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Great job but location?

PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 6:40 am
by STB
For anonymity I will be fussy on specifics. I was contacted by the section head of a research institute, asking if I would be interested to head another section. It's the type of position I planned to move to in the future. I know this is far from a done deal and there will be long interviews etc before this is more than a "nice email".

The position is about a 15-20 hour flight from my current location and in a place I'm not sure I would like to live for a longer period. My response was to say that I'm very interested but that I'm not note sure about undertaking such a long move, and I asked for some time to think about this. I was honest, but I wonder if this was a good response, was it? Note, I have spent 12 years abroad in five different countries and the person who contacted me knows this.

I have planned to reply with some some questions on the position, their timeline and if the hiring committee want me to send them some information. Stating; that I'm interested but that the best would be if they could invite me for an informal interview which would give me a chance to check out the place. How should I frame this last part? I'm afraid it could come off badly ie. -I don't like your city/country...

Any advice is appreciated. My current position is great but there is no room for growth, location is also great it's "home".

Re: Great job but location?

PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 6:52 pm
by Dave Jensen
Hello STB,

Thanks for posting about your opportunity. It sounds intriguing -- but, I'd like to question one part of what you've written.

You indicated that you hadn't considered such a position, because of the location, but that your friend knows that you've had many years in international research with varied global locations. That's great when scientists have this kind of flexibility. It's also a very exciting life.

But you mention that you are going to request an "informal" interview with the organization sending you on a 15 hour flight to get there and look around. I'm not familiar with what makes an "informal" interview . . . To me, any organization investing thousands of $$ in interview expense is not going to want to go forward if the candidate thinks it is going to be informal. That's a bad language choice. Change it to "exploratory" -- you're exploring what the life is like there, and they are exploring your fit for the job. And before you get on the plane, see if you can get a Skype interview accomplished first. You've got to go in with more interest and enthusiasm than you have right now, and passing a Skype or video interview prior to the travel costs the company very little and it gives you both something to build on for the future interview.

My point is that ALL interviews are "formal," especially if there's great cost involved in arranging it. You must show enthusiasm and interest in a job like this or they will detect it and avoid an invitation,


Re: Great job but location?

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 3:45 am
by D.X.

To add to the great Feedback from Dave, on the industry side usually your request is linked to a Job offer and a subsequent offer for you to visit the target Location as apart of your decision making process. In General they will offer such intercontinental visit during the interview process if basically you're their choice and you're good to go.

A comment on Dave's Quote on there is no such Thing as an informal interview correct - however Dave gave the right terminology, usually if there is a Position but I'm not for the Moment interested in a "formal process", I ask for an exploratory discussion to assess mutual Agreement to enter the formal application process (i.e. you're intersted, i'm interested, lets formalize the process).

Regarding your question on career Progression - sometimes its ok to stay parked for a while and enjoy where you are. This is an Age and stage discussion that you have with yourself. At some Point in your career it may become relevant to enjoy where you are for a while provided that you consider that opportunities can come later. I think we in industry often are "growth" focused and sometimes get anxious when we get an offer to move up without thinking much about other meaningful trade-Offs. That's for you to decide. Sometimes putting down roots for a while is relevant desire.

I'm also a expat with permanant residency in current country so i can talk to you about settling in foreign countries Long term if you wish. I've taken decsion not to pursue next step growth opportunities in my home Country as well as other continents (also 15 hour flights) with trade-off of my current Standard of living and Quality of life and statisfaction with current career Progression in my adopted country. The Country I'm in is consistently ranked in the top 5 for Quality of life - true so that also influences my decision.

Comes down to what do you want? And what do you prioritize in life. At least at your age and stage.



Re: Great job but location?

PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 8:41 am
by STB
Thanks Dave and DX for the advice.

I'll think about asking if it's possible for an exploratory meeting. Should I offer to pay the flight? Financially, it would be okay for me to do that. I know the contact person quite well and he knows people I have worked with. I had an interview eight years ago with him but I didn't get an offer. To be honest, that time I didn't do so well on the interview. It was before reading the tooling up articles and the forum. That interview I've marked as my career wake up moment.

About growth, I think for my personal situation two to three more years and I will be more interested to move to a new location.

DX, I think I'm right there as you described "enjoy where you are for a while".

Re: Great job but location?

PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 11:51 am
by Dave Jensen
STB wrote:Thanks Dave and DX for the advice.

I'll think about asking if it's possible for an exploratory meeting. Should I offer to pay the flight?

I think I'd be cautious about jumping in with that. You may be able to afford it, but they might think you are desperate. It could certainly send the wrong message.