I Turned Down a Job Offer Worth $10,000/Year More

Rachel Yerks

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Recently I had the unique pleasure of receiving not one, but two job offers on the same day. In fact, one was left via voicemail right in the middle of my second, in-person job offer.

I planned for this possibility ahead of time. I decided, if offered, I would accept the in-person offer immediately as I wanted the position more.

It’s still important to note the other position would have been worth nearly $10,000/year more in annual salary. That’s a lot of money.

Why would I give up nearly $10,000?

Here’s my reasoning. Maybe you’ll agree I made the right choice.

1. Community and Co-workers

As many of you know, I am a firm believer in liking what you do. I had a lovely experience as a COVID-19 Contact Tracer where I only lasted two weeks.

After that, I was extremely lucky to be offered a lucrative contract with NewsBreak. I absolutely loved my year and a half writing restaurant reviews here, but then it became time to move on for the sake of my health (you can only eat so much takeout). I'll still be writing here in my free time, though!

I also wanted to see some of my co-workers face-to-face instead of being 100% remote.

The job I chose is at a lovely local university. All the people I met are kind, intelligent, and seem to love their jobs. The campus is beautiful. There are plenty of staff events to get to know everyone, and it reminds me of my time spent at university back in New Jersey.

The other position was at a startup. The staff was far smaller and spread out across multiple states. It would be an environment outside of my comfort zone, as I’ve never worked at a startup before, nor experienced one. The position itself also had much more responsibility that I did not feel prepared for.

2. Work/Life Balance

The university job I picked is absolutely lovely. I’m thrilled with my decision. It’s a consistent 40 hours per week, with rare, fun evening and weekend events.

I wanted a job where I had plenty of free time and I would work similar hours to my boyfriend. The whole point of spending your life with someone is being able to enjoy lots of time with them. I also see us staying in this region for quite some time, perhaps indefinitely, and this position certainly isn’t going anywhere.

Writing is important to me, and I wanted a job that would give me time for my passion. Although I won’t be chasing high-powered contracts anymore, I can still blog here for fun.

The startup position admitted I would need to address press inquiries outside of business hours quite regularly. I had a hunch the stressful nature of the job would also bleed into my evenings.

I desired a position where I could separate from work at the end of the day. I think it’s important for a healthy life. I am reaping the benefits from my new job now, and I am thrilled with my decision.

3. Commute

Ah yes, the all-important commute.

I am a new driver and a nervous one at that. Granted, I am not a bad driver, but I don’t like to drive very much. My new, round-trip commute is under 40 minutes. Yippee!

The route is also straight through my neighborhood and hits all of our regular haunts. It is excellent for building my driving confidence and helping me get out in the neighborhood a bit more.

The other position would require me to ride the metro for approximately 50 minutes round-trip, not to mention the time waiting for trains and the 4–5 blocks of city walking I’d need to do as well.

4. Benefits

I’m not going to get into the nitty-gritty with benefits, as it would be far too specific. Both employers were lovely and I’m grateful I had such competitive and generous offers.

However, it is very hard to beat a school where benefits are concerned.

I’ll admit, I didn’t hear the numbers on the benefits for the startup position as I had already declined the offer at that point, but it would have been almost unbelievable for them to match what the university offered. The benefits are likely worth more than the annual salary difference.

Final Thoughts

I am so grateful I had two excellent offers, within the same day no less. Everyone was so kind to me. One organization certainly offered a better salary and a trendy place to work, but I believe the other offered me the life I truly want.

For those of you still on the job hunt, really try to get those in-person interviews. I applied to 30+ positions, but the only two that were willing to give me in-person interviews both offered me the position.

Although writing is no longer my full-time job, my hobby writing articles will probably increase. However, my NewsBreak profile will not have any new restaurant reviews unless I have a truly amazing burger somewhere. Let me know if there are some places in Maryland I still need to try out and I'll make some exceptions!

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Owings Mills, MD
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