Why I Turned Down A Job Offer With Higher Pay And Better Position

Don't be afraid to say no when it's not a good fit for you!

In this article, I'm going to share something that recently happened to me. This is a dilemma that I feel all the developers(or should I say, all the working professionals) do face at some point or another in their professional careers.

Although I wasn't actively looking for a job, however, recently I was exposed to an opportunity that was actually offering higher pay and a better position. To give you a perspective, let's say, I’m currently making $100 per annum, this position would be a 35% bump in my salary. So, now I will make a whopping $135 per annum.

So, all in all, it was a great offer. The company was good and everything was fine, but as you must’ve read in the title, I turned it down!!! Well, now you must be wondering, “What?! Why’d she do that?!” Now, before going on judgemental on me and thinking that I'm crazy and I'm doing something wrong here, wait until you hear my reasons.!

Okay, so the role that this company offered me was for a Senior Software Engineer which at the moment is not a good fit for me.

In my opinion, at any point in time in your career, if you find yourself in a role or if you're being offered a role that you're not a good fit for, don't think of it as a character flaw.

In this case, I didn't feel I was ready to take up the responsibilities that a senior role would entail. Moreover, I wasn't fully comfortable with the technologies this company was using, and I didn't think that it was the right move for me to start learning these technologies from scratch, just because they were required by this particular position. Now, I know everyone wants to grow and move up the ladder at work; but let me tell you something very interesting here, known as The Peter Principle.

Peter principle is a concept in management which observes that people in a hierarchy tend to rise to their level of incompetence.

According to Peter principle, employees are promoted based on their success in their previous job until they reach a certain level at which they're no longer competent, and the reason behind all this is that skills in one job do not necessarily translate to another.

Okay, let me paint a picture here. Tiff is a great developer and she excels in her field. Now, since she is so great at her current job. She is now promoted to be a team lead. Well, congrats Tiff, but there's a petty problem here. You see, leadership skill is not really Tiff's strong suit. She's not comfortable with talking to people, delegating different tasks to different people, and helping them to accomplish their tasks. As all she is really best at is sitting at her desk and coding complex algorithms.

Do you see how being a team leader is not really a good fit for Tiff?! Okay, but wait now don't get me wrong. I also think that life's only interesting as long as it keeps throwing curveballs at you. Therefore, I also won't recommend you to take up a job that suits you perfectly well, to the extent that everything is a piece of cake for you. For instance, when you’re very well versed with all the tools and technologies mentioned in a job description, you should surely weigh in the fact that it might not be the right fit for you. Well, I can see how it can be a little tempting to some people and it sure does feel a little cushy at first, as you'll be in your comfort zone and you will know everything there is to know to do your job. However, you should realize that you're clearly over-skilled for this job and you won't find anything challenging there. The mundane and monotonous tasks will just lead you to boredom and one day you're bound to lose interest. What I'm really trying to say here is that finding the right balance is the key.

Now, if you're going to take one thing from this article, let it be this one.

When you're looking for a job switch don't just blindly go for a better position or higher pay, instead, try to find roles that will keep your job interesting.

Most importantly, also make sure that you're not overly underqualified for the job, just as I was in this case, otherwise, you can easily fall prey to a common phenomenon in the software world, called the Imposter Syndrome.

You might want to make sure that you're not overqualified for the job, which will also lead you nowhere. To sum up, be honest and acknowledge when you don't fit the role like I just did.

Thanks a lot for your time. See you next time, until then, keep learning!