The Dating Corollary: I Can Change and Other Lies

The Dating Corollary: I Can Change and Other Lies

Originally posted 2015-10-09 11:03:52. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

You did it.

You’ve finally had enough.

You’re pulling the trigger, and you’re ending the relationship.

You’ve finally realized that the grass really is greener over on the other side of that fence, and so it’s time to make a change.

Maybe you didn’t even mean for it to happen this way.  Maybe you just randomly met someone in a bar one night, and one thing led to another and now you’ve realized that you’ll be happier with them than you’ll ever be in your current relationship.

And then…when you drop the hammer…it starts.  “Things can change”, “things can be better”, “things can be different”, “what would it take to keep you?”

[sigh] Hold firm, cowboy.  Nobody said break ups were easy…

Finding a new job is incredibly stressful.

It’s almost unbearable if you’re out of work and hunting…but you shouldn’t discount the toll taken even if you’re still employed at the time you find your new gig.  Now, this doesn’t apply to the MBA Candidate that’s just out there flirting…no, you’re serious about this.

There’s a swirl of emotions going on.  Anxiety all over the place.  A ridiculous amount of stress.

And then…just to make it even worse for you…they make you a counter offer.

That’s where the problems really start.  Because there’s so much mental fatigue, brain-fog, possibly even an endorphin rush from having finally just said “I’M DONE AND HERE’S MY NOTICE!” that it’s hard to think clearly.

And so instead of being rational…doubt starts to set in.

Maybe the fear of the unknown starts to creep up…after all, you don’t really know what’s going to happen when you get there day one…maybe the extra money you’re now being offered to stay is worth thinking about.  Maybe they’re serious about that promotion finally happening.  Maybe the changes that they’re now promising really will happen this time…

Stop it.

Whether you know it or not…whether you’re willing to admit it or not…the bridge has already been crossed.  There is no going back.

Instead of wistfully wondering about the positives now being thrown at you…why not focus on the realities of the situation that brought you here in the first place?  Things like:

– Why are they now willing to offer you more money to match the new job’s offer…when you’ve repeatedly been told “there’s no budget for it”?

– Why are they now willing to talk about training and conference budgets…when, again, you’ve always been told there’s no budget for it?

– Where was all of this talk of “promotions” and “additional responsibility” the last fourteen times you’ve had a pointed and direct conversation with your manager about being bored and wanting to take on new things…and being told “there’s no time” or “be patient”?

– You’ve heard all of the promises that the 80 hour work weeks will end “soon”…but it’s been eighteen months, and nothing’s changed.  And even now, there’s no real promise or commitment of change.

But here’s the most important thing that you need to remember – you’ve already played your hand.

You’ve told them that you’re willing to leave, and that…well, that you are leaving.  You’ve already accepted another offer, and you’re moving on.

Don’t think they’ll forget that.

Oh sure, you might get heaps of accolades, flattery, and a metric ton of butt kissing because you’re suddenly putting them in a bind and they don’t want to get left in the lurch…but the clock’s ticking.  Even if you decide to stay…the clock’s ticking, and they’re looking for the next person to fill your role.

And even if that’s not the case…what if things don’t change?  What if six months from now you’re more pissed off than ever because everything is still the same…and now you’ve pissed off the recruiter who worked with you to find you that awesome new job…and forget about that awesome new job still being there, or them even being interested in you.  You’re dead to them.  You flaked out in a major way as far as they’re concerned.

I made this mistake once.

Once upon a time, I worked for a small software company that was really cool.  The two owners were both awesome guys.  The managers were solid.  Good people to work with each day.

And then they brought in a third owner…and it all went to hell.

So, after watching things spiral out of control for a while, I found myself a new gig.

I walked into the office the following day, sat down with the owner who had talked me into taking the job originally, and just laid it out there that here was my notice, and I was all done.

He was a great guy though…and he genuinely understood my frustrations (…and I truly mean that – to this day, we stay in touch) and knew that things were going sideways.  He asked for the day – just 24 hours – to sit down and think about it before accepting my resignation.

I was young and idealistic.  I agreed.

The next morning, we met…and he promised me the world.  New position.  New title.  Basically doubled my salary. New responsibilities.

I was young and idealistic.  I accepted.

The recruiter I had been working with was livid.  Absolutely over the top pissed off.  And, at the time, I really couldn’t understand why, and thought they were just being stupid and unprofessional.  (In hindsight, and after years of hanging out in ITintheD.org and talking with a lot of recruiters…I get it.)  After all, this was my life in the mix here, not theirs.

But, once that was done and over with…I embarked upon my new job within the company, with those new responsibilities, that new title, and that cool new salary.

Want to guess how long it lasted?

Five months.

Five months later, I was back in his office, turning in my resignation again…and this time I knew better than to listen.  I know he meant well, and I know he had every intention in the world of helping things get better…but some things were just outside of his control, and couldn’t be helped.  Nothing had changed.  In fact, things were getting worse, and I just simply couldn’t take it any more.  He understood, we shook hands, and two weeks later I was gone.

So remember…it doesn’t matter how much they say they love you.  It doesn’t matter how much they promise they’ll change.  It doesn’t matter if there are tears or screams or the most heartfelt discussion in the world…it’s over.

To wrap this up…the mental note I want you to take away from this is that it’s okay to be COCKY, to help you remember that Counter Offers Can’t Keep You.

David Phillips is the geek that’s been pushed into management roles over the span of his career. He’s been a helpdesk jockey, a team lead, a systems architect and even a Vice President over the course of his more than 20 years in information technology for a variety of industries. He’s been profiled by CNN’s Money Magazine for his work with the group, as well as being a regular speaker for the Michigan Shifting Gears program, winning 2013’s “Outstanding Contributor for the Transformation of Careers and Lives”. The views and opinions expressed here are solely in his own, and relate to IT in the D only.

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