Good news, all: I got a job offer!
Even better news: I rejected it.
A few weeks ago I was contacted by a recruiter. They were hiring for a company in a similar area of business to my own. It seemed like an interesting opportunity that would allow me to figure out whether my issues are really just with my current employer or the type of work I do overall.
Suffice it to say I killed it during my half-day marathon of interviews. Unlike when I was a college senior– i.e. the last time I got a new job– I knew what I was talking about and after years of experience, felt a lot more at ease with “pitching” myself.
They made me an offer, and the offer was… okay. Money-wise, it was not that different from what I am getting paid now. I probably could have negotiated it higher, but I decided to reject the offer instead. Without going to deeply into it, there were parts of the offer that were red flags (i.e. things that were contradictory to what I had been told verbally) and, after talking a bit more with the team including some junior members on staff who were naively candid, I realized that joining would mean a 25% increase in hours from what I was used to. Which, hahahaha no. I value my time, thank you.
So why, you may ask, am I celebrating rejecting this job?
Because it is the first time I’ve ever been in a position to do so. And it felt amazing.
When I was an undergrad, I remember the frantic do-si-so of courting potential employers. I sent out something like fifty resumes. I went to all the career fairs and company-sponsored talks. I jetted across the country to Seattle, New York, Madison, and more for job and grad school interviews. I’d get back a lot: “our team really liked you but we don’t think you’d be a good fit for this role.” And then they’d put me through another round of interviews for a different role just to tell me no again.
I got rejected everywhere, with one exception: my current employer. I jumped on the one and only opportunity I had. And I’ve done well for myself. I’ve gotten steady promotions and double-digit raises pretty much every year since I’ve joined. But there’s always been that nagging feeling in the back of my head that this was the only job I could get. That nobody else would want me.
But now I know that isn’t true. Not only am I wanted, but I have the confidence in myself to say no to opportunities that I don’t want in return. Maybe later this’ll end up biting me months from now, when I’m unemployed and can’t get another offer. But right now, at least, it feels so good.
Have you ever rejected a job offer? How do you know whether a job is right for you?