Here’s something that I didn’t tell anybody for a LONG time – I turned down my first job offer. I told people that I just hadn’t heard back from the school. There were plenty of people NOT getting jobs and the economy was crap and I thought people would think that I was crazy for turning down a job. But honestly, I didn’t want to work there. I don’t think I would have been happy if I had accepted the job.
It just wasn’t the right fit and I think I kind of knew that going into the whole interview process with them, but it was such a well-known school that I think I may have been blinded by the bright lights. In this case, well-known also meant LARGE which was completely the opposite of what I wanted. Undergrad U and Grad School State were pretty big schools and I wanted a change. I wanted to work somewhere that all the departments worked together to put on programs. Heck, I wanted to work somewhere where people in other departments knew my name.
The job description didn’t really align with what I wanted to be doing with my life. I love working with my student organizations and there was no guarantee that this job would have let me do that. I know I could have found my own way to working with these student groups, but I remember asking one of the current entry level professionals what tips she had for starting out in the job and the first thing she said was “to take a year to get used to it all before getting involved with campus.” UMMM WHAT? At a large school it is so easy to just say in your department. Too easy.
If you don’t want a job, do not feel obligated to accept the offer. Think about your future career goals and make sure the job that you are accepting can help you achieve those down the road. Also, it’s okay to not tell people about it. I think I was one of the first people in our program to be offered a job and I know that at the time, some of my classmates hadn’t even been offered on campus interviews. I didn’t want it to seem that I was bragging by talking about this job offer that I had gotten – only to turn it down. I didn’t tell my family either because they would have thought I was crazy and I know my mom would have guilt tripped me even more. She was already on my case for refusing to apply for a job that was twenty minutes from home. At the rate I was going, she was probably thinking that I was going to be living in a cardboard box after graduation.
So what happened after I denied my first job offer? Well, I’d love to say that a day later, my dream job called me up and hired me on the spot, but it didn’t happen that way. In fact…I didn’t have any other interviews lined up. I didn’t hear from the other school I had interviewed with on campus. I started from square one again and yeah, it sucked, but in the end I found a job that was MUCH better suited for me. I didn’t have another job offer until after graduation, but I was okay with that.