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How to politely refuse a new job opportunity from current employer?

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  • Nov 9th, 2012 5:46 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
Feb 11, 2010
7 posts
Toronto

How to politely refuse a new job opportunity from current employer?

Trying to keep it short.

I'm a recent graduate working a completely unrelated dead-end job (data entry). I'm currently job searching for something that is more relevant, or I'm fine with even unrelevant work for now because I really want to get out there and see new faces, experience different company cultures, I'm VERY tired of being around the same people.

I was completely caught off guard today when a supervisor approached me letting me know of a job opening in another department. Currently I have full time hours but I get shifted to part time when there is less work available. He says this new job will guarantee more hours, with a possibility of turning into real full time. I did not inquire much about it at that moment, but from what I gather, the pay will be roughly the same, not much better. The work itself is also not in line with what I want to do for my career at all (has to do with printing stuff in a warehouse setting, I didn't ask much about it). Also, when I had less work before, I have been transferred to that department to do some work there and the work was unbearably boring. Incredibly mundane repetitive tasks. Even though I don't like my current work, I much prefer it over what I might have to do.


My main reason why I dont want to accept it is I am really looking to work at a different place doing something more in line with my career goals and I would feel bad if I just left as soon as I started this new position (assuming I am lucky enough to secure employment elsewhere). But I dont know what I should say. If I said I am happy where I am right now, he will think 'Why is he happy being switched to part time and not taking a new position with guaranteed more hours' or that I have no ambition. But I don't think its also wise to say that it doesn't align with my career goals or just tell the honest truth because that will suggest I am thinking of leaving the company and it would show disloyalty/grounds for termination.

What should I say? Or should I just take the position even if it means I might be quitting within days/weeks/a month or 2/sometime in the very near future?
4 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 1, 2006
3370 posts
335 upvotes
Brisbane
You're worrying about this too much. That's a good thing! It's your first experience in this situation and you are putting thought into it to make sure you don't mess it up.

It's actually very simple. Just be honest. Say you're looking for something more in line with your career goals and tell them what that is. The key words are "I am going to respectfully decline." They will have more respect for you if you decline because of ambition for a role you're more interested in than just taking a job because its guaranteed money.
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 11, 2010
7 posts
Toronto
Its true I might be thinking too much. Though if I say what my career goals are and its pretty clear that I won't be able to attain it at the company where I am working now (like if I switched to doing clerical duties in a warehouse setting when my career goal is to say.. pursue something in banking/finance), won't he think "Oh, this guys not planning on staying with us much longer" which reflects poorly?
Sr. Member
Nov 1, 2004
757 posts
25 upvotes
Since this company is only temporary, I would go along with the boss until you find a better position. You will need him for "reference" for the next 2 future jobs anyway.

It's actually good for your resume, your resume is longer with a second job, as well as getting promoted to a second job within the company -> moving up the chain, whichever way you want to spice it in your resume/cover letter. Data entry isn't that nice when you apply to external jobs.
Deal Expert
May 17, 2008
15134 posts
152 upvotes
Anon2 wrote:
Nov 9th, 2012 6:30 am
Its true I might be thinking too much. Though if I say what my career goals are and its pretty clear that I won't be able to attain it at the company where I am working now (like if I switched to doing clerical duties in a warehouse setting when my career goal is to say.. pursue something in banking/finance), won't he think "Oh, this guys not planning on staying with us much longer" which reflects poorly?
If you are doing clerical/data entry stuff, I don't think anyone is going to be surprised that this is not your ultimate career goal. Hell, some managers would be disappointed to find out you had such low ambition.

It is probably a decent idea to just be frank with the guy. Tell him that your career goals are different from what this job offers, so you do not know how long you can commit to working in this new role. He may still encourage you to take the job, he may not, but most managers appreciate honesty. If they really like you they may even find something for you to do within the company that is more related to banking or finance(say assisting in the finance department).
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