Honest Reflection on a Job Change

We are social animals. Culture and norms nudge our behaviors toward being part of a team or at least not disrupting the herd too much. But one of the most important times to be selfish is during a job change. It’s vital to maximize these changes for every market value dollar out there. It’s so uncomfortable though. It’d be better if this really was a free agent nation.

With that said, a friend of mine, we’ll call him Jason Peters, was nice enough to answer a few questions about his job change.
I’d like to make this interview format a running segment on the blog, so if others want to email in their answers, please feel free.

Now that the process is over, how satisfied are you? Is there anything you felt you left on the table?
-I think I got what I deserved and I’m very satisfied with my decision.  Granted it’s only been 3 weeks.
What about the process was something you never considered or thought about?
-I went to a direct competitor which makes everything more difficult.  No 2 week notice, they want you gone that day.  It’s touchy discussing specifics even though you feel you have an obligation to explain your decision.  It was also difficult because my former employer wanted to counter offer and my future employer wanted me to sign on the dotted line.  Luckily I had a little time but that was very nerve racking.
How long did it take from start to finish?
-From first call to hire it took nearly 1 1/2 months.
How many interviews (formal and informal)?
-2 with the the recruiting firm, 1 on the phone with my direct manager, 1 in person with my direct manager, 1 with VP of Sales, 1 with President of Sales and Marketing.  
Were you close to leaving before?
-Not really.  I was always causally looking and had a few interviews here and there.
How long were you at your previous job?
-4 1/2 years
What is the  ideal length to be in a role for a job (2 years, 5 years, …)?
– I think that depends on the overall satisfaction of your job.  Although i think it’s probably healthy for most people to alter/change jobs every 3 years or so, there’s 3 area’s in which I focus on primarily to answer that question.
1. Am I making the money I deserve?
2. Do I enjoy what I do?
3. Do I have a good work/life balance?
What was the main reason for leaving – money, change, career advancement?
– Hands down, money.
What about the negotiation process was interesting?
– I liked the fact that I had a recruiter negotiating/relaying my requests.  It’s never healthy to haggle over salary/vacation with your soon to be employer.
What did you learn for next time?
-Aim even higher!
What type of monetary increase did you expect and get (in relation to your market value)?
-I think I did really well.  My salary increased 35%  and I should easily increase my bonuses by 300%!
What about the human element of this process? Are there people you’re going to miss and are there hard feelings about the departure?
– Absolutely.  I had great relationships with my coworkers.  Since I moved to a competitor I may even lose a good friend over it.
What necessitated your departure? Timeliness? Advancement in qualifications (schooling/certification)? Someone blocking your advancement?
Well, because of the timing of departure of a predecessor, and completion of my MBA, I was ready to move on.  I was very unsatisfied with my compensation and felt like I couldn’t afford to work there anymore.  I was also getting bored.


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