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Career Crossroads - My thoughts, feedback welcome

Discussion in 'Members' Lounge' started by get_nick, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. get_nick

    get_nick These snozzberries taste like snozzberries... VIP

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    This post is mostly to gather my thoughts and ideas as sort of a public forum to just get some shit off my chest. I'm posting here because I know several members in real life and several virtually, and I feel pretty confident that I can get relatively detached feedback without too much judgment. (i may also ask to have this thread deleted after a bit of time)

    1) I recently had a somewhat life-changing epiphany. I tried helping my dad last year with some emotional stuff he was going through, but he didn't like the advice and decided he didn't want to talk to me anymore. So I didn't talk to him for the last year, then finally called him on his birthday about two weeks ago. I came to the conclusion that I want to bear no resemblance to him whatsoever, and if I ever have kids, none of the characteristics are passed down. For the past 15-20 years I've thought about changing my last name. I really hate it, but now it's just another reason to get rid of it. As an additional piece of information, about 5 years ago, my dad found out his father (my grandfather), very likely isn't his dad at all. When my grandpa went off to the Korean War, it's possible my grandma got knocked up by some other dude and never told grandpa it wasn't his. Well, whatever, I've never really cared about that, my dad did though even though he hated his "father" for being somewhat of a loser. But I guess it's just another degree of separation. So I've spent the last two weeks consciously thinking about everything I say, do, or act that resembles my father. I've been attempting to completely change my attitude because I realized he's never done anything right with his relationships and interpersonal skills. And I emulated to the detriment of my career. So at 38 years old, I have to break this. Which leads me to #2.

    2) I have to make a job change. My experience at Big-G has been fucked since the day I stepped foot on campus. Literally since my first day here it's been a shit-show. On my first day here, the product I was going to own was reassigned and I had nothing to do for basically 3 months. Fast forward a year at the company and it's my team and product have completely fallen apart. My manager and I just don't get mesh. Our personalities and work styles simply don't match. I just want to work and be goal oriented and he just waves his hands around promising grandios ideas to leadership with no substance behind it. Stuff we'll never be able to deliver on. Well it came to a head last week when on Friday afternoon he suggested I find a new team, and possibly completely new job role if I want to stay at the company. Which is fine, because I didn't really have the strongest desire to work here before coming in. I just saw it as a career and skillset validation that conveniently paid me a lot of money. For perspective on how hard it is to get hired in product management here, I've recommended 22 people for my job in the last year, zero have been hired. So I feel like I know my shit and can present it well. But there isn't actually any products I want to work on here. The products are actually really fucking boring. Imagine owning a piece of a piece of the strategy for data center storage or CPU. So fucking boring! lol

    3) Which brings me to my options.
    1. I can try to find a new role/product to own here. Basically stay for the money and the prestige of working here.
    2. Find something I'm passionate about working on outside the company. I found something I would LOVE doing, but it's highly likely it could be a 50% pay cut. I could be wrong, but it would possibly bring me back to where I was before I came to Big-G. Which is fine. I live within my means and it wouldn't impact much. I have a call with this company tomorrow morning.
    3. I've already got interviews lined up at AWS and Facebook (Oculus). I give zero fucks about either company or product. It would be a 1 year money grab. And after a year, I wouldn't have to pay back a signing bonus and I'd find another job/company.
    4. Go back to my old company. They've offered me jobs as recently as last week. There's an interesting role at F5 that would be doing the strategy stuff I really like. And I'd be able to go back to being around people I really enjoyed working with. I'd probably get total comp around 75% of where I'm at now, which is ok. But I don't really care about the technology as much. But it would be a great learning experience.
    5. Try to find a unicorn startup. but most of the products starting up in seattle are lame. It's either food delivery or dating apps. lol
    I have calls/interviews with #2 and #3 this week. And #4 is easy to set up since I've talked to old coworkers recently.

    But my whole perspective has changed. I used to be so amped up and just push push push. There was a total sense of urgency every day I went to work. And I've just flipped a switch. I've had two weeks now to think about the rat race of corporate life, the fact that I've accomplished the hardest of goals (getting into product management at Big-G), and financially stable. I don't need to wake up every morning with a big chip on my shoulder. Or maybe I do and I'm just lying to myself to make myself feel better. Idk. I guess we'll see what happens.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
  2. reckedracing

    reckedracing TTIWWOP VIP

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    1, you can take the wifey's name when/if you ever put a ring on it. problem solved.

    I would thoroughly explore option 1 before jumping ship. Maybe you can find a product you like, and a team you like working with, that would be more compatible for you, while not giving up the $$$ and prestige.

    It all boils down to something you are realizing, and that there is more to life than just money. If it were just about the money to you you'd stay put, but here you are searching for something more.
    It's a tough realization to come to terms with when that was your primary motivator to keep driving and pushing forward. Now you are at the top of the mountain and just wondering... what's next.

    They say if you love what you're doing, its not like work.
     
