I have been talking to a recruiter for a little over a month about a position. I let her know out the gate that I really wasn’t looking to change jobs, but she just kept wanting to continuing the conversation. I didn’t have 2 interviews with the hiring coming and they know that I am not really looking to make a switch. They are now working on an offer letter and I know they’re going to offer me more money. I’m having my annual review this week. Any advice on how to handle a) job offer b) review?

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TLDR: Always speak to recruiters to glean market Intel or to create a new relationship. Always ask for what you want or need.

I can share my personal experience when multiple companies reached out last year, and I hope it helps you identify the priorities for you personally. It may be worth mentioning that I too wasn't actively looking to switch because I was happy. I am still in the same job but am better informed now of how to value my skills, experience and abilities.

Going into those discussions, I narrowed down my 3 main sources of joy to be (1) responsibilities, or accountability (2) compensation, and (3) job title. Work-life balance and other considerations aren't a challenge for me - and you may have very different things feature in such a list. A couple of conversations with various companies later, I realized that I was 30-40% behind market compensation, 1-2 job titles junior to what I could get for my skills, and accountability a further 1-2 titles below my current title of Manager.

I took this feedback to my review and said that I'd like to be at market-equivalent without having to leave in order to get them. My manager is a reasonable and approachable person, to be fair. The title and accountability are the same, but I now earn 20% more than I did last year. I also get more leeway to run a project the way I prefer to. There were 2 takeaways for me from this exercise: (1) I am happy in my current job, but I am settling for less. There is more happiness to be had if and when I want to reach for it (2) my family deserves to have a higher household income, all else being the same, so I will fight for it.

All the best. And ask for what you want or need because most companies are structured to respond reactively rather than initiate proactively.

PS: I have been let go once 3 years ago with no warning or an amiable separation. I always speak to recruiters and keep the relationship just in case I am in the same situation again. If not, I have created a referral network for my friends and colleagues.

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Can anyone share some recruiters they have spoken too?

Doesn’t hurt to listen. See what the offer says and go from there - maybe you’ll change your mind. Good luck.

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Does the opportunity interest you? Does everything you’ve learned in the interviews make you feel like this would be a positive change if you accept it? Try taking money out of the equation and see how you feel about it. At the end of the day, more money isn’t worth your happiness.

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