Open letter to someone I really wanted to work for


I have been a candidate for a 24-hour-a-week social media copywriting position at a nonprofit organization whose mission is very dear to me. The interviewer seemed to think I was the right person for the job, but I was concerned that the scheduling would be too inflexible for implementation of an interactive social media plan—and for keeping up with my freelance business, which would continue to supply about half of my income.

I proposed to the interviewer that I work three six-to-eight-hour days on-site with up to six floating off-site hours for social media engagement. After a couple of weeks to think about it, the interviewer wasn't wrapping her mind around the idea. She said that the floating hours are unnecessary because the organization just schedules social media postings on the off days. I realized that we're light years apart on how social media strategy works and that I was likely to be very frustrated in the position. I decided to withdraw from the hiring process. I am very disappointed. I looked forward to using my skills to advance the organization's mission, and I am confident that I would have done a great job for them.

This post is the email I wrote to withdraw myself from consideration. In a subsequent post, I will write about a hypothetical social media plan I wish I could implement for an organization like this one.

[Interviewer's name],

Thanks for taking time to talk about scheduling.

I am withdrawing from the hiring process. It is clear that our understanding of social media marketing is too different for me to be able to implement an effective strategy for xxxx.

I understand content marketing as an integrated strategy that requires real-time engagement with brand ambassadors, potential partners, media contacts, and other interested members of the community at sometimes unpredictable moments throughout the week. Being inactive on social media for xxxx outside of the three scheduled days would hamstring the marketing efforts that I would be charged with implementing. I don't want to take a job I can't do well.

Also, as you know, half of my income would still need to come from my freelance business, which I would be unable to maintain sufficiently if I needed to go dark with clients three full business days each week.

I am very disappointed to be withdrawing. I was enthusiastically looking forward to using my long-cultivated skills to serve xxxx xxxx xxxx and their families. I hope that I will be able to implement a robustly interactive online content strategy to serve the community elsewhere soon.