I've been with my current employer for 4 years, and I really like the company, my colleagues, and most of the company culture in general. The company pays about average for the industry, but I've been working in the capacity of a more senior engineering role than my own (i.e. "senior engineer" working as a "principal engineer"; my bosses straight-up admit it) for about 2 years now, and my immediate supervisor has been missing so many meetings for the past year, I've been doing a large chunk of his job too. So, TLDR: I've been working at 1-3 pay grades above my own for 2 years, and it's been affecting my happiness. I've communicated this with my supervisors, and I'm "under consideration" for a promotion (have been for 16 months now).
A competitor decided to poach me, I aced the interviews, and signed an agreement with them that equates to a large pay raise (70% increase).
I've been present for exit interviews with colleagues in the past, and the two big questions that always get asked (bosses pry really hard for this info if parting employees try not to share it):
- What are your reasons for leaving?
- How much are they paying you?
To be honest, if my company would just give me a few promotions (or least 1 plus a large bonus), I wouldn't be leaving: period. However, I don't want to leave on bad terms, and if the company were to re-hire me down the road (i.e. when economy isn't trash), I would likely consider it for roughly double my current pay.
Question: should I be honest about why I'm leaving, if I ever want to come back? Should I sugar-coat it (i.e. "a very rare and generous offer crossed my desk" versus "I like money"), making sure to make it about the positive aspects, rather than negative (i.e. "you don't pay me enough for this job")? Or, should I just bullshit my boss or provide a non-answer?
Also, should I be honest about the pay, or exaggerate/inflate the number by maybe 10% to 20%, so I can claim a stronger negotiating position in the future if I ever return?
Thank you all.
Edit: I took over for the team's "principal engineer" about 18 months ago (died in a car accident).