Thanks, But No Thanks

Posted February 9, 2011 by Marcy Twete in Career Moves

Shortly after moving to Chicago, I reached a turning point I didn’t expect in my journey to Chicago and my transition: with an impending offer from a really fantastic company that I did not accept. Yes, you heard me right. A fantastic company offered me a position I was qualified to do and historically good at….and said no. “Thanks, But No Thanks.” And I have to say, it was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve made in my career.

My father gave me some amazing advice in making this decision, and I want to share it with you. When you are thinking about accepted a job offer, think about these points:

  • Do you need the money? Obviously, if you need to pay your rent and you’re in danger of being evicted, you take the job. But if you are financially stable without it, you have more options.
  • Can you see yourself staying in this job for at least 3 years? For me, this is especially important. I’ve spent about 2 years at each of my last 3 jobs. And if I do that again and again, it’s going to start looking bad…especially as I get older. It’s time for me to stay in a company for a while.
  • Would you leave this job in 6 months if something else came along? This is a BIG one for me. My father constantly tells me, “don’t burn bridges.” And thus far in my career, I have followed that advice. So he asked me to ask myself this: If I take this job, and a few weeks or months from now someone from a great company with a job that was exactly what I’m looking for comes to me with a position, would I leave? If the answer is yes, then you shouldn’t take the job. Because you’d inevitably be setting yourself up for burning a bridge when that happens. And the moral of the story is, don’t burn bridges.
  • Are there enough irons in the fire? For me, I’ve been in Chicago 2 months. In those 2 months, I’ve been to a number of networking events and have had about 40 networking meetings. I have another networking event today (the same event in December produced over 30 contacts), and two weeks full of meetings next week and the week after. In 2 months, I’ve had 2 serious interviews where I was either the top candidate or close to the top (still waiting to hear on one of the two). Using the law of averages, I’ll have the same success in the next 2 months. Therefore, I can feel confident that this isn’t the last offer for a while.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."