to keep my schedule open as I would be their assistant so that they could spend more time with their own kids.

7.  At the end of the interview, I ask for a more precise description of what my job would entail.

First I was told that I would assist the realtor on what ever they needed.  Then I was told that I was my own agent and could decide what areas I wanted to work in and what hours and days would work for me.  Finally I was told that I could either be their assistant or just do my own thing (it was my choice).  In other words, there was no definite description given.  The entire description was vague at best.

I have to admit, I actually said at the time that I would need to discuss the opportunity with my husband and that I would give them an answer in 24 hrs.  It took a discussion with my husband and a review of what actually happened in the interview to realize that the job would have been a disaster.

I am grateful that I declined the offer and went with my gut.  I love where I work.  I love the people I work with.  I am proud of the way our office looks.  I am happy.

Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 6 local papers online, including the Oakland Press.The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]

21 thoughts on “Clues you Should Decline a Job Offer

  1. Pingback: Daily motivation 34 - trust your instincts | Musings of an Eclectic Treefrog

  2. So true Wendy in feeling comfortable with where and who we work with when spending a majority of our time in a given day. I’ve found over the years in the jobs I’ve had there were moments and times it was uncomfortable and I was happy when it turned around.

    As I look back at the experiences I had and the people I’ve met, I grew and it was necessary because I needed the jobs and choices I had at the time were limited. But like you, I don’t think I would have taken a job up front if I had the gut feelings you did no matter how much I needed it. I was fortunate with the jobs I had that I didn’t come in with those feelings. Probably only thing I would have changed if I could would be to give myself more credit than I did.

    Now I’m happy and retired and working for myself. It’s a blissful time of my life feeling it’s well earned.

      • I have to pinch myself sometimes and when I look around I’m flooded with gratitude. Yes, the worries pop in on income but I’ve gone this far and trusted all is okay and whatever I may need in the future will be okay too.

        Whenever I forget, I try to remember this little saying if you don’t mind me sharing. It goes like this:

        “When we come to the edge
        of the light we know, and
        are about to step off into
        the darkness of the
        unknown, of this we can
        be sure…either God will
        provide something solid to
        stand on or…..we will be
        taught to fly.” (author unknown)

  3. Good decision. The job had no structure and anyone taking it on was set up to fail. Great example of listening to that voice inside. Paying attention to what felt off saved you a lot of grief!! Thanks for the post. :)

  4. This is such an important post! I work for a boutique executive career management and recruiter firm and we discuss the “feel” of a prospect often. Advising clients to trust their gut and assessment of a situation is not always easy- especially in this market when people fear they won’t have another opportunity. However, as your experience proves, our inner-voice sends very clear messages for a reason. Of course, a job shouldn’t be turned down because you don’t like someone’s outfit or you appear to have differing political views if the conversation leads that way. However, how an interviewer discuss past applicants or employees sure says a lot. And the lack of a clear job description… BIG red flag. When vetting hiring managers and gathering information for new searches, we insist on clear, descriptive job descriptions including discussion about examples of “success”.

    I am so glad your inner voice spoke clearly to you. Not only because it allowed you to arrive at a career path that suits you and makes you happy, but it helped you avoid a job that probably would have caused a lot of strife, emotional stress and potential self-esteem issues. Few things undermine your confidence like a job that continually stresses you out and doesn’t seem to give you any ideas on how to improve the situation!
    So glad things worked out for the best!

    • Thanks so much Vicky. I love your comment. For anyone in this situation, it’s great to hear from others in the comment section. I think it helps to ease peoples minds knowing that this is an experience that many have faced.

  5. Great article, Wendy. Do you know what happened to this company? Are they still around? ;) Last night I was offered a job interview via a temp agency. The temp agent *did* mention one little thing about their particular client: that their business practices were modeled after the teachings a late, popular cult leader. I said, “OK, as long as they don’t force their views on me.” “Oh, no,” she insisted. She went on to describe the job as “high volume” and “fast paced.” The more she described the job, the more it sounded like they were going to grossly underpay me. Since it was getting late on a Saturday night I went ahead and agreed to meet with the temp agency on Monday. After I hung up, I Googled the agency’s client. Oy vey. Article after article depicting not-so-ethical practices by this company. I called back the temp agency. No answer. I left a message that I would be less than comfortable with this assignment. Gads, that was so disappointing. I’ve been unemployed for too long. I really wanted this to be my break. When I read the title to your article, I had a good chuckle. Thanks again.

    • Yes, the company is still in business and enormously successful. I have had a job or two over the years where I knew better than take the job, but felt I couldn’t turn down an income. Needless to say, I didn’t stay very long.

  6. Thank you. I tell the students in my career class, that the interview is as much about you interviewing the employer to determine if this is the right fit. This is a great example.

    • Your so welcome and that is so true. I think that in today’s job market there is enough desperation for a job that the last thing someone thinks of is if the job is a good fit for them.

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