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Advice on refusing unwanted job

By smatteson ·
I've been working as a network administrator in a good job for several years now. One of my in-laws gave my resume to his organization and they would like to interview me for a network support job dealing with a certain network software/email system that I have past experience with but do not want to spend further time supporting (I consider it to be outdated and archaic - I want to avoid a holy war so I will not specify the products in mind).

The job would also involve relocating to another state which I absolutely do not want to do. I'm happy in my current job and in my current house, both of which I've spent a lot of work on to get just the way I like it.

Because a family member set this up, I feel I have to go on this interview and while I plan to conduct the interview honestly and to the best of my ability (showing up drunk and telling female interviewers my x-ray specs can see everything might work on Three's Company, but is hardly realistic in real life), if I am offered the job I feel the game is over: I would have to take it, have to move, and have to change career paths down an unwanted direction.

I know the correct thing to do here is to explain to all involved why I do not want to relocate, but my wife feels that moving would be better for our kids, whereas I disagree with her on that for several reasons. The area we currently live in has better opportunities and a higher quality of life.

My plan therefore is to simply ask for too much so as to be refused the job; too much salary, too much time to leave my current job, too many perks like relocation assistance, etc. That is probably going to kill the deal and also lead the folks at this organization to tell my in-law that I'm a selfish person who blew the opportunity by making unreasonable demands, but short of knuckling under, quitting my current job and moving to someplace I don't care to live, I just don't see an alternative.

Anyone have any suggestions on how I can graciously get out of this situation so my life can continue as normal?

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Don't burn your bridges

by Bizzo In reply to Advice on refusing unwant ...

I wouldn't try and mess up this interview, just in case a few years down the road it's where you do want to work.

It looks the main issue here isn't how to flunk the interview, but how to persuade your wife that you don't need to move.

Did her wanting to move come before or after your in-law got hold of your resume? Maybe she's getting pressure from her family to relocate and sees this as the only option. Or maybe she really does hate where you're living at the moment and needs to move, so sees you getting an interview and a job offer as an ideal time to move.

If you really don't want to move location, then you must explain this to your wife before things go any further. And spend time discussing it, leaving out all the in-laws.
If you're happy where you are, but don't mind moving, but really don't want to work where your in-law works, then again, explain this to your wife. That one job is not the only opportunity.

Also try explaining to your wife the technology of the new job, it's outdated and archaic, and maybe in a couple of years time they could possibly get rid of you when the get rid of the network. And where would you be then?

Sounds a bit of messy situation, but good luck, and I hope it all works out for you.

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Thanks to all for the great advice

by smatteson In reply to Advice on refusing unwant ...

I talked to the wife last night, and explained I had no desire nor intention to leave my current job, then laid out my reservations. Turns out she's more interested in a larger house (ours is bursting at the seams) so we compromised by agreeing to look for a larger place in our current neighborhood. End of problem.

Funny how one can **** up an issue to make it seem more of a big deal than it really is. Thanks to everyone for the advice and comments.

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There are always alternatives.

by vltiii In reply to Advice on refusing unwant ...

It sounds as if you're more focused on what is best for you as opposed to your family as a whole. You and your wife need to reach an agreement on what is best for your family. If you both agree that better schooling for your kids is the driving factor then you have your answer. If you "both" agree that better opportunities for you will benefit the family then that is your answer.

Your post makes you appear to be very weak. You are under no obligation to interview or take a job that you're not interested regardless who recommended you. You may want to have your family members check with you before passing your resume on to an organization that you have no interest in working for.

I would not recommend intentionally sabotaging an interview. This could potentially come back to haunt you at some point down the line. If you're really not interested, call the interviewer and tell him/her that you would like to respectfully withdraw yourself from consideration for the position. You shouldn't have to explain why you're withdrawing, but if you are asked and feel you have to give in to the pressure--be truthful, but tactful, i.e. I'm not prepared to relocate, etc.

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Be Honest

by Flyers70 In reply to Advice on refusing unwant ...

You need to be honest, they'll understand. If they don't that's too bad. It's your life. You only get one.

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The High Road

by mark In reply to Advice on refusing unwant ...

Since you feel compelled to take the interview, I would try being honest (but not brutally honest) with the interviewer(s) and don't feel compelled to tell everything about your situation.

"I'm flattered that you want to interview me - my ___-in-law gave you my resume without my knowledge, so I feel somewhat obligated to hear about your position - and I am interested to learn more about your company."

"My wife is OK with relocating here - I'm not as sure, but could consider it if there were some significant relocation help from the company."

"I'm very expert with this particular software, although many companies are phasing it out. Do you have phase-out plans? I would definitely like to learn (or already know) new software systems and would love to work on cutover from your existing software." [This lets them know that you aren't interested in stagnating with their old stuff]

"I am currently a systems administrator (or whatever your position is), and am looking for an opportunity to take on management responsibilities. Would this be a management position? What are my opportunities for advancement?" [This lets them know that if their offer is only a parallel opportunity that's just technical, that they aren't likely to attract or keep you - looked and sound disappoint when they say that the position isn't management but that there may be possibilities in the future for your advancement]

"I feel that my salary in my current position is somewhat lower than my work performance and responsibilities would indicate. Because of that, and the fact that I would have to uproot my family to move across the company (and into an unknown company and situation), I would like a fairly substantial boost over my current salary. I don't mean this to sound greedy, but there is a substantial risk of the unknown on my part. Also, without the opportunity to work with some of the newer software systems, I would be responsible for any training on other software to retain my professional capabilities." [If you say this very-matter of factly, in a calm voice, it should come off as not demanding, but rather somewhat sympathetic]

At this point you give a salary that is high enough that fits what you've just said (and also, that you might be willing to take to suffer through all of this) but not so high as to be out-of-sight. Also realize, if your number isn't high enough, they could come back with what everybody would agree is a reasonable counter-offer that you'd have to take to avoid trouble with the family and looking like you never were serious about considering the offer.

I think that if you practice this, you could pull it off, where the interviewer(s) would be impressed with your professionalism, but realize that they shouldn't make you an offer because it just isn't a good fit.

Good luck

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Discuss your options and don't alienate the company.

by jalford12 In reply to Advice on refusing unwant ...

You don't say whether this interview is for a "family" firm or not.

If not, then there is no way the company could ethically give your "in-laws" any detail on your interview, results or your responses. I accept that if this is a "family" firm, ethical responsibilities are quite often ignored.

Saying that, you should definitely sit down with your wife and discuss the issues. Is this job closer to her family? Is this the real reason why she is in favor of the move?

The decision whether or not to even consider the new job should be a joint decision; and please discuss all the positives and negatives.

If, between you, you decide that what is best for you and your family is to stay where you are, then politely decline the interview, let them know that you appreciate the opportunity, but that this job change is not the right move at the present stage of your career/life.

Whatever you do, don't alienate this company with lies or maneuvering. You never know, you may need to approach them some time in the future, and if you burn all your bridges now, then you are stuffed.

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Doesn't sound like a problem at all.

by reynoldsjea In reply to Advice on refusing unwant ...

You're happy in your job and your home? Say so "thank you for thinking of me, but I'm happy where I'm at!"

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