Turning Down an Offer Because It Involves Relocation

Maintain a professional attitude when declining an offer.

Maintain a professional attitude when declining an offer.

Sometimes a job offer or promotion has conditions such as relocation attached to it. If you aren’t ready to move, you want to be sure to decline the offer respectfully and professionally. Doing so will help you maintain a good reputation in your field and may leave the door open should you be interested in relocation in the future.

Communicate with the Boss

Schedule a one-on-one private conversation with the individual extending the offer and explain the specifics of your dilemma. Express appreciation for the offer and note that while you are interested in the position, the relocation requirement makes it impossible to accept at this time. If the individual asks for specific reasons, you may choose to divulge them or explain that the issue is personal in nature.

Be Sure of Your Decision

Employees sometimes decline an offer, saying that the choice is due to the relocation aspect, as a negotiating tool to entice management to increase the salary or offer to cover relocation expenses. Decide in advance how you will respond if your supervisor offers to cover your costs, bumps the starting pay or otherwise sweetens the deal to encourage you to accept the offer.

Leave the Door Open

If the offer being extended is something you may be interested in down the road, leave the door open for future offers by explaining the rationale behind your decision. For example, if you want to stay in the same location while your spouse completes her education or while a child completes a certain grade level in school, make sure the company extending the offer knows you would be willing to relocate in the future.

Maintain a Professional Attitude

Part of professionally declining an offer involves how you present yourself before and after making the announcement. This is especially important if you are being extended an offer within your own company. Reiterate to your supervisor your happiness with your role in the business and express an interest to continue your professional development at your current location.

Act Quickly

If you are extended a job offer, chances are good there were other candidates for the position waiting to hear if the job has been filled. Once you make the decision that you can’t accept the offer, notify the company as soon as possible so it can contact other prospects. This swift communication helps establish you as a professional.

About the Author

Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.

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