I rejected a job offer and then I reached back out

One of my many game faces.

People are always surprised to hear that I rejected the offer I received for my current job at first. That I had the balls to reach back out to the HR coordinator I was originally in contact with and admit to her that things weren’t going well at the job I took instead and that I would like to be reconsidered. People were also surprised to hear that I quit a job after working there just shy of four months and it was my first job out of grad school.

I’ll be the first to tell you that the “no take-backs” rule doesn’t always hold as strong as we were taught to believe growing up. The reoccurring theme of this blog is that life is too damned short to always do things the conventional way. If you want something, make bold and go after it. Yes, I just made reference to the name of this blog right here in this post—don’t @ me. Now, onto the good stuff…

Prior to graduating, I spent wasted an extraordinary amount of time applying for jobs online (don’t be like me). The only leads I ended up getting were those from my network. When I interviewed for the position at the company I currently work for, I had already had a few strong leads. By the time I received an offer from my current company, I had already accepted another position, so I felt I had no choice but to reject the offer. Besides, I was offered more money at the job I took.

That job ended up being a bust. I was pretty much an overpaid and overeducated administrative assistant. I did not know this would be the case until after I worked there a few weeks. I felt vastly underutilized. I wanted a position that was more intellectually robust (like the one I rejected). No shade to admins, I just felt I didn’t just rack up tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt (plus interest) to be doing that.

So, about three months into the gig, I decided I had enough of scheduling meetings and stuffing folders. I knew good and well I wasn’t about to log back into indeed.com, so I did what most people wouldn’t do: I emailed the HR coordinator I just said “thanks but no thanks” to three months prior. I admitted that things weren’t what I expected they would be in my current position and I would like to be reconsidered if the position was still available. I also offered to come in to be re-interviewed.

Little old me, being bold and going after what I feel is best for me *hair flip*.

It took her almost two weeks to respond, and just before I was going to follow up, she called me to offer me the position. I didn’t need to re-introduce myself or re-do the application. The irony in the whole thing was that I was able to leverage my “higher” salary at the admin job to counter the salary she offered me on the phone. Now, that’s a win-win-win!

As I’m writing this, I’m so proud of myself for doing the thing. People around me thought I was crazy for even quitting my first job out of grad school after just a few months. Lots of people thought I was being entitled. I was simply being your typical millennial: knowing my worth and wanting to work to my full potential. If I had a dollar for the number of times I was told to “just stay at that job for a few years and then find something better” or “doing the dirty work at first is a rite of passage,” I wouldn’t have needed any of those jobs! It wasn’t until after I was offered more money at the job I originally rejected that the understanding came from even my closest family and friends. To that I say: “oh well!” No one knows what is best for you better than you, my friend!

The moral of this story is crystal clear: there certainly are take-backs, if you ask for them :).

Melina Renee

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