When you're offered a position you dislike...

Whenever a job offers you a position that you are overqualified, underqualified, not confident in, or simply dislike, how should one handle it?

Should one turn it down? EVENTHOUGH that position will get you money or more privledges.

Should one take it and do one’s job well so one will get promoted? I tried that once and it backfired, I did so well in my position that they didn’t want to replace me.

Should one take it and half-a$$ed it so one will be offered another position? I tried this a few times and it also backfired. I actually lost an two jobs using this strategy. Instead of them offering me another position because I was dissatisfied of the current one, I was terminated from that job and was not offered another position. On the other hand, I was once offered a better position, because I complained and slacked on the last one…but that was an exception.

What am I doing wrong? Is there another way around besides the above?

Sorry if this is hard to follow.

I would just respond with, I am sorry, but that is not the direction that I see myself heading… I would like to progress in.(add something here depending on what you want)
and say… I am glad you thought of me for this position… and thank them…

SO…declining the offer will not hurt my chances in other areas?

I was gonna say that I’ve liked every position that I’ve tried … and that I’m very keen on trying any new positions anyone may come up with.

But then I realized that this thread is about jobs …

Here’s my take. It depends. Not much help? Ok, it depends on your goals, both for you career and for your employer. For instance, if you’re in the process of building work experience and are offered a superviror/manager position, and this is something you don’t have on your resume, and this would enhance your career prospects, and your goal is to build on your current field of employment, then by all means go for it.

On the other hand, if you’re just marking time until you start your “real” career, the factors you consider will have a completely different weight.

But, and this is important, never, never, never do a half-assed job. You never know when the people with whom you come in at this job will turn up in your life again. Maybe as a prospective employer or coworker, or a potential reference. And, really, doing a half-assed job is just not nice.

that’s a two edged sword there. If you REALLY don’t want the position, tell them that you’re interests lie in direction X, whatever that may be. That may very well get you pigeon holed and stall your career, since you’re not being a “team player”. On the other hand, I’ve taken a position I didn’t really want and it turned out great. Sometimes the position you don’t want turns out to offer some unexpected opportunities.

I have to agree with merge. I have refused to even consider certain positions / promotions in the past, and have stuck to my guns. If you present it in a reasonable manner, and if you have performed your current assigned duties in a professional manner, they will usually understand and prefer not to lose the good employee over something relatively stupid for them. After all, if a person is not happy with what they are doing, they will not do it very well. Therefore, it is in their best interest to grant your request.

I went into a company applying for position A. Halfway through the second interview, I realized I was interviewing for something else. Position B was something I was in no way interested in doing, at any price, even though the pay would have been really really good. I told them I wasn’t interested in doing that, and thanked them for considering me, thinking I was done with them. A week later they called back and offered Position C, which was more in line with my desires (though it has evolved to something different that I can live with) and that’s where I’m working at the moment.

There’s no way to say, really. For some companies, turning it down means they show you the door. Some don’t mind.

My aunt is absolutely devoted to her job. I make it my job to make sure that she does other stuff, too. She’s a really hard worker, and will rarely turn down any new work that is given to her. So when I go visit her, she gets a little lecture. (Yes, that’s right, the 15-year-old lectures the 40-some-year-old aunt.) Last time, I made her turn down a promotion simply because it just wasn’t healthy for her to take on any more work; and she also was quite happy with what she was doing. I made her see that she needed a life outside of her job, too. I also made her promise to take at least one day a week off; in the past her bos has taken advantage of the fact that she is such a hard worker willing to do overtime.

Once I was offered a job and responded with “are you kidding?” and upon being answered in the affirmative, I broke into hysterical laughter… I don’t think that HR person was very enamored of my response.