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How honest are you in an exit interview? If I’m leaving for a big pay bump and better firm, do I mention this specifically or keep it at a vague high level (eg, “Professional opportunity I can’t pass up”)

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I would say that telling them that one of the reasons you are leaving is for a big pay bump is the least offensive to them and also good for all of us in the market.

HR needs to know what competitors are paying. Your old leadership needs to know that their people have to grow. We live in a market system. This shouldn't offend them.

It's good for all of us when any of us pushes their pay up in the market. It's s tiny teenie increment. But when when many do it, it moves the market. That's literally how the system works.

However, saying that you are leaving for a "better" firm will probably offend them and in their eyes invalidate anything else you say. I would suggest different language. Be more constructive and specific as to why the new firm is a better fit for you.

That is, unless you hate your current firm. If you hate them, then tell them to F off. Why care what they think? But I don't think you do since you are asking the nuanced question here.


I think I understand what you are saying. I've witnessed people get upset about loyalty.

I just don't think loyalty is a relevant factor in our modern economy. It certainly isn't for the employer.

Yes this is the info they’re hoping for


Definitely, I left my old firm based on the fact that new hires (M) made almost 25k more than I (F) did with less experience/credentials all the while they claimed to support women in tech. They did not even try to match the offer or keep me.


Good for you for moving on!

Comp is great to bring up. Please do. Saying what level you are moving to helps a well since the current firm may not be rewarding experience as well as they should.

"Better" firm is too subjective unless you are moving from Big4 of ACN to MBB. Saying you are moving to D from EY for example will just get an eye roll and invalidate everything else.


I was very honest, for the sake of hoping they'll create a better environment for my colleagues (who I enjoyed working with), but worded it in a polite and professional way. A pay bump that you can't pass up would not be a bad thing to bring up, seems petty normal.


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