“I had a few phone interviews, and I was really honest with them about not actively looking for a change. But I did tell them that I would be open to the right opportunity.
“They were trying to build out a team in Chicago, but I honestly wasn’t that interested. I had an in-person meeting with their chief revenue officer, and within a week and a half, they offered me the role — before I had even met the hiring manager, which was kind of a red flag for me. I was so shocked and I figured I had nothing to lose, so I decided to negotiate.
“The offer was $100,000 base with a $30,000 commission, which was much more than I was making, but I told them it wasn’t enough. They came back a few hours later with a bigger offer for $110,000 with a $40,000 commission. They told me I had 24 hours to respond, which I thought was so intense. I was going on vacation the next day for a whole week, so I asked for a few extra days, which they gave me.
“I went into my boss’s office the next day, and I think my face was so red and I was shaking; in the back of my mind, I knew this wasn’t the opportunity that I wanted, but I recognized that the skill set I had was valuable. I told my manager that I had gotten another job offer, but my mistake was saying, right out of the gate, that I didn’t necessarily want it. I told my boss I wasn’t necessarily looking to leave and asked if they were able to pay me more.
“I told the other company that I wasn’t accepting the role, since things seemed promising with my boss, and I went on vacation. After I came back, my boss offered me a $10,000 raise, which was still a lot less than what I had been offered by the other company. I regret not using the leverage that I had, because looking back, I had a lot more than I took advantage of.”