Stuff worth knowing about > Opinion > Stories from my Past: Sometimes you get a great offer you have to say no to

Stories from my Past: Sometimes you get a great offer you have to say no to

Have you ever had an interview go so well that not only do they want to hire you, they are offering much, much more?

I had that situation with a company I interviewed with about a decade ago. I am reminded of them because I read an article that suggested how you should turn down a great opportunity. I thought that article sounded silly. Why would anyone turn down a great opportunity? However I agreed with the reasons he gave and then was reminded of this experience. Here is the situation.

At the time I was doing ok and working for fortune 500 companies. I had not heard of this company but the research I did online said it had a good reputation for treating its workers fairly. I did the interview and the interviewer was so impressed he said “You could certainty do that job, but I think it would be a waste for you to work in that job.” He paused and then said “I think you are more management material and that you would be a great fit for our new division of such and such.”

Of course I was flattered and as he spoke, he described that it was a new direction for the company but they were confident that it would be successful. Not only that but that if I accepted I would be guaranteed a job in writing for a decade with them. In addition, they would pay for my training, give me a car allowance, and in return it would take up most of my work and free time getting up to speed in all the details.

Since this was unexpected I asked him if I could think it over and let him know in 24 hours. He said yes, and so I went home to think it over. I had never gotten an offer like that before and it was very generous on the part of the company. It had many advantages for me, and there was really no logical reason for me to turn it down. However part of me said that this wasn’t the right choice. Even though financially it would have put me on another level, and intellectually it would have been fun, I wasn’t passionate about what the job required. I could easily see myself gain those skills, and then just coast and not further improve in my career because I wasn’t excited about that particular niche IT specialty. So I had to call him back and thank him for the opportunity but that it wasn’t right for me.

Of course many people would say that what I did was crazy. How could I turn down a change from a 5 digit income to a 6 digit income? It was an easy decision for me. Money doesn’t motivate me. Its nice if it’s there, but I don’t feel any happier than I did with my first salary in the IT field. Yes money can make your life more luxurious, but I have tried luxuries and I am not impressed. I worked for people who had all the luxuries in the world and they were so unhappy. I saw luxury things fail, both my own and others, and saw that security isn’t in money.

Sometimes you get a great offer you have to say no.

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