I had lunch with a coworker today who has decided to leave my company. He tells me he was not looking, and I believe him. He was in charge of a group that was gaining significant responsibility within the company and he was seen as a very strong leader. However, he got a job offer that was "out of market". For those who are not sure what that means, it basically means he got a job offer that was way more than anybody could reasonably expect and something that was unmatchable by anyone, including my current employer.
Most of the people who leave my company naturally ask me if I am on my way out as well. They see me as a strong contributor and someone who likely has options outside the company. However, I always feel like this is a strange question. I always answer it the exact same way, I could leave at any time if the right offer came along. It is the truth and anyone who says otherwise is just fooling themselves.
Now, I have no desire to leave. I recently got a promotion to the Director level and I wish to stay and see a few projects through to completion. But it would be silly to say that I would not entertain offers if they came my way. I do not see something coming along that would cause me to want to leave, but it definitely could happen if I received an "out of market" offer. Also, if I am honest, it is not like my current employer is going out of the way to keep most of the employees. I was one of the lucky ones, I got a raise, albeit small, because I got a promotion. But this was the exception, not the rule. Most people got no raises. We are in the middle of cutting back some perks (some of the perks were a little over the top and deserved to be cut). A situation like this leaves the door wide open to leave, it is just a matter of time before someone walks out. The irony of it all, the people who walk out are the people you most want to stay.