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Submitted by kjfinkes on


I was 'asked to resign' (fired) last month and have been working my network since then for opportunities. BTW--keep that network fresh folks, it is a huge safety net for your career.

I've recently went through a short interview process with a local non-profit for an executive position. There are a few flags about the role (not a tough screening, high staff turnover below the director level, some local political tension between the executive director and major funders, and a couple of previous employees with mixed feelings about the leader). Plenty of positives as well: autonomy to hire/staff, complete strategic control, room for growth, financials are in order, top compensation, etc.

My question is this: should I be looking for a reason to say no to this role; similarly to when I'm hiring my own staff and I'm looking for a reason to say no to an interviewee?

It's the only offer pending, but it's early in the game. I know that I'll need to make a decision on my own, just curious about general guidance for the above question.

timrutter's picture

Firstly, well done on all the hard work over the last few years keeping your network warm. It's paying off now. I didn't and I'm paying for it in pain untold!

My advice would be to start in a neutral mindset rather than default to reject mode. You've identified what you like about the role and you've identified what concerns you. Can you change those negatives once in post? Can you live with them if you cannot change them?

Don't be afraid to politely decline the role on one side and on the other, no role will be perfection.


kjfinkes's picture
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I've decided to accept.  The risks are what they are and there is plenty of opportunity to grow the organization.  Thanks for the advice Tim.

I've been using my inner circle of my network to pressure test this decision.  There are four other opportunities out there that are viable...but all very early/no offers.  That makes this one an even tougher decision as two of those are very intriguing...but it's awfully hard to cash a check that doesn't exist.

A few folks have suggested that I accept and continue to look, and if something better comes along take it.  I'm sure that happens but I hope that all MT/CT listeners would disagree with that counsel--especially for roles above the entry level.  


timrutter's picture

Don't you feel better now you've made the decision?

That's great that you've got some trusted counsel, weighed it up and have decided to throw yourself into the role. The very best of luck to you with it. 

I totally agree with you about the 'pending' offers. You can't say no to a job offer you don't have. Now onto the First Day In a New Role podcast!


John White's picture
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How has the position been?