For the past four years, I’ve worked as a software developer at Google. On February 1st, I quit. It was because they refused to buy me a Christmas present.
Of course I’d still be at Google in five years. I was surrounded by the best engineers in the world, using the most advanced development tools in the world, and eating the free-est food in the world.
My most recent performance rating was “Strongly Exceeds Expectations.” If I just kept going, I’d soon be promoted to the next level, Senior Software Engineer. What a great title! Forever after in my career, I’d be able to say, “Yes, I was a Senior Software Engineer. At Google.” People would be so impressed.
My manager assured me that my promotion was close. He felt that I was already capable of senior-level work. I just needed the right project to prove it to the promotion committee.
Instead, promotion decisions come from small committees of upper-level software engineers and managers who have never heard of you until the day they decide on your promotion.