I was offered an award nomination. I think I could do much better if I was to enter the awards next year instead, but I’m concerned turning down an award would be a career limiting move. What factors should I take into account?
I am part of a minority group in my field. Today I received an email saying that I have been nominated to enter the field for an award in the Exceptional Young (Minority Group) in (Local Area) (Field) Awards. The email is from our General Manager and it asks me to please consider accepting the nomination.
As a graduate who has barely finished my first year out, I can see that I only meet 1 of the selection criteria. This isn’t humility; graduates in my area need further training in the workforce before they can offer tangible benefits to the company, so I just haven’t done much yet. By the end of my second year I am fairly certain I will be able to address 3 criteria well and the others satisfactorily. Problem is, I can’t enter twice and I currently have no evidence that I would be able to better address the criteria next year. I am aware that I have no guarantee of being nominated again if I turn this down and I am willing to accept that risk, although I would like to minimise it if possible.
Another factor is that I am being considered for a position as a full-time employee. My contract runs out at the end of this year, but my manager’s manager is considering putting me on earlier than that. However, that would require the General Manager’s approval.
I am also suspicious that part of the reason for my nomination is that I am one of a very few members of my minority group in my workplace and I know that the company wants to be seen in the wider community as both being supportive and having high quality employees, so possibly they just chose me on that basis because ‘Thursday hasn’t been nominated yet’. Personal opinions on this aside, it may be that there are no other members of my minority group who the company can enter into the award this year.
My questions are:
- What things should I take into consideration when deciding whether to turn down the award? Is there a precedent for this sort of thing?
- What should I consider when phrasing my rejection?