Leaving Microsoft After 5½ Years

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been at Microsoft for so long already. It was not an easy decision to make, but I’ve decided to leave Microsoft. I gave my 2 weeks notice earlier today and had an interesting conversation with my lead. I’ve been a nervous wreck all weekend after things became finalized with my new employer. I kept wondering if I’m making the right choice, what were the consequences, what would people think of me, etc. Previously, it was just all talk. It didn’t become real until I had my resignation letter printed out addressed to my lead. When I spoke with my lead today, he was more surprised than anything. However, I think the conversation went pretty smoothly.

I’ve been in the identity organization ever since I joined Microsoft and for quite some time now, I’ve been thinking about trying something new. I guess I finally decided to take the leap, just not inside of Microsoft.

Derek, Ryan and I were having a conversation one evening a few weeks ago and they mentioned how Ryan’s been swamped with work and they were thinking about hiring someone to help out. That got me thinking. I’d love to work with these guys, given my past experiences with them. So I mentioned if they were really looking for someone, I might be interested. They told me that if I was really interested, we should talk. I told them I’d think about it.

A few days later at dinner with some friends from UW, someone asked me if I was planning to stay with Microsoft forever. That really got me thinking about it. I figured if I was going to try something new, now would be probably the best time. Maybe in 10 years, stability would be nice, but now is the time to experiment. As I thought about the changes that would come, I became even more excited. Derek had spoken to me earlier on the type of stuff I’d be working on and some of their plans they were thinking about. This was going to be fun!

After 2 weeks of contemplating this over and probably some over-thinking, I told Derek that I was interested in joining them. They seemed happy to have me on-board. We started talking about how things would be different (e.g. health insurance, retirement accounts) and what I would need to do to prepare for the switch over. He asked if I had thought about salary/compensation and honestly I figured I’d probably accept any salary they’d offer me, but don’t tell Derek that. Although, Ryan’s initial offer of $3 was a bit low though. ;p Derek told me to go think about some numbers, so I went back home and thought about some numbers. We met again for coffee and I gave him a number. After some back and forth, we ended up at a number we were both happy with. 🙂

Typing the resignation letter was probably the second most difficult task throughout this experience, not only because it was my first time quitting a job, but it felt like I was going to let my friends/coworkers down. The whole experience was just very weird.

My lead and I were going to have an one-on-one meeting at 11am and I figured that would probably be the best time to hand over my letter. The most difficult task throughout this experience was probably having this conversation with my lead. It was definitely very scary. I was extremely nervous and my lead was mainly surprised. I kept stuttering when trying to answer his questions, but in the end, I think things came to a good understanding. He told me he’d let our manager know and get things rolling with HR.

I’m definitely feeling bittersweet at the moment. I’m excited for the things to come, but a bit sad that I’m leaving friends and a place I called home for 5 years behind. I’ll still be around in the area, so we should definitely keep in touch!

2 Replies to “Leaving Microsoft After 5½ Years”

  1. Are you now happy about the decsion in terms of looking back. Microsoft pays well and you had to give up future stock awards

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