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What to Do if You’ve Changed Your Mind After Accepting a Job Offer

Landing a new job is always a big moment but there are times when you will find yourself changing your mind before you actually start the role. There are many reasons this can happen and all are valid, however, it can still be daunting to go back to an employer.

In this blog, we explore a few ideas that will show you how to back out of a job offer you’ve already accepted without any negative repercussions.

Be Certain of Your Decision

As we mentioned above, there are many different reasons why you may change your mind about a job. Some of them could be out of your control, such as a change in your personal life or a family emergency.

Others are a matter of practicality – the commute might be too far or the job could involve too much time away from home. Sometimes though, you might just feel differently about the role after you’ve given it some more thought, and that can often be the most difficult situation.

Before you rush off to call your future employer, you should be absolutely sure about your decision. Once you have gone back and declined their offer, you can’t just ask for the job back if you have second thoughts. Even if your only option is to back out of the job, give yourself a chance to sleep on it for a day so that you can be certain of your decision.

Allowing extra time to assess the situation fully will prevent you from acting impulsively and regretting it. New job jitters are a thing and doubts can creep in even if you’re sure about the role. Taking another day after you’ve made up your mind will help you feel more confident in your choice and prevent you from making a mistake in the long run. It’s also a good idea to talk to your recruiter and discuss any concerns you might have ­they might be able to ease your mind or answer any questions about the role or the employer.

Let the Employer Know as Soon as Possible

Employers move quickly once an offer has been accepted and will be having your contract drawn up – if it has not been already! Once you are sure of your decision, you need to let the employer know as soon as possible. Recruitment can be an expensive and time-consuming process and once you have declined, the employer will have to go back to their list of candidates and attempt to find your replacement.

For an employer, there is never an ideal time to have a candidate withdraw, but the sooner you can inform them of your decision, the better. It may be difficult but waiting until the last moment makes life more difficult for all parties involved – you can risk damaging your reputation and any future relationship you might hope to have with the employer.

When working with a recruiter, they will act as your representative and communicate the decision to the employer on your behalf. Not only does this mean you don’t have to have the difficult conversation directly, but also the recruiter will be able to talk through your reasons for declining the offer in a more objective manner.

Be Honest and Polite at All Times

There’s no need to beat around the bush or make up elaborate stories about why you have changed your mind. Employers and recruiters both understand there are lots of reasons why people are either forced or choose to change their minds about a job – so be honest. You don’t need to go into detail about your reasons, especially if it is to do with your personal life, but it pays to be transparent and upfront.

If you have declined because the compensation or scope of the job isn’t right, say so. It will give employers a chance to reconsider these aspects of the role in the future or even extend a counteroffer to you. Similarly, if you are declining because the job involves a long commute or too much time away from your family, explaining this might make the employer reconsider the opportunity for remote work. By discussing any concerns with your recruiter before making a final decision, they can also try to negotiate an alternative outcome on your behalf.

Skilled automotive engineers are difficult to come by and you already know the employer is interested in you – they extended an offer after all. Instead of being vague or untruthful, be clear and polite about what has caused you to change your mind, as the employer might be willing to adjust their offer to keep you. Even if they don’t, they will appreciate your honesty and will be far more likely to consider you for a position in the future.

Express Your Gratitude

As we mentioned, recruitment is an expensive and time-consuming process for employers and one that is made more difficult when an employee declines a job offer. To ensure a good relationship moving forward, be sure to acknowledge the efforts the company has gone to.

Remember to thank whoever you speak to for taking the time to consider you and for giving you a chance to learn more about the company. Reiterate that you are sorry you are unable to accept their offer but hope you will get the chance to work together in the future.

Most importantly, express your gratitude to everyone who was involved in the hiring process. From the Recruiter to the Hiring Manager and everyone who met with or interviewed you – you never know who you will cross paths with again in the future. Saying a few simple thank-yous and showing genuine respect for their time will only enhance your reputation and help develop positive professional relationships you can benefit from further down the line.


Although it can be difficult, declining a job offer is sometimes the best decision you can make. So long as you are sure of your decision, inform your employer know as soon as possible and are honest and appreciative of the efforts they have gone to, you won’t damage any relationships.

Working with a trusted recruitment partner throughout the process can take some of the stress away. Here at Fields & Rudd, we are with you every step of the journey and can communicate questions or concerns to your prospective employer at any stage.

As specialists in automotive engineering recruitment, we understand the market for your skills better than other recruiters and can help you capitalise on them. Our network of employers trusts us to find them the most skilled candidates for the world’s leading automotive engineering jobs.

Get in touch with one of our team at Fields & Rudd today.