Kent Sanders | Unlock Your Creative Potential

Unlock Your Creative Potential

Don’t Take That Job! 4 Reasons to Turn Down a Promotion

This is a guest post by Melissa AuClair. Spending time working on art and creativity isn’t an indulgence — it’s an important part of growing and becoming the person you were created to be. Melissa encourages and teaches how to develop the creative self through tutorials and courses at Launch Your Creative Life.  

Add subtitle text (8)

“What do you think? Are you interested in the position?”

I stopped walking, the phone frozen to my ear as I tried to process what my boss was asking me. My mind tried to process the information as I stuttered an answer about asking for a little time to consider it.

The job offer was a great opportunity for more than one reason. I doubt I could get the position without being in the company. I’m not the ideal candidate, I’m an RN by trade, not an account manager. But my boss had heard through the proverbial grapevine I was interested and he knew I could be capable. There was more money involved–more than double my current income–more perks, more opportunity to work in different areas and climb the career ladder.

I got off the phone and sat down. After about two minutes of thought, I sent an email to my boss, thanking him for thinking of me and letting him know I wouldn’t be pursuing this path into sales.

Five years ago, I would have jumped at doubling my income with a job change. Now, I turned it down. What changed my mind?

I can think of five reasons I knew in my heart this wasn’t the job path I needed to follow. It was going to split my energy and move me away from goals I was pursuing. You may be up to a similar fork in the road.

The next time you’re up for a promotion or receive a job offer, think about these four reasons for not taking the opportunity.

1. There’s enough funds for life right now and a change in jobs could hurt the relational priorities in your life.

Don’t take a job solely for the paycheck. A promotion in a company may bring more money but it comes at a price. The price may be taking on more responsibility, stress, time away from home, increased traveling and more expectations. Is this in alignment with where you want to go in life?

As much as possible, know what you’re getting before you sign the dotted line. Is it worth it? Will it take away time from a young children or a new relationship? The elementary age children grow up so fast.

I chose to turn down this offer. If the offer came to you, you might accept it. Having the ability to not feel the need to grab at a bigger paycheck in order to pursue other life goals is empowering . Feeling the pressure to take a job for money to keep up with lifestyle costs is a prison.

2. The promotion may not match your strengths.

Does this promotion change with the person you are becoming? A job doesn’t have to be your “everything” but it should be helping you grow as a person even as you help the company grow. If the thought of sitting at a desk for eight hours drives you mad and your talents are better used in building relationships and training people, don’t take the cubicle job!

Ever feel like a square peg forcing yourself through a round hole? Most of us have had at least one job where we didn’t fit. As hard as we may work to learn, change, and grow in a skill set where we’re only average, even the best results are not inspiring.

Average is not what we’re going for in life.

3. Every change away from your life pursuit takes away time, energy, and precious resources from the main thing.

We can only handle learning so many new tasks at the same time. A new job and career pivot means others things won’t get done. Check out Greg Mckeown’s book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less for an in-depth look at the benefits of focus.

4. Momentum takes time to build and sustain. Be careful what is pulling from your momentum.

Think of momentum as going up a big roller coaster. The initial climb up takes energy, focus, and time, but once the ride gets going, your hair is blowing back from your face and you can’t slow down. That’s the roller coaster with the steep slide.

Now consider the roller coaster that twists and turns in different directions. Its velocity never gets near the intensity of the roller coast that runs in the same direction down the steep hill.

We want our lives to be like the fast roller coaster with the majority of our energy and focus in a few key areas.

In conclusion, each of us will have more opportunities that we can dive into in our lives.

In today’s shrinking global world, it can be tempting to follow what looks best right now. But as a mentor and Bible teacher told me, “You can do a few things well, but you cannot do a thousand things to the glory of God.” As the years go by, each of us becomes more aware of how fleeting time is going and how hard it is to grow a life of significance.

When I die one day, the details of my work may be unimportant. But I want to have left an impression on my young nephews, siblings, friends, and others in my sphere of influence. I want to leave a legacy about caring for the right people deeply and intently. I want to have substance. Substance happens with practice and focus and work.

It’s more important to create a life than get money right now.

How about you? Is your life characterized by a movement in a focused direction? Are you building a body of work? Is 2015 the year that excess activities get eliminated so you can focus on what truly matters?

About Kent Sanders

I help people unlock their God-given creative potential. I live with my wife and son in St. Peters, MO. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or YouTube.

  • Melissa AuClair

    Thanks for having me as a guest Kent. This post could have been titled, “Why It’s Easier to Make Decisions in the Thirties.” It’s good to have a better grasp of my “why.” Thank you for the resources you share with the artist community. Glad to know you.

    • Thanks Melissa – so glad you were able to share the post with our readers! There is a lot of wisdom here. And that’s definitely true about how it’s easier to make decisions as you get older (at least, it’s mostly been true for me). I’m uh…not in my 30’s anymore…ahem…but I know myself a lot better these days and it’s easier to say no to things when needed.

      By the way, your “Create Everyday” book is very cool. Where did you get the cover designed?

      • Melissa AuClair

        Thank you 🙂 I ordered my cover from the guys at -They use a stockphotography site- I pick the picture and they turn it into a cover.

        • Very cool, thanks — I will definitely keep them in mind for a book project I have coming up!