by Matt Thomas
I spoke with a gentleman a few years back who was hoping to find a new opportunity in Colorado. He was a VP at a mid-market SaaS company on the east coast. He made good money and his career had progressed steadily upward. With strong income, a stable job, and an environment that seemed to value and celebrate his contributions to the company I asked him why he was looking for something new? He responded, “You know, on the surface I am living the American dream. I’ve received promotion after promotion at a reputable company. I’ve made lots of money and for the most part I’ve enjoyed my work. The truth is my marriage is falling apart and I don’t know my kids. It’s time for a fresh start.” After a few seconds of silence that seemed to last for an eternity I told him I’d see what I could do to help. As impressive as his resume and obvious talent were, I was most encouraged by his vulnerability and willingness to do whatever it took to right the ship. He went on to share that the executive he reported to was a hard driver, expecting each of his VPs to put in 80+ hours / week plus regular travel. He hadn’t made it home for dinner on a weeknight in two years.
In a few months we found him a job with a good company on the Front Range. It was a lateral move with little to no increase in compensation or responsibility. Not the kind of jump that VPs making six figures typically make.