The waiting game: waiting for a response after your resume submission, waiting for an answer after the interview and then finally – receiving that gorgeous offer letter. Seeing that document offering YOU the position definitely elicits a sense of euphoria. Knowing that you’ve been acknowledged for your capabilities… the excitement!

aww yis

But hold it right there – one week in after accepting, your inner self is saying: “thank you, but no thank you?”


Some questions to ask yourself:

Is the salary minimal?
Are the benefits deplorable?
Does the work culture feel a little off or uncomfortable?
Do you feel that you may not live up to that as you have presented during the interview?
Is the job too easy or unchallenging?

Or maybe… you’ve received another job offer?

If you said yes to two or more of those questions, it’s most likely that this job is not for you! This leads us back to the question: is it okay to decline a job offer after accepting? The simple answer is yes; but declining the offer is an art that needs to be done gracefully.


So how do you do it right without tarnishing your professional reputation? Here’s our trick: P.A.F. meaning Prompt, Appreciative and Future

Be Prompt.

Employers don’t want you beating around the bush coming up with cliché excuses. Remember, less is more! Get the stress over and done with by gathering your courage and speaking to your employer the moment you know the job is not right for you. Indecisiveness IS in itself, a measure of discourtesy in the world of business.

Be Appreciative.

Always make it clear to your employer that this was a hard decision to make, and that you will always be thankful for the given opportunity to be there. You wouldn’t want to make the employer feel as though they have wasted their time on you. Use a personal touch but don’t get into the gritty details of the reasons you are declining the offer unless asked. Be grateful and gracious as you tell your employer, “Thank you, but I’ve decided to continue my job search somewhere else.”

Look towards the Future.

Maintaining a good relationship with your (potential) employer or company will definitely be an added bonus not just for networking, but for the general future! Let your employer know that you’ll be keeping the door opening for future opportunities with them should circumstances change.

Before deciding to decline a job offer, think it over for a day or two to make sure you will be making the right decision. However, if even at gut-level the job doesn’t feel right – chances are your instincts may be right. Be confident and tactful as you graciously decline the offer and move forward onto a path that is meant for you!



Posted by Rebecca Koay