Job offer that I think I need to turn down. Advice?


#1

I have a situation and I am not sure how to handle it. I hope this is the best place to post this since it’s a “family” related thing.

I know that I will be out of a job in January, I found out a week ago that my workplace is undergoing a reorg with a change in senior management. So I’ve been aggressively applying for jobs.

I have an offer (to interview I think, although the e-mail isn’t clear) for a job that I barely qualify for, but am interested in. I didn’t apply for this job at all, I applied for another job at this company. The e-mail is from a company recruiter.

The problem is that the job is a two hour commute from where I live (on a good day… this is accounting for traffic). I don’t mind commuting, but I also have a daughter to think of. I did some time crunching and it’s flat out impossible for me to drop her off at school (she’s only 6) work a normal 8 hour day, and pick her up before the after school care closes at 6pm if I have this commute. I already asked if telecommuting were an option and I was told no. I can’t relocate or else I might lose custody of my daughter (if I move out of the county, custody is back up for negotiation).

I feel like I need to politely turn down this position, but I want the company to consider me for other positions, closer to home. Any suggestions? My thought was to reply to the e-mail saying something like, “I regret that I must decline applying for the position at this time due to the location of the job site, but I hope that you will consider me for other openings at ____ company.”

That just sounds so cheesy, but I don’t want to explain in detail that it just won’t work out. I don’t even know the correct terminology since it’s not really an offer (again, I don’t think, the language isn’t clear, but I can’t see them offering me a job sans interview and meeting me in person).

I am almost wishing they didn’t contact me about this particular job. It would be a great company to work for, but I feel if I turn them down on this, they won’t contact me again.


#2

I suggest you keep the interview or try to do a phone interview with HR. Ask about the position you applied for, try to feel out how and why you were selected to interview for the other position, and then explain that you are interested in the original position you applied for, and although also interested in the one they called you for, you cannot commute that distance for the other job.

They may have already filled the one you applied for, or they think you are overqualified, and then sent your resume to other hiring managers.

That’s a good sign. It means your resume appealed to them to the point where they wanted to consider you for other things.

**So, don’t send an email rejecting this interview or trying to explain everything. **

Use this offer of an interview as an opportunity to meet with people face to face, explore the opportunity, explore the other opportunities, let them get to know you and want you.

Then they might be willing to work with you on your schedule or possibly letting you work in the office in your town certain days and only go into that other office a few days a month, etc.

Meet face to face. Get a foot in the door. See where it goes. If they only want to offer you the one job, and can’t make any accomodations, then you can simply decline the offer. But, wait until the very end to do that.


#3

How is your relationship with your ex-wife? Is she angry at you and would try to use any excuse to gain more custody or would she try to work with you around this? Potentially losing custody of your daughter is a huge issue and I personally would not risk it…
It sounds like you are already leaning towards turning down the offer for an interview for that and other reasons. If you truly are barely qualified, they will find out in the interview and could easily pick someone else. I don’t know what industry you are in, but right now there are about 100 applicants for every job in teaching so the competition is very fierce. Right now my school has a man with a master’s degree in counseling working as a part-time teacher assistant because it is the only thing he could get.
The commute would also be rough. It’s two-hours one way, right? During my student teaching internship I worked at a school 1 1/2 hours from my house, and 3 hours of daily driving left me no time at all for myself, and I couldn’t have done it long-term. I also had to fill up my car every other day.
I like your idea for what to put in a reply email. If they sent you an interview offer for a position you did not apply for directly, it already means they are considering you for other positions and this would encourage them to keep it up.
Being out a job is scary, but not every job offer is worth taking because not every job offer would be right for you.


#4

I would attend the interview if I were you. The job I have now is not the job that I interviewed for, that job was given to someone else and I was given a better one. I was of two minds to attend the interview but I really needed to move on from the job that I had at the time (to avoid stagnation nothing else). They loved me and saw potential in me that there was no re-interview just the decision to offer me the job, I got a promotion 6 months later.

You never know what can happen. Interview for the job before you but when asked (they usually ask) mention the scheduling conflicts(the interview version). Talk up all you high points for both this job and any other that would suit you but make sure to stick to this job. If the opportunity presents itself mention other openings that you know they have that suit you and your situation, they might be impressed by your knowledge of the company. As you said you barely qualify for the position they may see you as better qualified for something else which may suit you.

Interviewers sometimes ask if you see any problems, especially if they note your address and figure out the distance, they want punctual employees.

Interview version is the simplified, no drama version. No mention of court or custody disputes, just your responsibility to your daughter and any difficulties in arranging supervision, and transport, etc.


#5

First off, thank you 1ke and Charlotte for the answers. (EDIT and Trin too). I like the idea of interviewing anyway… so I am not closing a door too soon. It’s probably what was nagging at me. The recruiter said no telecommuting was possible, but I suppose if nothing else, practicing interviewing would be good. I will be sure to point out my concerns about being punctual.

