I wrote this post a while ago and never posted it. However now is as good as ever, especially given my distance to the situation.
- I didn't want to be in Seattle - This was a relatively minor reason but a reason nonetheless. I am at the point in my career that I was seriously thinking about what to do the next five years. Being in Seattle wasn't really on the list of things.
- Broken promises - I came to Microsoft with certain expectations and certain things were told to me would happen. They didn't happen. I'll leave it at that.
- I just didn't enjoy work - I know it is work, and that you shouldn't expect it to be a party all the time, but I'm the type of person who wants to really enjoy my work. Give that I am the type of person who works long hours and spends most of my time at work, it is important that I enjoy what I do.
- The wrong things are rewarded - I saw a few instances of people being recognized for things and behaviors which I just didn't think were appropriate. It honestly seemed to me that it paid off to be a jerk.
- It was too hard to get things done -This was a combination of things. Part of it is just being at a big company with large interest to protect. Part of it was people trying to do other people's job for the sake of increasing their scope. Part of it was just being a very small fish in a huge Windows/Office Ocean.
- Slow Career Growth - Probably the biggest reason I left. I thought about where I wanted to be and how long it would take me to get there. Today's Microsoft is not the Microsoft of old. Microsoft is top heavy with people with long tenure. Microsoft's employee base was doubling every few years. You could advance simply because of the rising tide. That's not the case anymore. It would have taken me twenty years to get where I wanted to be. No way I could see myself working there for the next twenty years.
I could probably go on, but this outlines the biggest reasons. Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of reasons Microsoft can be a great place to work. The resources are fantastic, the benefits outstanding, and the quality of people who work there is generally pretty high.
It wasn't an easy decision to come to, even though I knew it was the right decision. Looking back, I absolutely made the right choice. I can say that even though I have issues with my current job. The problems I was encountering were deal breakers. I could have stuck around and just "floated" along. It would have been easy not do much work and just get by. But it just wasn't me. Besides, the opportunity cost was too high. Every day I stayed at Microsoft was a day I wasn't doing something else. I just couldn't have that.
I want to say thanks to my friend Rick who provided me with a fantastic piece of software, Paint.NET. It's what I used to crop the above picture.