Author Topic: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom  (Read 7140 times)

sjc0816

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Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« on: August 25, 2015, 06:50:40 PM »
I'm not sure what I'm looking for with this post.  My DH has been interviewing for the last 3 months for what I would consider his "dream" job.  We found out yesterday that he is getting an offer tomorrow morning.  We also found out yesterday that DH's father has relapsed with cancer (has been in remission 14 years) and it's a pretty grave situation.  We live in the same town as my in-laws.....and the new job requires relocation to a city 10 hours away.  Relocation wasn't an issue until finding out the news about my FIL.

So, my DH is turning down the offer....and he is extremely down about it.  Obviously he is also devastated about the personal news....but the job situation makes it a double whammy because he feels like he will never get this opportunity again.

I am trying to stay as positive and supportive as possible.  Anyone have some words of wisdom to pass along?  We are feeling really SUCKY right now...just all around. 

lithy

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2015, 07:04:41 PM »
Not to be coarse, but...how grave?  Is this a hospice care situation or is there a chance that after treatment he could go into another 14 years of remission?  It seems somewhat shortsighted to pass an opportunity up.

You are already relocating, negotiating some additional time to make the move doesn't seem impossible.  Before turning the job down outright, ask for some amount of time that would make you comfortable while explaining the situation to the employer and see what happens.

sjc0816

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2015, 07:14:54 PM »
FIL is 77 years old...so it's not likely that he will get back into remission with this type of cancer (mantle cell lymphoma). He has already had a stem cell transplant and is not a candidate for another.  We will find out results of his brain MRI and bone marrow biopsy tomorrow but he is in a very weak, sick state. We think it would be a miracle if he lives another year....and he is too sick to leave the hospital currently.

The job in question has a very rigorous travel and training for the first few months.  We would have until January to move...but DH would start traveling right away.  He is just not feeling like the timing is right for that.  I'm not sure if he should think on it for a few days before giving an answer....but I can't imagine his feelings about it will change? I don't know...it's a very tough situation. 

Frugal D

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2015, 07:16:58 PM »
Tell the employer about the situation. I think they will work with him if they really want him.


Gray Matter

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2015, 07:44:02 PM »
I agree that he should be honest with his prospective employer before turning the job down.  If they really want him, they may be willing to hold the position, or give him some unpaid leave, or otherwise work something out.  My heart goes out to him--my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two years ago and was actually in hospice for a time (got kicked out, though, because she rebounded).  I also changed jobs in the midst of all of this--recognized the timing was terrible, I did not have a lot of internal resources, but just did it anyway.  So I have been there, and will likely be there again (recurrence rates are high for her cancer).  Something else to think about--what would your FIL want for your husband?  I would never, ever want my child to turn down a dream job, or even a good opportunity, in these circumstances.

PNW Lady

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2015, 08:00:43 PM »
I’m very sorry to hear about your FIL, and the unfortunate timing of your husband’s dream job offer – that is really SUCKY. I don’t have any words of wisdom but I’ll share my (loosely) similar experience. I resigned from my dream job seven years ago when my daughter was born. It was an excruciating decision, but my DH and I both felt strongly about one of us being home to care for our daughter. Since he was making slightly more money with better benefits at the time, the decision was pretty straight forward. Six months later he was let go and I had to go back to work. Needless to say, my current environment is uninspiring (to be generous) in comparison.

Fortunately for us, we had mustachian tendencies even prior to my recent awakening, but boy was that a hard one to swallow.

While I constantly struggle to find the joy in my job (or employer, rather – I love the work), I do try to focus on the positive aspects of everything that has happened as a result, and there is definitely some good stuff in there. Getting a dream job is certainly what we all hope for, but maybe you/DH could take this on as a challenge to be more creative about carving out your own happiness, which may or may not have anything to do with DH’s employment situation.

While I echo the other posts to talk with the prospective employer about it, in the event that your DH does decide to decline the offer, try to focus on the positives – you can usually find some if you look hard enough. While this particular opportunity may never come up again, keep yourselves open to something unexpectedly wonderful.

Hang in there. And I think it's probably ok to just feel SUCKY about things for at least a little while.

abo

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2015, 08:45:24 PM »
Do you mean 10 hours by car? Or flight (like UK to USA)? That makes a huge difference. If it is a easy flight I would say go for the job.

sjc0816

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2015, 08:57:23 PM »
Do you mean 10 hours by car? Or flight (like UK to USA)? That makes a huge difference. If it is a easy flight I would say go for the job.

The distance isn't as much of an issue as the travel that he would be doing for the first 3-4 months.  There wouldn't be much flexibility to be here if need be.  DH is also concerned about his mindset in starting a new job with his dad going downhill.

So hard!

eliza

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2015, 09:32:34 PM »
First and foremost, my deepest sympathies for you and your husband.

