Since you already established your ‘ideal opportunity’, you declined to interview for positions or with companies which may not have met your desires. You focused your time and attention only on those opportunities which met your minimum expectations.
In the process of interviewing with your ‘ideal companies’, you were contacted by a recruiter who presented to you another very interesting opportunity. The recruiter told you up-front that his client would not be able to meet your salary and benefit expectations, and that the job title simply doesn’t sound as prominent as the others (although it held the same level of responsibility). However, the company was very well-respected in their space, treated their employees extremely well, and offered several intangible benefits. You initially declined to interview with the recruiter’s client. However, after further discussion with your spouse, you called the recruiter back and asked if he could still arrange an interview for you.
All of your interviews went very well and resulted in three job offers: two from your ‘ideal companies’ (Company A and Company B), and one from the recruiter’s client (Company C). The opportunities at both Company A and Company B had the appropriate position title and the compensation was 10% above your current salary. Company C had what sounded like an inferior position title and the salary offered was a 5% increase over your current salary, but it did include bonus potential. Since Company C did not meet your pre-determined expectations, you immediately declined their offer. Company A and Company B then began pressuring you for an answer. When you explained that you were considering more than one opportunity, Company B increased their offer to a salary that was 20% (wow!) above your current salary and they included an additional week of paid time off.
You were so excited that Company B’s offer was way beyond your expectations. Company A was not willing to increase their initial offer and it remained at 10% above your current salary. You felt your choice was an easy one. You accepted Company B’s offer and in two weeks you started earning 20% more in salary and an additional week of vacation per year. It was like a dream come true!
Fast-forward… You’ve been on the job at Company B for 4 weeks, which has given you plenty of time to get a real feel for the place. You quickly learned that your new employer was experiencing substantial turnover. The work load was enormous and the remaining employees had to pick up the slack. There was significant pressure to meet project deadlines (that were established well before you joined). This all translated into having to work 60 hours per week on a regular basis. In addition, the company was so big that very few members of management even knew your name and certainly weren’t recognizing your contributions. What you thought was a dream at the time you accepted the offer turned out to be more like a nightmare!
Growing increasingly unhappy, you called the recruiter whose client had made you an offer that was substantially less. However, what you remembered most about the company when you had interviewed was the people and the work environment. Everyone seemed very happy and worked well together in teams, helping each other by sharing specialized knowledge or by lending an extra hand when projects dictated it. You told the recruiter about your less than ideal situation at your new employer and asked if his client was still hiring and might still be interested in you. The recruiter went to work talking with his client on your behalf and was able to bring the two parties back together again. After a second interview during which you were given the chance to convince them of your sincerity, Company C extended you an offer of employment, again. The terms of the offer were the same as their initial one. You happily accepted Company C’s employment offer and began work two weeks later. It’s been 7 months now and you’re extremely happy with your new employer—the people, the work, the environment.
The moral of this story is that sometimes knowing what you want, and actually getting it can be two very different scenarios!
One great piece of advice to remember in your job search is this: Always keep your options open and be willing to explore opportunities that may appear to be less than your ‘ideal’. Because… “You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need.”
~ Rolling Stones.