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How to Gracefully Turn Down a Job Offer You’ve Accepted?


You have attended many interviews, and you got through one of it.  You have been given the offer letter and now you seem to touching the skies! Wow! The feeling is indescribable.

After a few days, you get a call from second company who is interested in offering you the post. What a dilemma! Seems confusing, whether to accept the next one and carry forward. How to handle the previous employer who offered you first.

What to say to them?

How to refuse them?

Will they accept me refusing the offer after accepting it?

These are the thoughts that goes on in your mind.

turn down job offer acceptedYou are not the only one with the same feeling. There are many who have accepted and then declined.

Its everyday business for the company and for those who are associated with HR would be well aware of such scenarios. As a candidate you would be interested to know to how to tackle a situation that might arise.

How to Gracefully Turn Down a Job Offer?

There are many reasons for which you would turn down the job offer even after accepting. Some of them are:

1. Financial aspects:

The financial part of the job offer is the crucial factor for acceptance or declination. Many a times, a job is declined or let go for another based on this factor.

In today’s world, a small change in the benefit offered by a company will make a person move towards them.

Take this opportunity and explain to the employer why you intend to turn down this offer after accepting it.

2. Details missed out:

There are instances, where you could have missed out the fine details written in the offer. Sometimes, in the hassle of getting a job, we frequently do not look into the details inscribed on it.

Once your mind is free and have ample time to review the details, it’s then you realize that you have opted for an offer which you did are not agreeable with.

Such instance of missing out details can be explained to the employer at the earliest so that you don’t get trapped.

3. Not skill enhancing:

This aspect will be known when you have chance to boast about your job offer to your friend or family.

Frank discussion about the job with your friends or family members will bring about the facts on career enhancements of the job that you have accepted.

You could detail to employer that this offer would not help you to make enhancements in your career.

4. Early acceptance of job:

Everyone attends all the interview calls at various places and wait for the result. Some companies reply immediately while some take their time.

According to your financial requirement, the need to take up a job also matters. But it is always the first come, first accept basis that is followed.

Hence, its then you are facing a situation when the other company replies with a delay that they intend to take you up. Based on the financial setups, you would decide to accept the next best offer before joining.

It’s obvious that you have to decline the offer you accepted explaining that you have better prospects at other side.

5. Wrong title:

wrong job or wrong careerIt may seem to be small matter but to some it is not a joke. You may not like the title that is being offered as it would hamper your career advancement.

You could tell them about the pros and cons of the title that will affect your career.

6. Unrelated duties:

After attending interviews and completing the process, you had come to know about the duties and responsibilities later on after accepting.

If the duties are not well established or demarcated, you would be doing work that is not related with your title. Then it’s not too late to decline the offer as it will create confusions later on.

7. Different culture:

You have signed the offer but later you realize that the company has a multicultural environment, then you would need to rethink whether you could adjust.

Not having experience to work in such environment means that you would need to make declaration that you would not be able to join them.

8. Timings:

Little did you realise that the timing for the work was not discussed during the interview or while accepting the offer. You came to know that the timings of work was not acceptable for you. Then you could explain these facts while declining the offer.

9. Flexibility:

being flexible at workYou are a person who loves to work with flexibility. But after accepting the offer you realized that there is no room for flexibility, then you have more chances of declining the offer intimating the need. There could be chance that they would renegotiate.

10. Management style:

There was something about the management style that you did not like after accepting the offer, then it’s not too late to decline offer.

You could explain diplomatically that you would be moving to another organization.

How To Manage the Situation with Previous Employer?

1. Don’t delay in informing:

Same as you, there could be others who would have attended interview of this company. If you inform earliest, it would help the next candidate on line to get this offer and also company would not spend more time in search of candidates.

2. Meet personally:

As the situation arises wherein you have been already offered and finally accepted, it’s always courteous to meet the employer in person.

This will make them feel that you are truly committed towards organization and truthful to your words.

It leaves back a good impression of you.

3. Say it politely:

how to speak politelyOf course, your language and tone will deliver wrong signals to the employer in case you aren’t polite. Using polite words will ensure co-operative interactions. It shows that you respect them and makes you appear more credible.  Hence, it’s best to say it politely using words appropriately.

4. Say honestly:

It’s always the best policy to bring out matters and saying them honestly. Such gestures are signs of building trust in you.

You could tell them that you had been given another offer at the other company and intend to join there. It will generate a positive image about you.

5. Apologise:

When you are intending to join somewhere else, it’s imperative to immediately inform them and apologize for not being able to join their team. Apologizing is a sign of showing that you are sincere in your efforts and truthful.

6. Say boldly:

You don’t have to be afraid in communicating back to the employer that you decided to move to another place of work. As it is your decision and your right to work, you can say boldly that you are about to join somewhere.

7. Say loudly:

Don’t murmur to them feeling low as if you have done a mistake of accepting the offer and then declining it. You have not created problems for anyone and if you have informed early you don’t have much to worry about. The employer will take care of the rest.

8. Declare the reason:

reason for rejecting job offerYou need not to beat around the bush about what to say to the company. You could as well state the main aspect of why you prefer the other company over this. This would allow them to rethink about their strategy and could make necessary changes for the future.

9. Thank them:

This is the most important part of the whole conversation. After making your point clear and saying them politely and honestly, finishing off with a thank you note is to politely disapproving their offer. It shows your gratefulness.

10. Email them:

Mostly correspondences are through digital media. In case you have spoken personally or by phone, sending an email message is always better. It will help to enhance your professionalism and also your network.

11. Give in writing:

In case you cannot email, it’s best to write up a letter regretting that you had been offered better prospects at other place and would not be joining their company. The letter should be handed over to the person(s) who made you the offer.

Searching for a job is not the easiest part. It is filled with complex issues. Receiving interview call and attending interview is next tedious task.

After going through the cycle, the anxious wait period gets over, the day you have been given the offer. Here you would be accepting the offer under certain circumstances or under certain inclination.

But its then you realise that there are other possible avenues for your abilities, this situation gives rise to a scenario wherein you would have to refuse the offer.

Declining the offer is next stage of handling it tactically and smoothly.