John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC
You might not think so, but saying “no” can sometimes be the smart move when it comes to your job search. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?
Holding on for the possibility of “yes” when we already know the answer is “no” can be time-wasting and soul-killing. Why do we do it?
It’s human nature. And it happens to different people at different stages in the job search.
When an opportunity first pops up. Maybe you hear about it from a recruiter. Perhaps from a friend. Possibly from the employer who wants you to interview. When you aren’t a definite “yes,” your response—even if only internally—is that you need to “think about it.” If you have actual questions aimed at gathering more data, you should start the interview process and ask them, of course. Don’t fool yourself, however. No one ever “thinks” their way to “yes.”
When you are in the interview process. Perhaps you have met with the new employer once, or even twice. You are getting answers to your questions. And yet, you can tell that you are not a full-throated “yes.” You keep going because you think, “Well, let’s see what the offer turns out to be.” At that point, however, you aren’t thinking about whether this is the right opportunity for you. You are thinking about whether that offer could make it the right opportunity.
When you have an offer in your hands. An offer is what you wanted or thought you wanted. In any case, it’s what you worked hard to get. Maybe there is someone (or several someones) whose input is vital to you. If so, you should ask for it. It’s one thing, though, for that input to reinforce you when you’re already at “yes.” It’s another thing to expect it might help convince you if you’re not.
Sometimes “no” is the right answer. Please don’t ignore the signals that tell you it is.