There is no right answer here and I would encourage you and your husband to make whatever decision feels best for your family at this time.   I would echo others, however, and encourage your husband to explain the issue to the prospective employer.  Open honest communication is best.  Even if it doesn't work out at this time, this might still leave the door open for future opportunities.


pk_aeryn

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2015, 10:26:01 PM »
How the job responds to his dilemma will show whether it's a dream job or not-- depending on how desperately they need someone to fill the position, maybe they'll work with him-- if they do, it could mean that he has a truly great manager or company.  If they act like family doesn't mean anything and how dare he ask, he doesn't want to work there.

I took a "dream job" last year.  Turns out I hate it.  You never know what a place will be like until you're there, so his dream job can still be in the future.

choppingwood

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2015, 10:39:30 PM »
Your husband needs to be there for his dad. There isn't any way to rewind that if he doesn't make that decision right the first time.

The dream job only took three months to find. Sometimes that takes a lot longer. When the time comes, your husband can start that search again. I agree with others that he needs to be clear with the employer why he is turning this offer down, so that he leaves that door open for the future.

The job is frustrating; the situation with your FIL is much worse than that. I'd focus his attention on your FIL and what he can do to make sure he has no regrets with that.

Thinking of you all.

 

FLA

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2015, 10:45:36 PM »
Tell the employer about the situation. I think they will work with him if they really want him.

I would try this and if they say no and DH decides to stay put to be with his Dad, can he hook up with a head hunter in his field later on?  If this company wants him this bad, other ones should, as well.  But I think it all comes down to getting a prognosis, if it's poor, then start making the big decisions. If you guys left, are there other sibs who can step up to the plate?  Does he want hospice (but they do not provide the bulk of hands on care, there needs to be a committed caregiver available as his needs change, be it family or hired help)?  The hardest part sounds like working around all that traveling when his dad may be getting worse. This is a tough one and my thoughts go out to both of you

partgypsy

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2015, 09:42:18 AM »
I think if your husband turns down the job, he needs to be crystal clear why he is turning it down. He should say something like, this is my dream job, I was so happy with getting this position. However, my father got a prognosis and we don't know how much time he has, and I need a job the next couple months that is flexible if/or when something happens.
It is possible that they will say, see you around. Or they may be able to say, well we still need you to start but you won't have to travel the next 2 months, or whatever. He needs to think about what he is willing to accept in order to get his dream job, which honestly doesn't happen all that often. I know this may come off as being harsh, but it's not like his health is a surprise. Also, doctors are pretty bad at knowing how much time someone has, unless they are very close to death. The father may die in the next month, or in a year, or anywhere in between or even past that. I don't know if he should hold off finding a job until everything is known about his father's situation.  However it is reasonable ask if the start date of job can be delayed in order to have some quality time with Dad before starting something new and demanding, or ask if could have an unpaid leave of absence in the next year (say 2 weeks) at some point due to Dad.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2015, 09:46:52 AM by partgypsy »

araminty

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2015, 01:02:40 PM »
I agree with everyone saying your husband HAS to talk to the potential new employers about the situation.

In addition, it's so easy to classify a job as your "dream job" from the outside.  I really like this blog post about the concept: http://www.askamanager.org/2013/01/stop-thinking-youre-applying-for-your-dream-job.html

Axecleaver

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2015, 01:20:00 PM »
Timing is everything.

It's absolutely critical that he have a conversation with the hiring manager (not HR!). He should make every effort to do this in person. Anyone with a shred of decency will understand, and there's a strong chance they will keep him in mind the next time a role opens up.

I had a job once, that took 15 months between the first offer (which I turned down due to bad timing) and the second, which I accepted. We talked about once a quarter during that time. The manager made a point of telling me that she had never stopped looking for the right time to bring me in. That job wasn't my dream job, but it did get me a year of onsite work in Honolulu. Once in a lifetime experience that I would have missed out on if I had not explained why I was turning them down. 

frugaldrummer

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2015, 01:32:35 PM »
There is a breakthrough new drug for his type of lymphoma, if he hasn't had it he needs to try it:

http://www.mdanderson.org/newsroom/news-releases/2012/ibrutinib-has-unprecedented-impact-on-mantle-cell-lymphoma.html


aschmidt2930

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2015, 04:16:06 PM »
Not to be coarse, but...how grave?  Is this a hospice care situation or is there a chance that after treatment he could go into another 14 years of remission?  It seems somewhat shortsighted to pass an opportunity up.

You are already relocating, negotiating some additional time to make the move doesn't seem impossible.  Before turning the job down outright, ask for some amount of time that would make you comfortable while explaining the situation to the employer and see what happens.

This. He should definitely attempt to gain flexibility on this one. Maybe he can work out a situation where he works remotely part time, and relocate at a later date?

jfer_rose

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2015, 04:24:38 PM »
No advice here, only sympathy from someone who is going through something similar (although somewhat reversed).

Last week I learned that my Mom's previous cancer (which we thought was gone, gone, gone) had spread to her liver. While we don't yet have a prognosis, there are multiple lesions so it isn't looking great. I currently live about 12 hours away. I'm in the process of trying to move closer and am being considered for jobs in two places-- one job is about a one hour drive away and the other is more like a 5.5 hour drive. I'm not sure whether I'll have a choice of jobs but that one hour drive is looking better and better even if it will mean lower pay.

