There is always work out there that needs to be done. In every industry, it’s important to understand that while getting experience and picking up work is important, there are times when the absolutely best thing you can do is to say no.
If it’ll stretch yourself too thin
Each piece of work you take on board is a building block in your resume and bank of experiences. If you don’t learn to balance your resources (time and effort in this instance), you’ll end up with finished products that don’t reflect what you’re fully capable of. While taking on multiple projects can be beneficial, it’s always important to value quality over quantity.
If it won’t build your strengths
Time is precious. Why dig a hole if you’re a painter? Analogy aside, it’s important to invest your time into projects that will give you relevant and applicable experience. If it doesn’t have meaning for your career personally, the empty hours will do more harm than good.
If it doesn’t align with your beliefs
Think about it – if you are vegetarian, you wouldn’t want to work on a pro-meat campaign, would you? Same goes for any work centered around core values. Don’t feel pressured to take on work that you strongly disagree with, because in the end everyone will lose – you’ll fall into work you’re not passionate about, and the end result won’t be as strong for your client/partner/boss.
If you have a better offer
Unfortunately for most of us, we’re stuck on some kind of career ladder: be it corporate, entrepreneurial, or personal. What you get out of your time and work are your two main pillars, and so it’s important that you make the best choices for yourself if and when you’re faced with multiple options.
If it’s not your field
If someone else is better qualified, or the work is not a field you specifically want to be in, sometimes the experience doesn’t count for as much. While broadening your skill set can be beneficial to creating a more all-rounded resume, if you push too far you might just end up missing a more suited opportunity.
If you feel uncomfortable
It’s important to always put yourself first when looking at your career. If a project or individual pushes your boundaries or makes you feel unsure or harassed, get out. Your time and effort is never worth devaluing yourself, trust your gut and keep your personal well-being in mind.
If you don’t want to do it
Plain and simple: if you’re not feeling it, let it go.