When I meet with candidates, I try to get to the core list of things they are looking for in their next career move – call it a wish list. If I were to pick some of the common themes from all those lists, I would probably say growth, stability, better work environment, more of a challenge and more responsibility are the ones I hear most frequently.
So, I had an interesting experience this week. One that, I can honestly say, is a first for me during my career as a Technology Recruiter. I had someone turn down a job because it came with more responsibility than the his current role. The position offered a 17% increase in salary and also allowed for the candidate to get back to the type of projects he liked working on. In the end, he walked away from it because of his fear of taking on more responsibility. He just did not feel like he was ready for that at this stage of his career.
In most cases a fear of change will set in when making a career move and that is totally natural, especially when you are comfortable with your current employer. But as a candidate, you should go back and ask yourself how you got to this point of interviewing for other jobs in the first place. What drove you to that? In most cases, there is a motivating factor, because if you were 100% happy with your current situation, why would you waste valuable time sending out resumes, meeting with recruiters or going on multiple job interviews? Was your concern really alleviated, or did you just stick a band-aid on it? What are the chances of it surfacing again?
So in the end, was his reasoning for declining the offer really because of his fear of taking on more responsibility like he says, or was it more about him staying where he was comfortable? I know I’m a little biased, but I truly believe this candidate made the wrong decision by declining this offer and it would not surprise me if in six months he said the same thing.
I’m always looking to learn from experiences in this industry and every experience is truly unique when dealing with people. This week I learned a valuable lesson. Most people embrace additional responsibility and view that as career growth or more of a challenge, and some reject it – possibly due to fear of moving from comfortable situations or possibly due to things happening in their personal lives. I will be certain to have a clear understanding of how candidates feel about taking on additional responsibility going forward.