I Turn My Back On a Job Offer

Aug 25 2008

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So I did something that might appear crazy today. I turned down a nice job offer.

I got a phone call two weeks ago from a recruiter, who put me in touch with a local company who does ASP development. I had a phone interview with one of the founders, then went in for a face-to-face interview with the other founder and a few people there at the office.

I’m trying to keep these people as anonymous as possible. I don’t want them to stumble across this and be offended, but I got a stern, stereotypically authoritarian vibe from several of the interviewers. I felt like….

…okay, an example from Christianity. Christ is described as being “full of grace and truth.” That’s an important duality: truth represents the classic, serious Old Testament God of firm adherence to an established structure, while grace represents flexible moderation. Both are important (though not always equally important).

I felt little grace there. Plenty of truth, but very little grace.

Now, they offered me a decent salary, and I could use the money right now. I don’t know where I’ll get enough money in a couple of months. And I’m willing to work in a less-than-stellar environment, if the people are good and the work’s important.

But I couldn’t shake this vibe. I was unsure about the people. This just didn’t feel right.

Silly, right, to base one’s job decision on a feeling? I don’t think so. Feelings are facts; they’re just as real as a thought.

So, this morning, I called them back and politely declined. I’ll continue to pursue freelancing for a while. It’s what feels right.

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