Why I Turned Down a Six-Figure Job Offer

Toward the end of last summer I received a private message on LinkedIn from a contact named ‘Ted’* I had made here in Grand Rapids several years ago.  Ted was a guest speaker at a seminar I attended.  He and I were never close – and it’s safe to say I don’t know him well.  Shortly after the seminar, Ted departed the Grand Rapids area for San Francisco and ended up working for a startup, which has since become very well known in the world of digital marketing.  I won’t mention it by name*, but you’ve likely heard of it, as well as its founder, who is one of the major players in this realm.

*I am not trying to be vague – I just feel it’d be in bad taste to blatantly brag about turning down an opportunity with such a high-profile firm by mentioning them or their founder by name.

I receive inquiries every now and then from various recruiters looking for in-house SEO help.  I almost always decline to entertain the opportunities for the simple reason that I am not looking to quit what I am doing to take a full time job, and the salary for these positions usually isn’t anything special anyhow.  But when Ted reached out initially, I was intrigued given the firm involved, especially considering that they’d just secured $12 million in new investor funding.  Ted told me he’d been following my progression over the past several years which is why he thought of me when this opportunity came down the pipeline.  The total compensation package was well into the six figures with incentives for even more based on performance.  It was briefly exciting and I gave the proposal a little consideration, but it didn’t take long to realize that turning this down was the correct decision.

The job responsibilities would have been a challenge, and the requirement of commuting to San Francisco on at least a monthly basis was a huge drawback.  But the main reason for turning this down was actually pretty simple.  As attractive as the compensation package was, I like where things are at with business and my relationships with my clients.  I didn’t come this far to simply abandon them by closing up shop for a salary I will likely reach on my own anyway sooner or later.

The reason I am sharing this is not to brag – although I will admit it does feel good to be on the radar of at least one of this industry’s premier companies.  I just wanted to take this opportunity to demonstrate not only my commitment to my clients, but my associates as well, without whom I wouldn’t be able to provide the level of service and results you’ve come to expect.