In early August, I was offered a position doing sales and covering an NCAA D2 football and basketball team. I won’t share the school or location out of respect for the person who eventually took the position. However, I was excited that things seemed to be falling into place! Sarah, my fiancée at the time, and now wife, was also offered a teaching job in the area, so it seemed that I was going to be back as the voice of a college team. After a night of reaching out to mentors and having a deep conversation with Sarah, we decided that I would not accept the position.
Why did we come to this conclusion? It was the first week of August and our wedding was in a week. We already were under the intense stress of wedding planning and would have had to move the day after the ceremony to get to the new location in time for Sarah to set up her classroom. We decided that the process of moving, finding a place to live, and adjusting to a new community at that time would put immense stress on our marriage at a time that should be the exact opposite. The timing wasn’t right.
We hear all about how being the right fit for a job is something that employers use in their decision-making process. You hear frequently to never say no to opportunities, especially early in your career. Of course there is an element of truth to that, especially when it comes to freelance or one-time offer jobs. However, when you are looking into moving your career, family, and life to another location, the fit is just as important for you as a job-seeker as it is for the hiring decision-maker.
Here are a few questions I ask myself when considering a position:
Is this better for me and my family? Whether you are thinking about moving a family of five across the country or moving away from your parents for the first time, you have to consider how this move will affect those around you.
Is the timing right? As mentioned above, I turned down a position because of bad timing. Had we scheduled our wedding a month earlier things could have been completely different, but with the way things were, it did not make sense to take the position.
Is it upward or lateral? Another thought to consider is if the position is truly a step up. The position I passed on was in a geographically isolated community. I would have been covering college sports, but there would have been very few other opportunities. Living where I do with connections to the Sioux City market, I am currently able to pick up consistent small college and semi-pro freelance work in addition to my sales and high school play-by-play position. Would the other position truly have been a better opportunity? I’m not totally sure.
What does your gut say? Two years into my career I was offered another job that I turned down. They were promising the moon with sportscasting opportunities which was appealing because at that point I was only a backup play-by-play guy. I was concerned because the same job had opened up multiple times within the last year… it seemed fishy. I called a few other area broadcasters and found out that this station was known for breaking promises and not treating employees well. This position never felt right and I ended up turning the job down.
In a business with constant rejection it feels really good to feel wanted. However, making sure that the organization that wants you is the right fit could be the difference between a long and fulfilled career or short stint ending in a burnt bridge. Make your decisions carefully.
Do you have any stories of finding a good or bad fit? Please share your story in the comment section.