  3. get_nick

    get_nick These snozzberries taste like snozzberries... VIP

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    I've definitely considered your idea for the name change several times. lol

    And I've been looking for internal roles. I'm going to keep looking to see what I can find. I hit a VERY low point last August. I was dealing with chronic back pain, realized all the work to get to my "dream job" ended up being something I was miserable with, and various other issues to deal with. But I was able to get the help I needed and worked out of it.

    I have $23k left on the truck and $45k in student loans. I could pay both off and only have the house payment left for debt. So I'll be able to pursue something that pays less than what I'm making now and not be tight for cash.
     
  4. BigJ

    BigJ I'm just about that action Boss. VIP

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    Pop out a kid. It's awesome.
    You were much happier at F5. I'd use that as a bridge and look after. Maybe a 1 month sabbatical in between.

    Only way if I were you to go to #2, #3, or stay wiht current is for transformational wealth. Will it be something you can pass on or will it literally change your life and potentially your families? Sacrifice now for future isn't awful. Think about how much you need to retire on at 50 and work towards that on something that doesn't suck.

    I definitely am looking that (product sucks, but pays well) job so I can have my wife stay at home and take care of our kid(s?) and pay off the non-mortgage debt. But I'll tell you what. I DIG my job now, just wish I got paid commensurate for the contribution.
     
  5. B16

    B16 Super Moderator VIP

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    Option 1 for sure. I've heard it is very easy to move between teams at the Big-G. Try that for another 6 months.

    Come to the SF Bay if you want interesting startups.
     
  6. Matts96HB

    Matts96HB . Moderator VIP

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    Why not explore all of them? Options 1, 4, and 5 will always be there. I'd iron out some of the details on options 2 and 3 then get serious about making a decision.
     
  7. get_nick

    get_nick These snozzberries taste like snozzberries... VIP

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    I've thought more about the kid thing over the last 6-12 months. I just have to find the right person to raise a kid with. I'd have a style and I'd want to know that the person I have a kid with would have something similar. I can't imagine there's a lot of success with raising kids if one parent is super type-a and the other is super type-b. But I think about it more and more every day. I just really wanted to do things differently than my parents. Instead of having a kid at 24 like my dad did. I wanted to finish school, get a job, buy a house, then get married. I think you did it all in the right order as well and it's set you up for relationship success.

    As far as money, I'm not worried about acquiring too much wealth. If I have kids, I want to be able to ensure they can get through college and that military is optional for them. Not the only way they see a path to success like I did. Hopefully you can get to a job where you are getting paid for your efforts soon. I know you work your ass off.

    Yeah, it's very easy to move internally. I got another interview request this morning. So i'll keep pounding our internal job board and meeting with managers to see if anything opens up.

    As far as startups, I've just started to look at what's out there. There's some interesting stuff out there, but dear god there's some lame shit. I remember when I went down to SF for our big customer conference. The first night I joked with my team how, "the bay area is like hollywood for movies and actors. Everybody in the bay has a startup idea they try to pitch to anybody who will listen". For every interesting startup, there's 50 that are just awful. Rideshares, bikeshares, food delivery, etc. 75% of the startups seem to fall under one of three buckets. "Like Uber, but for....", "Like postmates, but for..." and "like Netflix, but for...".

    Yeah, that's what one of my good friends told me this weekend. He said that since I'm not too concerned with money and material things, I could take a pay cut and still live within my means. There's always going to be the big, soul-sucking behemoth company that will pay well if I need to go back to that type of lifestyle. But it would be great to work on something I'm passionate about.
     
  8. B16

    B16 Super Moderator VIP

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    Very true about the start ups around here. What you do get is a lot of control over your product and the ability to make change.

    Good luck with the other teams within the Big-G!
     
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  9. BigJ

    BigJ I'm just about that action Boss. VIP

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    If no kid. Get a dog. Love having a dog.
     
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  10. B16

    B16 Super Moderator VIP

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    I have 2 kids, still want a dog.. lol
     
  11. get_nick

    get_nick These snozzberries taste like snozzberries... VIP

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    I've been researching adopting a retired military working dogs for a little over a year now. If I get a job where I don't travel as much and find a way to get rid of these two cats, I'll get a dog ASAP.

    https://warriordogfoundation.org/

    upload_2019-6-12_9-52-0.png
     
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  12. reckedracing

    reckedracing TTIWWOP VIP

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    The dog would probably help you evict the 2 cats... just sayin.
     
  13. E_SolSi

    E_SolSi Member of the 20 nut club Moderator VIP

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    Or not

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. get_nick

    get_nick These snozzberries taste like snozzberries... VIP

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    You try living with a real life Snow White. This girl makes peace with every animal. She's like the Gandhi of the animal kingdom; she could negotiate a treaty for the animal equivalents of Israel and Palestine. lol

    Luckily, she's on board with getting a dog as well.
     
  15. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin VIP

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    If you don't want to have kids with her, don't get a dog with her either. And stop wasting time. shit or get off the pot. Stop being 'comfortable' with a sexroomate.


    F5 just acquired nginx, which is a really cool technology IMO. Could be worth exploring. but I would say try to transfer internally to a new role.
     
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  16. BigJ

    BigJ I'm just about that action Boss. VIP

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    With B on this. S or get off the pot.

