CAREER DEVELOPMENT / JAN. 31, 2014
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Why Rejecting a Job Offer From Apple is not Always Stupid

To reject a lucrative job from the world’s tech giants is not a simple thing. But sometimes the big fish isn’t always the best fish. This article will look at the story of Joseph Pigato, Managing Director at Sparked, who rejected an amazing job offer from Apple for a startup. His case reveals that career decisions are never easy to be made and taking the decision to reject a prestigious offer from a world-class firm involves many risks. Nevertheless, after balancing the costs and benefits of the job offered, Joseph opted for an alternative career route, one which gives more meaning to his life and makes him happier.

Joseph testifies that several years ago he received a job offer from Apple after going through seven interviews. Among the most exceptional perks were a solid salary, international travel, being part of an awesome team as well as marketing a world-class brand. At that time, Joseph was consulting for Sparked, a startup that had just proposed him to join the company. He suddenly found himself in a dilemma: to choose a big guy versus a little guy, known around the world versus known around the block, secure salary versus insecure future payout. He turned Apple down.

Here are a few things you can learn from Joseph’s decision-making:

Ask who you are and where you want to take your career

Pigato admits that Apple’s offer forced him to question and potentially recalibrate his career path. He states that “When Apple’s offer came, I began re-examining my ideal career destination. My career thus far has been an interesting ride. I’ve founded and worked at startups most of my career. But Apple offered challenges, rapid growth, great colleagues, and a world-class organisation. As they assured me the transition would be smooth, I realised that reassessing career assumptions is critical. Perspectives and needs change. It doesn’t mean a redirect is always necessary, but thoughtful, continued calibration is

Learn from your career decisions

When making career decisions, the most important thing is to learn from them. If in the end turns out that the choice you didn’t make has been better, then you know more when the next career decision comes. Avoid regret. If you made the wrong decision, understand why, and improve your next decision.

“I’m absolutely happy with my decision to stay with Sparked. Yes, I “missed out” on a great opportunity with Apple, but I had a better opportunity at the time, and I could only pick one. I’m fine with that”.

Give everything to the role you’re in

When Joseph was considering Apple he called his close friend Assaf Tarnopolsky, a fellow entrepreneur and good friend from business school. This guy had abandoned the world of startups to become a Vice President at Sony before leaving for Asia with LinkedIn. Assaf headed to a large firm and never looked back, although he could have easily stayed on the startup path with equal success. Both of them had a difficult decision to make, and interestingly, while they pursued different paths at that time, they both managed to thrive.

Joseph highlights that no matter which career path you follow, “second-guessing yourself won’t help you move forward”. Thinking about all the money he’d given up due to his decision to not go to Apple, Joseph says that “The difference in total compensation between Apple and Sparked would have bought a Jacuzzi filled with champagne. But building a startup in San Francisco is hard to beat. Sparked met all the criteria I was looking for and it has delivered. I’m continuing on a meaningful path that fits who I am and where I want to go”.

All in all, turning down an outstanding job offer with brilliant perks is not an easy decision. But it is important that you relate what the job offered can give you to where you want to be and achieve in life. Whatever your career decision is, make sure you become wiser by learning from it.

 

Image Source: http://about.me/josephpigato

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