I am “the ex-wife” :smiley:

My relationship with my husband (we are separated, but not yet divorced) is okay. He’s the one who walked out on the marriage, so he’s happy about the situation.

But he is completely unreliable. Many times he’s canceled his parenting time last minute or just plain forgets. I am not sure if he would try to take custody (he flat out didn’t want custody when we separated–he wanted to be “Free”). But he’s also a bit unpredictable and spontaneous and who knows what he might decide. He’s already tried to breech and push the limits of the separation agreement we signed sometimes returning our daughter very late on school nights (with me worried sick trying to reach him). Honestly, I just don’t trust him.

It is a two hour one-way commute (so four hours total). And again, that’s assuming good traffic, no accidents, etc.

If I can sell my house, it’s possible to move to another area of the county and be closer to this job. That would shave 45 minutes (one way) off the commute. I am in the process of putting the house on the market.


#6

Why can't you move even closer to the job? Why do you have to live in a specific county? My wife and I have moved 3 times due to employment changes. It happens and its better to do it when you have a choice than when you don't.


#7

[quote="SamH, post:6, topic:217599"]
Why can't you move even closer to the job? Why do you have to live in a specific county? My wife and I have moved 3 times due to employment changes. It happens and its better to do it when you have a choice than when you don't.

[/quote]

I can move if I can sell the house. I can't really afford a mortgage and rent. I mentioned that later on in another post. I am in the process of putting the house on the market now. Moving would shave 45 minutes off the commute and that would be doable. The job won't pay to relocate me since I am already considered local.

I suppose I don't have to stay in the county, but under the separation agreement, if I either of us move out of the county, we have to open up child custody to the courts. While I doubt I would lose custody, there is always that threat--especially if I am the one moving away. So it would be a gamble. I would rather work the lowest, minimum wage job and live on a shoe string rather than lose custody.

Of course, this is all assuming I get the job. Like I said, I think they just want to interview me (although they didn't say it that way, the e-mail was literally, "Are you interested in ___ (job)?"


#8

Jesus,our Lords peace be whit You.
As always,I do not read the ansvers You already have got,I don't want to compromise my integrity and honesty. My advice,tell them te truth,what ever You do in Your life,tell the truth. Only time You don't tell the truth is when it might hurt someone,but even the:confess.


#9

Go to the interview and try and present yourself in the best light. You have no idea what might happen if you have a strong first interview. Do not discuss the issues with caring for your family because you will have plenty of time to discuss those issues later.

The job might not be ideal for you but it might be a good short term option or perhaps they will have another position to offer you. It is always easier to find a job when you have a job and many companies are simply not interested in even giving you an interview if you’re unemployed. You definitely want to keep all of your options open.


#10

You can always try house-swaping or simply renting the house out. If you're connected in the community you may find a family who needs the space and is willing to rent to cover the mortgage. You wouldn't really benefit but you'd not be loosing out, either.


#11

I would go to the interview, but definitely don't take that job. You will know more about the company once you meet the HR person face-to-face, and you will make an impression upon him/her as well. Explain the situation (not in detail, just that you cannot do a 2 hour commute every day). I realize it is a very tough time in the economy and if it's a choice between nothing and this, perhaps there is a way to make it work, but...:shrug:

I would also not advise you to move for this job. That takes your daughter away from her father. It's one thing if he is not reliable, it's another if she is totally separated from him.

I wish you the best in your job search! Keep praying!


#12

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:11, topic:217599"]
I would go to the interview, but definitely don't take that job. You will know more about the company once you meet the HR person face-to-face, and you will make an impression upon him/her as well. Explain the situation (not in detail, just that you cannot do a 2 hour commute every day). I realize it is a very tough time in the economy and if it's a choice between nothing and this, perhaps there is a way to make it work, but...:shrug:

I would also not advise you to move for this job. That takes your daughter away from her father. It's one thing if he is not reliable, it's another if she is totally separated from him.

I wish you the best in your job search! Keep praying!

[/quote]

Good advice.


#13

Thank you everyone. I told them I was interested in meeting with them to learn more about the job.

I've given it careful thought, assuming they will give it to me is really counting my chickens before the eggs are even laid... but if for some reason I am lucky and they offer me the job, I will make it known that I can only do it if telecommuting is an option early on (until I can move to the other end of the county where the commute will be a lot less). That move would not take my daughter too far from her father (it would not interfere with his ability to spend time with her or even drop by during the week, etc. In fact, since he's centrally located, if wouldn't change a thing for him except what house she's at) We specifically agreed with each other that we could both freely move within the county.

I don't know exactly how house swapping works, but I am not sure I want to deal with strangers possibly damaging a house I want to sell. Although it was a very good idea (just not for me).


#14

I agree with everyone else who said you should go to the interview. The HR will be able to tell you what other options there are for dealing with the commute moreso than a recruiter. Maybe they'll be so impressed with you they'll do whatever you ask!

Good luck! I hope everything works out.


#15

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