Summary: I have two great competing offers, A and B. I would like to politely decline A but also maximize the chances that I can get that offer again later, once work with B is done
I've been browsing the internet for 12 hours now trying to figure out the correct way to decline a dream job (that I'd like to be considered for in the future). In short, I'm declining a professorship to work at a non-profit that desperately needs my help.
I'm trained in a niche field of science related to endangered species, and the non-profit's animal facility is crumbling due to gross negligence of past employees. The non-profit is giving me a fancy title, work-space, underlings etc to get things running smoothly, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't prefer the professorship role (which also pays slightly better than the non-profit).
I'm first and foremost an educator, but I feel a social obligation to past employers/advisers and a moral obligation to the animals to accept this other role (of which only a dozen people in the country are qualified to take).
Additionally, the non-profit offers more job security because, with our economy soon to be tanking, new professors will be booted first when there's low enrollment.
How would you go about declining a dream job?
It seems disingenuous to say I was offered another position that more closely aligns with my career interests and to be honest I'd work both careers if it were physically possible. The hiring team was incredibly kind to me, so I intend to let them know by call rather than by writing a brief email.