I wish your family the best with this difficult situation.

MrsCoolCat

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2015, 07:06:34 PM »
How the job responds to his dilemma will show whether it's a dream job or not-- depending on how desperately they need someone to fill the position, maybe they'll work with him-- if they do, it could mean that he has a truly great manager or company.  If they act like family doesn't mean anything and how dare he ask, he doesn't want to work there.

I took a "dream job" last year.  Turns out I hate it.  You never know what a place will be like until you're there, so his dream job can still be in the future.

+1 but before that my condolences also. I also think he should be honest with that dream company bc of what the above poster said. He really having nothing to lose by inquiring except maybe an even truer evaluation of this dream job. GL.

sjc0816

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2015, 08:41:40 PM »
Thanks for the advice and condolences.  We were at the hospital all night and he's going to call the hiring manager tomorrow to discuss the situation.  Knowing the nature of the position and their need, we aren't expecting much but hopeful for other opportunities in the future.  Sucks!

lhamo

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2015, 08:51:15 PM »
How the job responds to his dilemma will show whether it's a dream job or not-- depending on how desperately they need someone to fill the position, maybe they'll work with him-- if they do, it could mean that he has a truly great manager or company.  If they act like family doesn't mean anything and how dare he ask, he doesn't want to work there.

I took a "dream job" last year.  Turns out I hate it.  You never know what a place will be like until you're there, so his dream job can still be in the future.

This.  And who knows, even if they can't offer him the kind of flexibility he needs right now, if the fit still seems good both ways (and I would weigh how they deal with this news pretty heavily in making that determination) they will likely have other openings down the road and when he is in a position where he can consider a relocation/heavy travel schedule again he should call up the hiring manager and see what needs he might be able to fill.

Sympathies to your family for what they are dealing with, though.  Having aging/ailing parents is hard...

sjc0816

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2015, 09:09:38 AM »
Just wanted to give an update.  DH had a long conversation with the hiring manager this morning.  They are going to do everything possible to make the situation as flexible as he needs it to be.  If DH decides NOT to move forward, he said that they would do everything in their power to get him other opportunities down the road. 

We were stunned....and so relieved.  In the immediate, the hiring manager said to take a week to focus on our pressing family needs and he will work behind the scenes with HR and management and get in touch in a week or so. 

Feeling so encouraged now! 

SunshineGirl

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2015, 09:19:03 AM »
Great news on the hiring manager.

honeybbq

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2015, 09:49:36 AM »
Glad to hear they are being flexible with the position. I agree with everyone else that your DH shouldn't put his life on hold for his parents; I doubt they would want that. Good luck.

partgypsy

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2015, 09:10:17 AM »
That is encouraging. I wish you both strength during this time.

The_path_less_taken

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2015, 10:26:19 AM »
I think if your husband turns down the job, he needs to be crystal clear why he is turning it down. He should say something like, this is my dream job, I was so happy with getting this position. However, my father got a prognosis and we don't know how much time he has, and I need a job the next couple months that is flexible if/or when something happens.
It is possible that they will say, see you around. Or they may be able to say, well we still need you to start but you won't have to travel the next 2 months, or whatever. He needs to think about what he is willing to accept in order to get his dream job, which honestly doesn't happen all that often. I know this may come off as being harsh, but it's not like his health is a surprise. Also, doctors are pretty bad at knowing how much time someone has, unless they are very close to death. The father may die in the next month, or in a year, or anywhere in between or even past that. I don't know if he should hold off finding a job until everything is known about his father's situation.  However it is reasonable ask if the start date of job can be delayed in order to have some quality time with Dad before starting something new and demanding, or ask if could have an unpaid leave of absence in the next year (say 2 weeks) at some point due to Dad.


1+

I'm sorry you are experiencing this, and am thinking good thoughts for you.

Also...you say the travel and training are mandatory, but are there any workarounds at all? Skype? Online mentoring? Going 4 days for ten hours a day so he would have the 3 off to deal with the horrible family crisis?

I'd be as up front as possible with the prospective employer, but I'd also bring some sort of suggestion to the table: "If you could see your way clear to letting me do long distance training for x weeks, it would help. I want to be able to give 100% to your company, while still being a dutiful son to my father in his time of need...can we come up with something that works for both of us?"

Guitarist

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2015, 10:37:53 AM »
Sorry for the news on the family front but it is nice to hear the employer is willing to work with your husband.
Being there for his dad is what he should do right now, not just for his dad but for himself as well.

As for encouragement, let him know that you are there for him whatever decision he makes. Let him know there are other significant others who wouldn't entertain the thought of moving for that dream job even with a healthy family all around (hope that doesn't sound as bitter as it looks right now, lol). When the current situation is resolved, you will still be there to support him toward his dream job.

FLA

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Re: Turning down a dream job - need some words of wisdom
« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2015, 12:34:17 AM »

Last week I learned that my Mom's previous cancer (which we thought was gone, gone, gone) had spread to her liver. While we don't yet have a prognosis, there are multiple lesions so it isn't looking great. I currently live about 12 hours away. I

I am so sorry to hear this, sending good thoughts