You Can Say No: To Jobs, People, and Yourself

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So, I was sitting there. I was in a third round interview, wondering why I was even there in the first place. And then all of a sudden, it happened.

business men shaking hands
“Congratulations,” he said. Somehow I actually managed to get the job. At first I felt shock, but then despair. I didn’t want to work here. This job had nothing to do with what I wanted, and honestly the idea of even signing my name on a contract gave me anxiety. I smiled, gave a decent handshake and a little nod. He walked me out and I thought how selfish I was passing the three kids my age in suits, all probably business majors. I didn’t take the job and that’s okay.

Today’s market is daunting. If you’re close to finishing your undergraduate degree or you already have you know this. It comes to a point that you start applying to anything that doesn’t require you to wear a visor and say, “How may I help you?”  You look at every website, call recruiters, and wonder if your college degree was even worth it. So when I got the chance to even get an interview I jumped at it without really thinking if it was what I wanted. Because all I wanted was financial security. Well, that’s what I thought at least.

I felt selfish for saying no to a job opportunity, but not because I needed to pay my bills or that I might have burned a bridge with a potential employer. No, I felt selfish because by saying no I thought that I was perpetuating the bad millennial stereotype that we see so often in the media.

We’ve seen the headlines repeat that we are lazy, entitled, and narcissists. But, I realize now that no, I’m not any of those. In fact, I haven’t met many of my fellow millennials that follow that pattern. By saying no, I was able to gain a great lesson in what they call “the real world.”

If I don’t think I am a fit for a job, I can say no. That doesn’t make me lazy; it saves that company time and money.

If I say no to a person, a Tinder match (#ByeFelipe), or even to my parents, that doesn’t make me entitled. It just shows that I know what I want for myself.

Most of all, if I can say no to myself that doesn’t make me a narcissist. It’s actually kind of the opposite.

There is nothing narcissistic about wanting to better yourself, for yourself.
So if you’re in a position where you want to say no, but you’re scared of what the employers, other people, and maybe even yourself will think, just remember that this is your life.