    Golfed with a family friend that is a googler saturday. He's transferred internally between divisions before and changed his job at current division. Really seems to enjoy it. You should try that before you sever ties.
     
  17. get_nick

    get_nick These snozzberries taste like snozzberries... VIP

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    The dog would be just like the house, mine. But that's a whole other topic. I'll only feel like it's wasting time when I want more than what I have right now. Jobs are easy to compare. You can get more money, more travel, more prestige, etc. Women, well....harder to compare. I suppose you could get someone hotter with a better income, but there's obvious tradeoffs, like with anything.

    F5 tried to buy NGINX while I was still there. We lowballed them and they told us to piss off. I'm definitely considering going back there. I've made some contacts and found a few roles that I'd be interested in. I'm going to see what jobs pop up around Big-G and check out this startup opportunity.

    It's really weird how so much has changed in my brain over the past two months. Maybe it's because I haven't had much to do here. Maybe it's because I'm finally coming to terms with where I'm at in life and what will make me happy. But either way, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.
     
  18. get_nick

    get_nick These snozzberries taste like snozzberries... VIP

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    1. shut up :p
    2. I'm looking for new roles. But the whole product manager job in Seattle is drying up. When I got here, there were probably 60-80 jobs posted for the area. Now, even including Kirkland and Bellevue, there's less than 20. I think they're waiting until the new building opens up in South Lake Union. But there's nothing even remotely interesting to work on. It's just a small piece of really boring products.
     
  19. BigJ

    BigJ I'm just about that action Boss. VIP

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    Gotcha! Yeah, family friend works for youtube at the fremont office. Previously was on fiber.
     
  20. get_nick

    get_nick These snozzberries taste like snozzberries... VIP

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    Shocked to come back to provide and update and see it's been exactly one month since I started the thread.

    Two weeks ago I talked to a coworker of mine who is a UX designer. She has been at Big-G for 10 months and told me she's leaving to go to Microsoft. She's taking a promotion and pay increase to leave Big-G and work at Xbox. I was surprised that she was leaving before hitting the 1-year mark, but she's definitely not the first person to leave this year. It made me feel more comfortable about the decisions that would lie ahead. She had a terrible experience here as well with not feeling welcome, being oversold the greatness of a project, and the constant restructuring and lack of stability.

    Trust me on this, when all you want to do is work hard and deliver on something, all of which is the basis of your compensation and promotion opportunity, it's wildly demoralizing to constantly be shuffled and basically "forgotten about" by the big machine that is. When you work your ass off just to watch your projects get killed days before launch and knowing that you'll never get promoted or recognized for any of your work, you start to work for the pay check instead of what you're passionate about.

    Big-G is widely considered as one of the best companies in the world to work for. And for many reasons, it really is. High salary and stock compensation, amazing perks, and working with smart people are all really great benefits. IMHO, Big-G is perfect for people who A) just want to write code and don't care what products they write code for. They just enjoy the compensation, great perks, and prestige of working at Big-G. B) people who don't work with any of the products. People in HR, operations, IT, etc. or C) People who work in the innovation part of the company.

    I've come to realize that here at Big-G, it's incredibly difficult to contribute to anything meaningful (I'm mean in the overall grand scheme of life) and I've just gone back to being a drone again. It's really difficult to deal with. Even if I was able to own a great project or have a lot more ownership, who really gives a shit about any of these products or projects? I mean really, how exciting is email, public cloud, or phone apps and maps? Here's the wild thing to consider, the founders don't even want to work here anymore!!! They basically said, "y'all go do this boring stuff we've been doing for years. We're going to start our own company and use all this existing revenue to fund really cool shit that we want to work on." And that really cool shit is all based really far away.

    Anyway, it's time for the actual update. I've searched across roles in program management, product management, public cloud, sales enablement, training, customer success, etc. And it's not that I didn't find opportunities that I could do and even excel at, it was all so bloody boring and tedious. I talked with various teams, managers, and peers. I interviewed for a handful of roles that I thought might be worth doing for a couple of years. But nothing met the three main criteria I was really looking for in a job; learning, impact, and challenge.

    So with that being said, yesterday I agreed to a job offer from a startup here in Seattle. It's a passion project with great statement of work, an opportunity to contribute, and a path to an executive role if I do well. The salary compensation is nearly identical to what I made before joining Google. I have pre-IPO stock options, though I doubt they'll ever be worth much. The company is called Vicis and they make the highest safety rated football helmets. They also have a contract for improving the head protection in military helmets. So i'll directly be working with two of things I'm most passionate about in my life. The role will be focused on creating the product portfolio strategy and developing the growth plan for the overall product line and potential IPO.

    Link to the company website: VICIS - Protect the Athlete, Elevate the Game

    For those of you who know much about football, they have several NFL players who are investors in the company. Guys like Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, and Alex Smith. Patrick Mahomes (NFL 2018 MVP) also wears the helmets.

    I'll be starting on August 5th at the latest, depending on timelines here at Big-G. I need some stock to vest on the 25th, so I can stick around for 2 weeks and still give a professional notice.

    Thanks to everyone who contributed to the thread. It helped a lot.
     
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