I recently turned down a fantastic six-figure job offer in a rising Tech Company, and I feel really good about it.
I’m one of the lucky people that work in a field with a shortage of qualified talent. I get offers for new positions every other day. I usually politely reject them because I already work for one of the greats in the Tech Space.
A few weeks ago, a headhunter that approached things slightly differently from the rest of the crowd contacted me on LinkedIn. He found out what I was interested in, what initiative I get involved with and mentioned these in the note he sent me.
Being approached as a person, an individual with interests, and a life — instead of telling me how fantastic the opportunity was— worked wonders (side note to other headhunters).
Without having had a plan to leave my current role, I found myself in the middle of one of the nicest hiring processes you can imagine: friendly, open potential coworkers, exciting technology, a company on an upward trajectory. I enjoyed every single conversation I had.
Five weeks later, I had an offer on my table that included everything I look for in a job: promising technology, a good customer base in the enterprise space, more travel, as soon as it is possible again, but not too much travel. And of course an excellent package with more money.
I was ready to leave my current employer; I even told my manager that I would quit. But I didn’t.
Why was I thinking about leaving? I work for an excellent Tech Company. The benefits are great. The ethics resonate with me; they have clear diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies. Their handling of the entire pandemic was on point.
But, I’d been in the same role for nearly five years. There had been a lot of management turnover in my little corner of the world and no clear path to advancement or promotion.
I felt stuck in the position I had, invisible within a growing corporate structure, and saw no opportunity to change my situation.
I craved a fresh start with new challenges in a space where I felt I had the power to influence the trajectory.
Recently I had finally gotten a new manager who took an active interest in my development. Still, even with a promotion on the horizon, I felt it was time for a new adventure.
In the best company, with the best intentions, the individual situation might be less satisfying than expected. Your efforts might easily go unnoticed in large corporate structures.
So with the offer on the table, I told my manager I was resigning from my job. Three days later, I had a new position within my current company that ticked the exact same boxes I was looking for, and I stayed.
Let me emphasize: had they only offered me more money, it would have made no difference to my decision. Instead, I got the five things I believe are essential to keep me happy in my job:
As soon as word spread that I was leaving, I got calls from people all along my management chain. Everyone told me they wanted me to stay and asked what they could do to make that happen. They made me feel they truly valued my contribution to the company and didn’t want to lose me.
My managers tried to understand my reason for leaving and what exactly I was looking for in the new position I was planning to take. When they realized I was feeling stagnant, underappreciated, and looking for a new challenge, not necessarily for a new company, they offered to find something suitable.
New Tasks And Responsibilities
I need new challenges to grow. Even the most fun thing gets tedious if I repeat it too often.
My current employer works on a lot of exciting new technology, and before last week, I had not understood that I could move from one field to the other.
My ask was that I wanted to focus more on one specific technology, work with larger customers, and travel more in the future. And this is what they found for me.
A great team is pivotal to my success and motivation. Being a part of a joint effort to make something great happen is a strong motivator for me to get up in the morning and look forward to work.
I had enjoyed the interaction with the team I saw at my prospective employer. The atmosphere I experienced made me realize I lacked something in my current situation.
The move into a different, smaller team at my company might be the answer to my need to work in a more cooperative environment.
And yes, money! There was a promotion on the horizon, and that has been finalized. The accompanying pay rise and package put me in the same range I would achieve by leaving. But, I mention money last because I feel it’s not the primary motivator.
A great package is something that might make me join, but it’s not what makes me stay.
I need enough money to pay my bills and not worry. If that need is satisfied, job satisfaction comes from a balance of growth opportunities, appreciation, new things to learn, and a great team.
What I learned from the experience
- I need to be clear about my needs and articulate them
- When thinking of change, I have to evaluate what I am looking for
- Job satisfaction is an effort on both sides; my employer and I need to work on it.
If you want me to remain with you in a field where there is a scarcity of talent, where I am approached with “exciting opportunities” nearly every day, look at my first four points. These are the reasons why I will stay with you.