Years ago, I cold-called a candidate about a new opportunity. It was a big step up from his current role, and he had all the right skills and qualifications.
“Sorry but I’m not interested,” he politely said.
I pressed him on it until he said something that really confused me. He told me that he “already made it to the top”.
I was familiar with his current company and looked at his resume again.
He wasn’t anywhere near the top. He would have needed a telescope to see the top. He wasn’t even a manager yet.
He explained to me that “making it to the top” for him meant he loved the exact work he did each day, he loved his company, he was treated fairly and with respect, he made enough money to be comfortable, he had excellent benefits, he had flexibility, and most importantly to him, he’s never missed a single Little League game, dance recital, parent-teacher conference, anniversary, birthday, or any family event.
He knew what taking the next step in his career meant. More time, travel, and sacrifice. “Not worth it,” he said.
Your definition of “making it to the top” doesn’t have to be society’s or anyone else’s definition. You Do You.