I've Been Offered a Job I Don't Want; Advice?

Here’s the deal: I’ve been out of work for about five weeks. With Mrs. Homie’s salary plus what we have in savings, we’re probably good through the summer, but boy oh boy will things be tight. Also, we don’t have health insurance and won’b be having anything to do with the Affordable Care Act (for reasons best suited to another thread).

I was offered a job yesterday and they gave me until Monday 5:00 PM to decide.

The hours are not good (split shifts; weekends; will probably be working until 8 or 9 most nights).

The pay is not good (just slightly above minimum wage).


The insurance in incredible (BC/BS, very reasonable cost).

There is opportunity for advancement after six months.

I’m not sure what to do. I could turn them down and keep looking; I could go to work for them and keep looking (which seems deceitful IMHO); I could take the job and hope for advancement down the road. None of those options really seem good.


Poll to follow.

Unless you’re being groomed for bigger and better things in this company, complete with a mentor, feel free to go to work for them and keep looking.

Try to make it work, yes, but don’t think of the decision as a final one, just another step.

Can’t tell you anything you don’t already know (and better than any of us). These sort of in-between decisions are always the hardest.

If you don’t have a year’s resources, though, I’d take the job and keep up an aggressive job search for something better. At least you can easily say no to all equivalent jobs for the time being, and focus on the best ones you can set your sights on.

I voted “take it and keep looking”. The split shifts and weekends at work may mean you have plenty of flexibility during the week to look/interview for a better job.

You don’t mention receiving Unemployment Insurance, but if you are then turning down a job may cause you to lose some or all UI benefits. Just something to consider.

I voted for take the job and keep looking, and I quoted this because I’m curious why it’s deceitful to keep looking? A job isn’t like a relationship, businesses fully expect that people have career ambitions and will be taking steps to further their careers, which is exactly why they will say stuff, true or not, about opportunities for advancement. But like a relationship, depending on the laws in your state, it’s generally a mutually understood and beneficial relationship and if it stops being that for one of you, that party can end it.

Of course, I don’t know your qualifications or those of the job, but presumably they have some understanding that the job isn’t ideal for you, perhaps part of the reason they talk about advancement, but they wouldn’t make the offer to you without considering the risk that you take the job and find a better one and leave after a few months. This is why things like “overqualified” come up, because they feel like the job is so below that person that the risk of that person leaving in short order or at least being unmotivated isn’t worth it. So, unless you blew smoke up their ass about how it’s your dream job, I don’t think there’s any deceit on your side.

That said, depending on your field, there could be some other issues to consider. As someone mentioned, there could be some complications related to unemployment, if you’re receiving that. Similarly, I know that seeing short terms of employment or long terms of unemployment on someone’s work history are looked upon with scrutiny. So, if you take this and start looking, someone might be curious why you’re already looking and be concerned you’d do the same to them if they offer you a job. On the other hand, if you turn it down, I don’t know what your prospects are, but it might be weeks or months before you find another job, and then you have the latter problem.

On further thought, you could just kind of compromise a bit. Perhaps take the job, see how it goes and try to make it work and take a breath from the job search, but use your time to bolster your resume and get it back out there in a few months. If things work out, awesome, if it’s miserable, you’re still not any worse off than if you turned it down and lived off you’re savings, and if you find something you like more in the meantime, even better. Still, doesn’t sound like an easy decision.

If it’s split shifts and weekends at minimum wage, they’re going to understand when you move on. Take the job and keep looking.

It sounds like, if nothing else, you need the insurance.

Yea, I don’t really see any “deceit” in taking the job while looking for something else. Especially for a job that doesn’t pay much better then minimum wage. If not having their employees look for something else is important to them, the traditional way to keep it from happening is to pay them more.

You don’t owe them anything beyond your work product, they don’t owe you anything beyond your paycheck. Loyalty to business is foolish. Take the job and keep looking.

The only consideration is if the job has other costs associated with it, like impacting your ability to keep looking, losing the UI as previously mentioned, or mental suffering :slight_smile:

I vote for “take the job, but keep looking.” Who knows, however; you may love this job even though the hours and pay are terrible. Heck, the health insurance will be worth almost as much as the paycheck.

