How do you decline an offer letter you already accepted?

Getting into a job as early as possible is every job seeker’s sole ambition. But then there is another not so unique situation that can also occur- receiving multiple job offers. The tricky part now is to decline an offer that you might have accepted already without an afterthought. How do you deal with a change of mind? Perhaps there were more aspects that came by later forcing you to change or mind or probably or you have gotten a dream job opportunity that you can’t turn down.

Before everything- Think it through.

Ensure that you have weighed the pros and cons of turning down an existing offer. Remember that there will be no retracing steps from what you decide to do. Go through the contract that you have signed and first ensure that there will be no legal repercussion to your going back on it. There can be some contracts that say that you may need to serve notice/pay compensation etc. Whatever it is, first ensure that you are declining the offer post-acceptance is going to be completely worth all sacrifices. Okay, now you decide to go ahead. What next?

Here are some tips you may use to decline an offer letter post-acceptance-

  • Do not lie.  It reflects on your ethics.

You can afford to be tactfully honest. You can let your employer know frankly as to why you changed your mind without undermining the existing opportunity. You could state reasons such as the fact that the new opportunity is more in line with your skillset.

  • Stick to the point and keep the discussion brief.

Never indulge in long empathic discussions with the employers hinting at your emotional state of mind. You might not want to go into details of personal or professional reasons as to why you are stepping down or why if another job is a better fit for you. No employer will be interested in that, and further, it opens avenues to probe your stance.

  • Remind yourself of your priorities.

As indicated earlier, the employer might try to re-negotiate terms with you to get you to come back on board. Therefore, before you speak to the hiring manager, be clear on why you are declining the offer letter. What are your exact reasons? Is it better compensation? Benefits? It could be anything, and therefore it is better to be prepared for responses that are targeted to lure you back into the same employment.

  • Choose the right form of communication.

Handling this situation over the phone or in-person is ideal because you get a chance to express yourself better. In-person interaction can increase the chances of maintaining a positive relationship with the employer. It is best that this conversation is followed up with an email or letter confirming details of the discussion. If you are nervous about handling your employer in person or directly or worried if you will be able to explain your reasons for declining the offer letter one, then a formal letter or email message is the next best option.

  • Make this a point of learning.

This experience should ensure that in the future, such situations are avoided to save embarrassment and the precious time of your opportunity giver. For instance, for the next job offer, you could demand more time to decide on acceptance or rejection. This time can also help you work on your negotiating skills if you felt you did not get the salary or benefits you deserve.

Remember never to let the excitement about a job offer cloud your judgment and carry you away you’re your ambition and priorities.

  • Be earnest and express gratitude.

Do not fail to thank the employer for the opportunity that was given and to learn about the company. If you had found anything that appealed to you about this employer, now is the time to express it. You could go on and explain how turning down the job was a hard decision. Never burn bridges with an employer for you never know when along the pursuit of your career you might have to might have work or interact with them again.

To conclude, let us all for a moment, acknowledge the fact that we are human. To err is natural. The point here is to be open and fair as much as possible to the employer as well. We live in a competitive world of employment where opportunities are aplenty. Be a responsible job-seekers and never fail on the bottom line.

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