When You Should Decline A Job Offer

A dear colleague rejected a job offer that paid US$120,000 annually, many thought she had a loose screw, and so did her boyfriend. While it wasn't a food and beverage manufacturing position, it is not uncommon for people to turn down high-paying jobs in all industries, notwithstanding the possibility of salary negotiations. 

It’s easy not to see the wood for the trees and only consider the size of the paycheck. Yet the coworker had perfectly valid reasons for turning down a role others would covet, a few of them being:

  • How much more would be expected of her
  • Wanting to avoid office politics
  • Having a flexible lifestyle the job couldn't offer

In this installment, we explore when it's ideal to decline a job offer.

Poor Work-Life Balance

Are you a family man or woman? 

Do you plan to enroll in a graduate program soon? 

Maybe you are a caregiver. 

Well, if you fall into any of these categories or have significant commitments, a 70-hour work week may not be feasible for you. So don't feel guilty turning down a job that demands too much of you.

But some arduous roles can be worth your while if the employer offers remote work opportunities, flexible hours, lavish vacation days, and childcare/caregiving benefits.

Thus, an employer unwilling to negotiate the terms of your work is not worth your time and effort. 

High Turnover Rate

It's normal for employers to have a moderate turnover rate as employees outgrow the organization and seek out greener pastures. 

Canada has a turnover rate of 12.4%, reminiscent of manufacturing employers in the country. - Mercer

But if you find a company with an overly high turnover rate, that should raise a red flag. A high attrition rate could signify unhappiness at work and poor leadership; you don't want to be in the middle of that horror show. 

On that account, prudently assess the whole company, not merely the food and beverage manufacturing position. Find such information from review sites, social media, and people you know who work in the company. 

You can also use the QTalent app to compare jobs too!

No Growth Opportunities

More significant responsibilities, challenging projects, meeting big-name clients, developing new skills, and managing projects are all career growth opportunities to look for. The lack thereof means performing redundant work month after month in a lackluster fashion. 


You will lose your morale for work, burn out, and miss promotional opportunities. Unequivocally, intellectual stimulation is a critical element of your technical profession, so reject job offers that mean a zombie work life for you. 

Jobs without growth opportunities are a black hole where careers go to die!

On the other hand, more responsibilities and tasks could be the opposite of what you desire in your career right now for whatever reason. In that case, it’s okay to decline a job offer if the workload is more than you’re willing to bear.

Unsuitable Benefits Package

The great resignation has taught us how much employees value great benefits, including paid time off, health insurance, flexible schedule, HSA, parental and maternity leave, retirement savings account, and tuition reimbursement, which are only a tip of the employee benefits iceberg. 

About 80% of employees opt for a job with benefits over one with more pay but no benefits. - HR Executive

Sign up for QTalent to see the benefits of prospective employers!

What do you value most? 

The answer will inform how apt the benefits package is. If you are a caregiver, you're looking for a job with a flexible schedule and a caregiver stipend. If you are a parent, you want a job with parental leave, childcare allowance, flexible schedule, and maternity/paternity leave.

Also, check for the amount of deductibles and copays if health insurance is an essential employee benefit for you. 

A benefits package could be ill-fitting if it takes too long to be eligible for certain benefits. For example, you might be ineligible to contribute to your retirement plan until after one year, and for some employees, it can take five years to be fully vested.

Pro tip: compare two job offers by tallying the dollar amount of their benefits.

Mismatch Between The Job Description And The Job Offer

Sometimes, malicious employers will misrepresent the job offer by making it appealing to candidates for the purpose of attracting the cream of the crop. 

This is usually a harbinger of a toxic workplace culture where bosses will bend and break the rules to get their way and often ask you to perform tasks you aren't comfortable or qualified to do.

That said, if the job offer is a few thousand dollars shy of what was stated in the job description, don't hesitate to turn it down. 

You may also get a job offer with duties and responsibilities different from those advertised. And you wonder, did they use a more appealing role as bait to fill a position they've been struggling to hire for? 

In that case, run!

You've Declined A Job Offer, Now What?

When you're unemployed, job hunting is your full-time job, so get in on your technical job search using only intuitively effective platforms. 

QTalent leads the way with its innovative job search app in the Canadian food and beverage manufacturing industry, allowing you to look for work based on compensation, benefits, culture, and location. 

Once you sign up to QTalent, create your candidate profile and upload your resume (only once!) to start sending job applications pronto!

And even when you don't send applications, employers who think you're a fit for them can invite you to apply.

Overall, we enable you to search for a job, get discovered by companies, sift through opportunities, and land a job, all in one place. We are here to climb the career ladder with you.

Elton Mwangi


Elton has been a writer and has contributed his expertise to the HR industry for the last 5 years. He's passionate about working with companies that utilize HR technology to improve the employee experience and the future of the workforce. He starts his morning with a cup of joe and the latest article from HR Morning and SHRM to equip his audience with quality blog content.

You might also like...

Career Development
May 16, 2024
3 Minutes
The Top Skills Food Manufacturing Employers Need Right Now

Discover the top food production skills employers seek, from technical to transferable skills, essential for landing the job and advancing in the industry.

Brittany Brooks
Industry Update
April 23, 2024
4 Minutes
Weight-Loss Drugs Could Change Food Production

Discover how weight-loss medications are reshaping consumer preferences. Explore the shift to nutrient-rich foods & the career opportunities in food manufacturing.

Brittany Brooks
Get recommended for top CPG Industry jobs & companies
Communicate directly with industry hiring managers
Stand out and grow your career in the CPG industry

Where Food & Beverage Professionals Like You Meet Leading Consumer Brands

QTalent, 711 Syntex Drive Mississauga, ON L5N 8C3 Canada