When turning down a job, do I need to say I already have an offer?

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Johnny C. Taylor Jr.

Declining an offer is never easy but being honest and transparent provides a relational approach that can benefit you in the long run.

Johnny C. Taylor Jr. tackles your human resources questions as part of a series for USA TODAY. Taylor is president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, the world’s largest HR professional society and author of “Reset: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval.”

The questions are submitted by readers, and Taylor’s answers below have been edited for length and clarity.

Have a question? Do you have an HR or work-related question you’d like me to answer? Submit it here.

Question: The program that I work on in my organization is slated to shut down by the end of the year. Our workload in the meantime has been drastically reduced. I received a verbal offer from an internal group, but it will take some time for them to put a formal offer together. In the meantime, I have been asked by an adjacent department to transfer into their group. How should I approach turning down the offer without divulging the other group’s offer? – Millie

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