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Why I rejected an exciting job offer

Not long before we found out that we were expecting our second child, I interviewed for a position with a well-known and prestigious international technology firm, to become one of their internal support technicians here in Norway. After a whopping four rounds of interviews, including one at the European HQ somewhere down on the European continent, I was offered the job. They offered a 10% increase in pay, and the position would see me travelling to satellite locations in the Scandinavian region two out of five days per week. It was made very clear that they would not be able to make the offer any better. I thanked them for the offer, but ultimately rejected it.

While there were a number of reasons for my rejection, including the fact that it would mean a longer commute to work, and a lot of time spent on the road (with an increased burden on my wife), the main reason I rejected it was that it was a lateral move, moving from a very similar position, to one where I would have less access and autonomy to do my job, and where the career prospects were such that any promotion would see me move abroad (and there seemed to be little chance of upward mobility for the forseeable future).

Now, I’ve lived abroad before, and I would recommend it to anyone. It’s a great experience, and I don’t see any reason to think that I wouldn’t consider doing so in the future. For the time being, however, most of my close family and friends are in Oslo, and those that aren’t are elsewhere in Norway, places that can be reached by car or train. We own a home here, and the kids are in kindergarten, with the oldest moving on to school this fall.

And so, I stayed with the NIPH, transfering to NHN in January of 2017. I am not a seer, and have no way to tell what the future might bring. What I do know, hindsight being 20/20, is that the decision I made three years ago now (wow, has it really been that long?) was in every way the correct one. I am growing in my role, I am being given new tasks and challenges, and opportunities for upward mobility are certainly present.

Remember: Just because they make a decent offer, you don’t owe it to them to accept it. You do, however, owe it to yourself to critically appraise the offer and accept – or reject – it on its merits.

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