In hockey as in many other sports, we say that good transactions are often the ones we don’t make. That’s always easier to say when you look back at potential moves you could have done but didn’t pull the trigger on. During my career, I have received several job offers. Some were very good, but I didn’t accept all of them. In recent years, I can look back and say that I’ve made the right choices. Today, I am looking at 3 prime jobs offers I’ve received in the past 3 years which I declined. The salary of each job is approximate and could have been higher… maybe not! Hahaha!
As soon as I finished my MBA, I got an offer to become a branch manager. Some people in the industry will tell me that it’s not a prime job as there are hundreds of branch managers working in big cities… and for each branch manager working; there are 2 on burnout, lol!
However, this branch wasn’t the small office at the corner of the street; it was a big branch with roughly 30 employees. The volume and prestige that come with such a branch is interesting. It gets you closed to the centers of power and highly visible to Vice-Presidents. In other words, it’s the perfect place to shine and get another promotion.
The base salary was good and there were obviously bonuses attached to it. I have a pretty good idea of how much I would have made since I was very close to other branch manager of that size. There was only one problem; the burnout factor. In that previous post, I explained I don’t believe in burnouts. In fact, I believe people are putting themselves in highly probable situation that they will crumble. Therefore, it’s their own fault if they burnout. This is exactly what would have happened if I would have accepted such a position. Being a branch manager sounds great but it also means that you are fully responsible for everything happening in the branch. This part is a real pain for me!
This is why I declined my first prime job offer and instead negotiated a 4 day work week. This was the best deal I ever made!
Not so long ago, I got a call from my first boss. I sometimes refer to him on this blog as he taught me everything about managing a career and performing at work. He was and still is my mentor when it comes down to my job.
My mentor got a promotion in his department (his second or third since I left) and he was offering me his previous seat! This was such an honor to be offered such a great job. The pay check is good and also comes with a potential bonus. I don’t have to manage the hassle of a branch since it’s one step higher. The job is more related to strategy and closer to upper management.
It doesn’t require too much traveling and I already knew some of the staff. Even better; I know this business better than anyone else. But the job is in Montreal, 1 hour away from my home. I did this for almost three years and I would not do it again at this time. It wasn’t the first reason why I decided not to apply though. I remembered the negative working climate in this department. Working in cubicles makes people complain and bad mouth each other. I didn’t want to be involved in “hypocritical wars”. For the sake of my own mental health, I decided to decline the offer.
Just before I left my job for parental leave in Montreal, I was offered to become a junior broker with a guaranteed 6 figure income. The job was truly awesome, I knew the people I would be working with and knew I would have had a blast with them.
This was truly a “dream job” where I could have used all my talent to perform and have fun. But here’s the trick; you are expected to use all your resources to succeed. This is why I would have been working crazy hours and loving it. The work doesn’t scare me; I’m scared of liking it!
I used to work like an animal while being in the top 3 in Montreal at the same time as completing my MBA. I loved that period of my life as it was incredibly challenging and rewarding. The problem is that if you do this for too long, you lose other things. I could have lost my marriage and seen my kids every two weeks because of my job. I didn’t want that back then and this is why I decided to work four days a week.
When I was offered this job, I took a moment to think about it. I knew that I wouldn’t regret the job itself. But I also knew that I would end-up regretting my lifestyle. There is no point of making a lot of money if all you do is work and have fun with the people you work with. The real richness is found in time spent with your true friends and family, not just with co-workers!
Have you ever said no to prime job and felt happy about it? Or have you accepted a job you shouldn’t have?
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