I was recently asked to relocate offices (I work at a mid-sized law firm). The relocation would be something of a promotion based on the work I’d get to do and the people I’d get to work with. I was asked because the other office is very busy and has more work than capacity at the moment. If I were single, I’d probably say yes. Or least strongly consider it. But I’m engaged to a wonderful man who is not enthusiastic about the idea of uprooting his life and his career to follow me to a smaller city with less opportunity for him. My question is, how do you turn down an offer for relocation without appearing to be uncommitted to your job? I want to signal that I love my job and appreciate the opportunity, but that it’s not the right time or circumstances for me.
I had a similar situation come up when I started dating my husband — a company I would have loved to work for started heavily recruiting me, even offering to train me in an area I was eager to get into. The catch: it was all the way across the country. I’ve always endeavored to stay in the same time zone as my family, but with the addition of this new guy I’d started dating (only two months in at that point!) it was an easy decision: I turned it down outright. At the time I felt like a bad feminist, a bad overachieving chick, a bad…everything, but I have no regrets. (Of course, hindsight is 20/20.) Along similar lines, I know that my father turned down fairly major career opportunities when my brother and I were in high school because it would have meant uprooting the family to a foreign country. [Read more...]