It’s really up to you, your financial situation, your risk tolerance and how likely you think it will be to find a better job within say, 3 months. Having a job (even one that isn’t ideal) is typically better than not having one.

Generally if you don’t like a job, I recommend either finding a new one within 3 months and not even putting it on your resume or wait an entire year so as not to look too much like a job hopper.

Then again, if something awesome comes along, who cares if you quit and take it.

It is. So what? You aren’t an indentured servant or serf swearing an oath of fealty to some liege.

I was in a similar situation a few years back. I’m slightly torn between “take the job and keep looking” or “turn them down”, and here’s why:

Are you the type that falls into patterns and accepts things the way they are? Will this job afford you the time / energy to continue your job hunt? Are there a lot of openings in your field?

In my situation, I took the job, with every intention of continuing my search for a career, but found myself so drained by the end of the day, when I got home, I just wanted to sit and relax; not browse job boards, attempt to network, etc.

I knew I was in a dead-end job, but I was comfortable and didn’t take action to change my situation. Thankfully (and I truly mean that), I was eventually laid off and that allowed me the ability to aggressively search, and I found my current job - one that I love for so many reasons. If I hadn’t been laid off, I really doubt I would’ve ended up where I am today.

If you think you can still aggressively continue your search, by all means, take the job.

Anecdotely, there have been threads started here on the Dope about it being more difficult to land a job the longer you have been out of work. Employers question why someone has long-term unemployment. I say take the job and keep looking. It may help you land a better job in the future.

Yeah you really, really are not under any moral obligation to stick with them. If they offer shitty hours and wages, then they won’t be surprised when you find something better.

And even if an employer seems really really nice and really really sincere, and really really likes you…they can and will get rid of you if the books balance against your favor. You are free to do the same to them. It’s just business.

Was going to say this. If you promised them you’d stay for a certain time that’s one thing, but you haven’t done that, have you? You may love the job, which will be great. You may hate it, which will encourage you to look harder while getting paid.

If they really cared they’d pay enough to make you want to stay.

Back in the spring of 2007, I was working an $11.50/hr job in a call center, when I got invited to two interviews on the same day. One was for a $12.50/hr job in a different type of call center; the other was for a $25.00/hr job with the USPS.

I went on both interviews, and knocked them both out of the park. The $12.50/hr job came through with an offer first, and you better believe I took it, with the full expectation that I’d be jumping ship to the Postal Service within a month.

(I was with them for fourteen months before the Postal Service called and asked if I still wanted the job.)

They called the day after their offer letter got returned. :smiley:

Job loyalty is not automatic. It’s something a company earns. And, with crappy hours and crappy pay, they aren’t even making a good first impression.

I vote take it and keep looking. if you like the business, just not the crap hours and low pay, it gets you in the door. My previous job, which I loved, was something I had applied for a few times before I was interviewed. They didn’t hire me but liked me and asked to keep my application on file. Three months later, I was offered “On Call.” I took it even though I needed full time and benefits. I didn’t even finish my training and they offered me full time. Later when they needed me to go to nights, I accepted with the stipulation of the days I wanted to have off. I ended up with the exact days and hours I wanted. I ended up being able to work four tens, so I had three days off in a row every week. But it all started with getting my foot in the door.

I voted “take the job and try to make it work” - but only because my finger slipped. I meant “take the job and keep looking” for all the reasons already enumerated. Which doesn’t mean you can’t try and make it work at the same time, but a job in hand ( with good benefits in particular, which seems key in your situation ) is 100x better than no job unless it is an unbearably abusive/toxic environment. It’s a tough time, still - you can’t be guaranteed you’ll find something better quickly.

Unless you take the job, in which case something better is almost sure to come up, forcing you to feel like a jerk when you quit after two weeks ;).

You’re missing one more option, which is to come back at them with a request for something more before taking the job - higher salary, less split shifts, whatever. Just not a whole list of things, just one.
I would take the job and keep looking if it paid more than unemployment, and turn it down or ask for much more money if it paid less than unemployment.