Last Tuesday, I turned down a job offer. It wasn't easy. I struggled with making the decision for about one week. Every day, I went back and forth on the possibilities, weighing out the pros and cons of accepting or declining.
My decision table looked something like this.
- A job that pays well
- Standard benefits, including medical / dental / vision / 401(k) / ESPP
- Pays for relocation costs to the West Coast
- Opportunity in a new industry: Travel / Technology
- Potential to learn new things, specifically a side of tax that I've not had the opportunity to learn in my previous positions
- Relocation required to the West Coast causing me to be separate from my wife and family
- 3 hour time difference
- Being unable to assist with the sale of our house and the purchase of a new house in Philadelphia
- Uncertain timeline of how long I would be employed before wanting to move home. Do I stay for 1 year?
- Uncertainty in if they would allow me to work remotely after some point in time. They said it was possible, but no guarantee. As a tech company, it baffled me that their employees weren't already working remotely for some period of time.
- The need to come home once a month to see my wife for a very short period of time (weekend)
- Inability to assist with my immediate family's various issues of concern (financial, health, etc.)
- HR's unwillingness to negotiate the offer in it's entirety. They were not willing to accommodate even the simplest of requests.
- Salary was, in my opinion, not commensurate to the work load, nor close in comparison to other similar companies in the area. It was also on the low side for the region's range of salary for the given position. Then HR had the audacity to tell me that the comparable companies do not pay a bonus (impossible), and this company's base plus bonus would get me into the range of the comparable companies. True, but that means without the bonus the base pay would be below the market rate.
- Insufficient number of vacation days offered. It would have been a downgrade from what I previously had at my last employer. When I tried to negotiate this, they were unwilling to move. For most companies that hire, if you can't move on salary, you can move on vacation days because it costs you nothing (no additional money to dole out) to give another week of holiday time.
- Sign-on bonus was to be paid in 2 installments that made no sense to me. The first was 30 days after the first day of employment. But the 2nd installment was to be held until the first paycheck after your first completed year! I asked that it be moved to 6 months after employment so that it was more of a sign-on bonus and less of a vesting. They were not amenable to this idea.
Despite this company's unwillingness to negotiate, I still considered accepting the offer. But when I got on the phone with HR and started to listen to how this person spoke, my heart took over the decision making process. Something inside was telling me that I'd be unhappy. My mind was telling me that although a decent opportunity, the fact that this employer was unwilling to incentivize me to take the role and firm in their unwillingness to negotiate meant that I was not as valuable to them as I thought I was or as I should be. I bring a lot of value to the table and if that's not recognized then it's not worth it to me to change my life as drastically as this opportunity required.
In the end, I was upset that this employer, in an industry that moves me and piques my interest so much, wasn't more flexible. But I know I would have been far more upset if I took the job and had to deal with all the negatives that I hashed out.
I'm happy that I valued myself the way I did. I'm proud to stand my ground and thankful to my support system here at home for helping me see different perspectives. I know that I will find work, and I know that I will work hard for the people who believe in me and the employer that I believe in equally. When it's worth it, we'll both know. And eventually, I'll get there.
|Trekking to Base Camp|