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The Art of Saying No

  • Amy Bebbington

Out of excitement and eagerness it’s sometimes difficult to say no to opportunities. Feeling guilt or regret may result in you agreeing to a new commitment before thinking it through.

It’s difficult to turn down an offer due to prior commitments or if you feel it’s not quite right for you, especially when you are trying to build a successful career in a fickle industry. However, sometimes there is no other choice.

Models can feel worried that you won’t be asked again or later regret your decision. However, trust your instincts and do not say yes just out of fear. Take a look at our free guide on how to say no with confidence – a reading experience that will leave you with new tools to use when an unwanted invite lands in your inbox.

Register today with UK Models. It’s an opportunity you won’t want to say no to!

It’s Okay to Say No

Saying No with a Clear Conscience

When to Turn down an Opportunity

The Best Ways to Say No

Definitely Say No to Inappropriate Behaviour

It’s Okay to Say No

In fact it is the best option than over-committing. There are many books that can help people to reject invitations guilt free as many of us find it difficult. Usually, the best book promises to provide valuable concepts that will help you turn down opportunities. Sections of the book will focus on different aspects so you can read the chapter that you can relate to.


If you agree to too many roles, it is more than likely that you will not be able to follow through on the day letting them down at very short notice. This will not make the right impression and  you will not be asked next time.

Also, if you have too much work on and are very tired you will not perform to your best standards as you will have less time to prepare. Over-commitment is easily done out of excitement and drive for success yet give yourself time.

However, if you consider the offer and the amount of work that you have already agreed to first, you will be able to give a truthful answer from the start. If there is a timing issue or family commitments, the company may reschedule for you or get back to you another time.

Saying No with a Clear Conscience

Saying no to people without feeling guilty can be difficult to achieve. We feel we are letting people or even yourself down. However, as long as you have considered the opportunity thoroughly and still can’t see it as a right fit, you have nothing to feel guilty about. Let’s face it, in the modelling industry designers will always be able to find a replacement especially with enough notice.

When to Turn down an Opportunity

The first reaction to a new opportunity is usually excitement, skimming over the email or only listening to the first part of the conversation. When you are offered a modelling job, here are a few things to consider.

Check Your Diary

As we mentioned earlier, are you actually free that day? It is the first thing you should check. If you don’t have a diary, it’s about time you bought one. Every time you accept a job, write it down on the correct day. You can then easily check your availability without getting confused.


Is It the Right Fit?

If you are free, then it’s time to consider if you actually want to do the role. Don’t accept because you think you should. It may be a waste of time and something completely different to the type of work you want to do. This is okay if you need the experience but not if it will damage your reputation. For example, don’t accept a glamour role if you want to go into high fashion.

In the modelling industry there are a broad range of topics and areas that you can work in to find the path that you wish to take. However, never accept a role that you are just not comfortable with.

The Pay

The figure may sound reasonable, generous even, however, make sure you are aware of who’s paying what. How much needs to go on travel expenses, food, accommodation etc. You don’t want to get to the end of the shoot and realise you’ve been working for free. Calculate the costs before giving your answer. Work out your bottom line and do not go below this figure. Refuse to be taken for granted.

The Logistics

Once you have worked out who’s paying for what, it’s important that you work out how you’re getting there. Some companies may deal with this for you but some may need for you to arrange yourself. Look into this and see if you are happy travelling to a particular city at 6 in the morning and if your diary allows it.


Your Wellbeing

Are you feel over worked or having a hard time? It’s essential to give yourself time off to re-energise – a form of self-help. To reclaim your time and energy after working hard over the last year. In an unpredictable career it can be difficult to allow yourself time off. However, it is a must. Your personal life is just as important.

To make this time easier save up so that you have enough money to justify a holiday. It will be a breath of fresh air to enjoy travel and seeing new places. Always be honest as they may move the job a couple of days to accommodate you depending on their business needs.

Ask Questions

Remember you don’t have to accept people’s requests straight away. Give yourself time to think it through and get back to them. Once you’ve said yes or no, you can’t really take it back without annoying your agency or the brand. Don’t leave it too long but give yourself until the end of the day. Ask any questions that are not answered in the initial offer and follow-up with a response.

The Best Ways to Say No

There are many simple strategies that help you say that powerful word without being rude or dismissive.

Don’t Explain Yourself

Keep it short and sweet. Don’t ramble on with excuses as they don’t need or want to hear it. They may think you are lying.

Be Polite

Always thank them for their offer and if you would like to work for them again there is no harm is saying so. They may just ask you next time.

Don’t Apologise

We all have a habit of apologising when saying no. However, you do not need to as it is not your fault that you can’t make it.

How to Stand Your Ground

It is important to stand your ground to look professional. Your communication skills need to clear, confident and to the point. Don’t go back on your answer yet be firm with what you can and can’t do.

Definitely Say No to Inappropriate Behaviour

If you have agreed to a modelling job and at the shoot you receive inappropriate comments or advances, never feel as though you have to say yes. Always decline their offer and report them at the soonest opportunity. It is likely that this is not the first time that they have tried to manipulate a situation and won’t be the last.

You will feel intimidated and uncomfortable when you come across sexual harassment of this nature. Yet, please do not agree out of fear. Stand your ground and say no! Find in depth information on how to deal with sexual harassment and staying safe.

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Posted by Amy Bebbington

I express my love of fashion through writing, blogging and styling. My creative personality ensures that I produce unique and original work. I am a keen knitter and enthusiatic dancer.