Reasons for accepting job offer

Over coffee recently with a good friend (& business partner for nearly 20 years prior to both our retirements), we were putting the world to rights & the conversation got around to how we came to accept our first jobs.

These were both in the insurance industry, his in Norwich in the late 1960s & mine in Maidstone in 1973.

We both had two firm job offers from large & well known insurance companies. Obviously we carefully checked the financial security of the companies, assessed their future prospects & took careful note of their environmental & diversity policies before making our decisions.

My friend chose Royal Insurance over Norwich Union because Royal gave luncheon vouchers & Norwich Union didn’t.

I chose General Accident over Royal as the morning bus stopped directly outside their office as opposed to a couple of hundred yards from the Royal office.

On these moments were great careers forged…

What were your reasons?


Interesting. I joined House of Fraser on strength of being given day release to do a professional qualification at college. It was poor pay and i was totally unsuited to retail. I hated it for 3 years. I got my qualification and left. Never looked back and 40 years later I can say I have had a very successful career.

Professional qualifications?

Your priorities at the time were all wrong…

Reinsurance - just finished my o-levels at 17 me mum worked in the business. So took a summer job there and never went back to school but retired at 55 - Reinsurance better than being in a rock n’ roll band.


In my early life, lived in Rotherham, Yorkshire.
In those days, the general rule when leaving school was that you either went to the steelworks or down the pits (coal mining).
My father was a senior engineer in steelworks. And I was in rebellious mood, decided to go the other route, so down the pits I went

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In my early career it was all about the highest salary. We didnt have much money, and had plenty of debt.

Mid career now, have worked very hard, spent too long on planes and away from my loved ones, sacrificed much. Now its about the most interesting and stimulating project, not working with A holes, and without much travel!

I chose the hospital I did my first training in due to enjoying a party there. Probably not the best reason, but it did lead on to an interesting, varied, enjoyable career and to my mind successful career if not greatly financially rewarding.

I joined the Army because I wanted a shiny badge on my hat and I fancied playing with guns.


I turned down an offer from BNFL and the scientific civil service before being mislead into becoming an environmental health officer. What a misleading name!

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Interesting thread!

I always wanted to be in science. At school my favourite subject was biology, and as time passed I decided I quite fancied being a vet. (This was before James Heriot on TV, and knowledge of the realities of what it involves to be a vet!). Next, a combination of circumstances: 1) ‘O’ levels came and I failed biology (my favourite subject and I was so good at it! With hindsight I should have requested confirmation/review, however school let me go on to do Zoology ‘A’ level without resitting. 2) So started lower sixth - at the end of which I failed most of the school’s internal end of year exams (unsurprising as I did no revision at all - too busy listening to music on my newly diy constructed hifi system!) 3) School and I didn’t like each other very much, and hadn’t for several years - they kept telling me to cut my hair, and every now and then spotted my discrete modifications of the strict requirements of school uniform (this was 1960s!). 4) For summer hols between lower and upper sixth I got a job in a record company in London (Kinney record group - representing Warner amongst others). Receiving results of the end of lower sixth exams prompted some soul-searching, and the consequence, by mutual agreement, was that I would leave school.

In those days it was easy to get day-release to get qualifications part time. Assisted by my mother, highly disappointed but knowledgeable about these things, I set about seeking a “proper” job - in science of course. Without a biology qualification next best was chemistry, and so I sought and found a lab job in chemistry lab, specialising in ion exchange water treatment.

So I accepted the job because it gave me a job in science, with a path to gain qualifications to further my carreer.

And thus started the path to what, after my second change of employer, was suddenly to become realisation that I’d stumbled across “this is the job for I” - the perfect job for me, a true career and vocation. And so I developed and attained the highest qualification in advanced applied analytical chemistry in the world. That included gaining a deep understanding of law and ability to interpret and apply it, and led to extensive experience as legal expert witness, an arena in which I thrived, I was appointed President of a professional Association. I achieved headship and leadership of several laboratories. And, driving it all, knowledge that I truly could - and did - make a difference. All by accident!

(@Camphuw, I know your profession well!)


Possibly not, but beats being an accountant…

OK. Apologies to all accountants.

Oh believe me it was - paid a fortune and you got to retire early what a job.

@paulbysea @CBR600

Definitely up there with luncheon vouchers & bus stops!

In that case your gain was probably Pink Floyds loss?

I suppose as they say, “Someone’s got to do it”.

Yeh. Then after 8 years underground, I was a product of thatcher and Normal tebbit.
With all the Arthur Scargill strikes. I did what tebbit suggested, got on my bike and moved to London and changed careers. To the heath sector.

After about 200 job applications I was only offered one job. Luckily it was a reasonable fit with my PhD. Unfortunately I had to move 400 miles and live separately from my wife for a year while she finished her own PhD.

Interesting thread. First job was chosen because aged 16 at the end of summer term I felt a bit fed up and walked across the road from the school and in through the gates of a GKN company. They offered and I accepted a technical apprenticeship with day release. School was upset (I was intended for sixth form), parents were upset (older bro had gone on to Uni). Turned out well in the end, became a metallurgist, got some further studying in over the years and ended up affording silly plastic play cars and expensive hifi.

Very early 70’s, I Was doing a project on the Commandos at school. Near end of 3rd year so was not quite 15. Thought it would be a good idea to go and get a pamphlet from ACIO so I could use the pictures, no home IT in those days. Got a pamphlet but also came out with an appointment for a medical. So aged 15 and a few weeks went off to an Army Apprenticeship. Kept me employed until just before I turned 55. Good jobs, lots of good colleagues, been to a few places some better than others.


Reading your post, I was reminded of the famous army recruitment poster of the seventies which was something like this, with one slight addition:-

" Join the army, play lots of sport, travel the world, meet interesting people…& kill them".