My employer is impressed enough with my work that they want to promote me into a position which would ordinarily make for a great career move. I, however, am planning on leaving in a little over a year to earn a degree in a completely different field, and thus have no interest in the job (for reasons explained after the jump.) How do I diplomatically tell them no without jeopardizing my current position, and how much, if any, of my future plans do I mention to them?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (16 answers total)
I work in the IS department for a large company and, at the moment, am lucky enough to do decent work and still leave at 5:00 PM most nights (with a small amount of occasional night and weekend work that everyone is expected to do.) Later this week, I'll be having a meeting with my boss where she's essentially going to make a sales pitch for another job which under normal circumstances, would be ideal for someone in my position (far more visibility among the higher-ups, greater responsibility, increased salary, etc...)
The problem is that I don't want the job, and (other than the truth, of course) I can't think of a legitimate reason to explain why. In a little over a year I hope to be in school full time pursuing a nursing degree. At the moment, I'm taking all the prerequisite courses needed to even apply to these programs, and much of my nights and weekends are spent in class and/or studying. I have been doing this for the past year or so (taking one or two classes a semester) and have thus far done a pretty good job of managing both school and work. However, with this new job comes a lot more responsibility as well a good deal more after hours work. I wouldn't be able to accept the position and not have either school or work suffer.
I already know I'm not going to accept the position. I have no desire stay in the IT field after ten years in it (two and a half at this job), and the idea of being a nurse really appeals to me on many different levels. I'm just not sure how I should tell my boss no. Assuming, for the moment, that I wasn't planning on going into nursing, and that I was an upwardly mobile worker bee with high ambition and a desire for a larger salary, there should be no reason for me not take this job (aside from the increased hours, which I can assure you, are seen as necessary growing pains for future rewards down the road. They aren't really, but that's how it'll be portrayed.) I'd thought about telling her that I really like the work I'm doing now, and that maintaining a work/life balance is important to me, but then I keep thinking if I were a manager, is that what I'd really want to hear? Does a manager/director really want an employee on their team who, while doing good work, is content to stay exactly where he is as long as things remain status quo, especially if that person could be of greater value to the company elsewhere?
So, I guess my question is, how do I tell my boss no without jeopardizing the position I have now? Do I *gasp* actually tell them about my future plans? On the surface, that would seem (to me at least) to be a pretty stupid thing to do. It's essentially telling them that I have no real interest in my job or the company, and that I'm using them for a paycheck. On the other hand, my position will be a tough one to fill (similar positions have taken them months to fill, even in this economy) and, although I don't owe it to them, I'm sure they'd appreciate the extra notice. Or, do I simply say, "I'm flattered that you're considering me for this position, but for personal reasons I really have to decline" and just leave it at that, essentially making them guess?
What say you, hivemind? If you were a manager, what response would be least likely to raise your suspicions and allow me to stay where I currently am?
Thanks in advance.