Today was my last day at the company after submitting my resignation two weeks earlier. Yesterday was the farewell happy hour from good colleagues at the company.
There was a time where I would not even consider resigning for a different career path, but things have taken a turn. The corporate culture is no longer what it used to be as it is slowly transforming into an office that values corporate drones and scientific management. Any one who tends to have independent thoughts or a relaxed attitude will be viewed as unproductive and looked down by the new power structure.
At the same time, I was contacted by two corporations for open positions. Both companies were well-known and had something different to offer. One company was prestigious, known for their selective hiring practices, and they paid well while the other had a corporate culture that allowed me to grow, an exciting location, and ample opportunities. A wise man once told me to seek a career where I wanted to work for the person rather than the job itself, and I knew what he meant based on my current experiences.
After surviving three rounds of separate interviews with both companies and evading suspicion from my company, I was given two offers. One offer had a very high salary and expanded responsibilities based on the feedback I had given in the job interviews.I honestly felt I may have oversold myself in those interviews by giving “big picture” responses despite having relatively limited experience in the situations and topics I discussed with the interviewers. I truly believe I could get laid if I acted and presented myself in such a manner when with the opposite sex. The only drawbacks are the company is based in the middle of nowhere in North Jersey and they may rename themselves sometime after I start with them.
On the other hand, the other company seemed to have people I wanted to work with. The company mostly had young, hip professionals who were part of the new corporate culture that has taken root in the past decade or so. Much of the nature of work is in line with technology and project management in New York City, which appealed to me. Most of all, the interviewers seem to be people I would want to work with and learn from. I guess the only drawback to this company is the relatively lower pay, the long commute and their involvement with private equity.
I know this wasn’t an easy choice. I really was in doubt and I almost threw up when I made the final decision to accept the NYC-based company, but I remembered to work for the person and not the job. I could be in a high paying job where I can be unhappy and alienated from the rest of the company just as I am now or I can take a small hit in pay and allow myself to be content to produce work that I can be passionate about. This is where I can say I made the right choice. Speed also made a difference because the latter company managed to get back to me within two weeks of the interview while the former was stuck in corporate bureaucracy before they managed to send me the offer. Fortunately, they were kind enough to give me an open offer should I reconsider.
I know this sounds insane. Most people would rather take the higher pay over cultivating their interests for personal growth. I am in a job where I have relatively better pay than my peers, yet I have nose bleeds during my morning showers, random frustrations at the office and I found myself in the gym longer than the recommended time. I really don’t want a repeat of this crap and I have no regrets with my choice.
Now the hardest part is telling my current boss about my decision. We decided to have lunch at a local restaurant just to talk over the transfer and departmental goals for this year. I did feel bad about breaking the news of my resignation when he had such high hopes for progress in his department, but I had to do what was needed. My choice was not his fault or a result of his actions but rather from months of frustration and unhappiness with the other individuals. I am just among a long line of people who have resigned from this company for different opportunities; I will miss some people and I hope they feel the same.