Choosing Between Jobs Again

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about pressured to change jobs:

I wrote to you last time about me choosing my current job in my hometown over a more popular studio job in the city. So far I’m still happy with the main things about my office and job. I also think that I declined the studio’s offer respectfully and kept in touch with them too. In 3 months I would be keeping my job for a year! This benefits me in every aspect of my life, and I can see my contributions in the company. But I plan to move out with my fianceé in the city next year to buy a house, so I’m saving up as much as I can in this job for now so I can take a time off and then look for another job. This week, the studio called me again. I kept my door open for them for project-based work and collaborations which I can do off hours or on weekends, and I thought they’d want to collaborate with me. Turns out that they still haven’t got anyone in the position, and they really wanted me for the job. They made a reasonable matching offer too. I knew that this was a long shot, but I tried to ask them if they can wait for me to finish at least my one year of service. I’m glad that they told me they appreciated my decision to finish my one year (the HR person told that she was impressed), but they really can’t wait.

Now they are asking me what can they offer me to reconsider… and I don’t know how to answer it in a way it would sound sincere but respectful and would still keep us in touch. I really want to keep this job this year but I want to work for the studio in the future too. In a perfect world, I would take the studio job next year when I finally settle the house matters with the fiancé. But they called me twice, and I think it’s very unheard of in my industry! So what should I tell them? Thanks!

Signed, Ready or Not

Dear Ready or Not:

It’s extra nice yet frustrating to be pressured to leave where you are now “ready or not”. The crux of how you respond depends on how firm you are about not moving now, and that is something you must problem-solve for yourself and likely that also hinges on a careful extended discussion with your fianceé. Such a discussion can clarify the marriage relationship you and she hope to have. If the offer is too good to turn down, separation will test it, making it stronger or determining it is not strong enough to last.

So weigh the pros and cons and if they far outweigh a move now, reaffirm your “not yet” answer. You should know enough about the strength of the company that is making the offer or you should research it as though it was like deciding if you wanted to apply. I assume you have made more than one informational on-site interview in the city studio. That should tell you more about the conditions of the new job and personnel with whom you would work. That should help you say “I’ll accept” if you can see this opportunity as something you don’t want to pass by. Should you decide to stay where you are, can you explain to the studio HR without sounding like you are playing hard to get unless offered big bucks, big bucks that might make enemies of coworkers not long after you started work in the city? I don’t know.

But you compose your thoughts well and a brief paragraph or two can restate the reasoning for your career path that takes priority over the appeal of the offer.There probably is no sure-fire right choice for you. You can live with which ever you elect so long as you don’t obsess about having made the wrong choice. I trust you will do well either way and have the kind of character that wants to love a job in which you can also do good. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and with how you respond should be understood that that is what you want for those who make this offer as well as for yourself.

Follow Up: Here is an opinion of a young career-focused guy who read your question:

Second Opinion: I think that it is commendable that he wants to stay at his position for a whole year, but for what reason really? As he mentioned, this is opportunity knocking twice, which is very rare. If he sees himself working there in the near future, I would take up their counter offer and move into the city. In the grand scheme of things, three months is a very short time, and it would be a shame that he lost his dream job because he wanted to wait around that long with his old company. If that is the move he ultimately wants to make, I wouldn’t put it off any longer. Lucky guy though! It must be nice to have companies fighting over you.

William Gorden