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Thread: Could Use Some Advice

  1. #1
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    Could Use Some Advice

    Given some of the problems some of our brothers and sisters here have gone through and are going through, I hate to do this, but I could use a little outside perspective.

    I've been at my current company for about 15 years. For the last 10, I've worked pretty much on one app (and for the last 8 years, just that app). Due to organizational shuffles, I've been moved to different teams a couple times, which I haven't always handled well personally (professionally, it's been fine). Another shuffle was forced on me about 18 months ago, which I wasn't happy about because I liked my team. I decided to handle it differently this time and take more control of the situation, so I've been exploring other options, primarily with the idea that I would decide whether I would stay in my current situation or not.

    Last week I had another interview. I thought it went fairly well - not spectacular, but I didn't chump it, either. They told me there were other people to talk to, then some would be put in contact with the next level of management. They called the next day to contact the next level, and at the beginning of the week, they told me they'd like to make an offer. Which was way faster than I expected - I hadn't even started to think of my follow-up questions.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to both staying and going (it's an internal move). It's a lateral move, so no raise. It's a new group for me, and new experience, but it also seems a bit proprietary. Less wide-ranging in the role (for 7 of the last 8 years, I have been the team - analysis, design, coding, the works). But it seems like a decent group to work for, I won't lose my work at home, and they seem fairly flexible. Hard to see what the future opportunities would be, though.

    On the other hand, if I stay, a lot of the same stuff applies, but I'm also working on the same app, and sometimes I feel like I'm solving some of the same problems over and over. The tech side (which is the team I got moved to 18 months ago) seems to appreciate me; the business side not as much (my feelings, not something that was ever said). And if I stay, I can keep searching - no time commitment because of how long I've been in the role. So I can wait for a 'better' opportunity. The hard part is trying to determine if that opportunity would ever come. At this point in the process, my manager had to be notified, and he basically said he'd like me to stay because it's a lateral move, not a step up.

    This is driving me nuts - it's happening way faster than I expected.
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  2. #2
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    Any chance of leveraging your manager's desire to keep you? Maybe not financially, but as an opportunity to express what he could do to make your current position better for you and give you incentive to stay?

    Can't say I really have enough life/work experience to give any great advice, but that kind work restructuring stuff... ugh. I got stuck on the bad end of an HR vulture when I made a move at work, and they're the worst.
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  3. #3
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    Dude good luck, if you stay are you helping your manager or are you helping you?

  4. #4
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
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    Go for it man. I find that one advantage of working for a big company is the ability to change without having to quit and go somewhere else.

    If your manager is a good one, he'll understand that you want to do something different. Maybe he can work out a plan with you to change your current role into something you'd like better. Otherwise, he should let you go without burning bridges. If he's a bad one, you don't want to work for him anyway.
    --Garrett--

  5. #5
    Senior Member veinbuster's Avatar
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    I've always been an advocate of periodic change. I think moving from one group to another gives a broader perspective and more versatility - which translates into more value. I think you always learn something when you work with new people.

  6. #6
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    It sounds like your current team is not as fulfilling as when you were with previous teams. to do their best, people need to feel appreciated and supported. You may be getting some of that, but it doesn't sound like it is enough (or you probably would not be looking over the fence). Ask you current manager if there is a path for advancement where you are now. If there is not - well that might be the answer right there.

    The new position is in the same company? That's both good and bad. Good because you know what to expect from the company as a whole for hours, salary, etc. Bad because your old team and manager may harbor some resentment when you leave.

    But you need to ask the new manager the same questions - even though it is a lateral move, what are the chances for advancement or even just new training that would not be available in your current position?

    One of these positions should have a path to higher levels. If neither does, it may be time to look elsewhere, even outside of the company.

    It kinda sucks that your current manager had to be informed - it puts unnecessary extra pressure on the situation.

    good luck to you, Alan.

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  7. #7
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    Thanks guys - it's more to chew on. Ironically enough, I just sent more questions to the hiring manager and told him about my concern about locking into a particular product and that I'm researching that. Also told my current manager about my growth concerns where I'm at. The problem there is more the demands of the business unit - they're pretty much relentless. There's never a break - not that there is anywhere else, either. But their demands are a big part of what prevents me from branching out too much. We'll see what they say - right now, I'm trying to keep that stuff to first thing and last thing in the day just so I can get things done!
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  8. #8
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    I was in the same position for 15 years. It was everything I wanted and was quite happy. When we got a new big boss he approached me and told me I could stay as long as I wanted, but could also name my own transfer. I told him I was happy. A year later, same conversation. The next year I surprised him and told him I was ready for a change. I did a lateral swap with another unit head. The two worlds were completely different. After the inial fear of the new, I found the change to breathe new life into me professionally. So I vote change is good.
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  9. #9
    Member Rosewoodsteel's Avatar
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    I say, "Show me the Money".
    If someone wants you bad enough, they should be able to make it worth while to you financially.
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  10. #10
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alantig View Post
    This is driving me nuts - it's happening way faster than I expected.
    My wife worked for the same company for almost 11 years when the gov't decided to go with a different company for that particular contract. It WAS shocking after being one place so long, how quickly things move when you're changing jobs. There's really no dabbling, getting your feet wet, you really have to be decisive. She's a programmer like you and knows people who change jobs every 2-3 years and take it in stride.

    Programmers are super-duper in demand. My thoughts are you probably are a better programmer than you think given all the experience you have, and you could probably go make an opportunity for yourself if you interview with other companies.

    For example, I've had my job 13 years. I didn't get any sort of raise for four years due to budget cuts and such, which amounts to a 10% decrease in pay after inflation. So, I started interviewing with other companies to see what was out there. My boss freaked out and got me a promotion and a 18% raise just because I was looking elsewhere.
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  11. #11
    Old Guy Brewer's Avatar
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    I think searching outside of your company is necessary to consider when making a real change.

    Internal job changes may make some difference, but you will not be immune to the problems you mentioned. At least by moving to a different company, you may have the opportunity to enter the workforce at a higher level, along with subjecting yourself to other dire irritations that are intrinsic to that organization, but which will be a surprise to you. Ah, the adventure of it all.
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  12. #12
    I realized that I was better off working for myself than for anyone else when I was 27. That was a very, very long time ago.

    Not that everyone should do what I did. But it's something to think about.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    My rule is two years. If I don't have forward momentum in that time frame I'm looking elsewhere.
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  14. #14
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    The sucky part is there's no money involved since it's lateral.

    The big thing is that I have to make sure I'm not locking myself into a certain project/product with the move. Right now, I'm doing web development - ColdFusion, HTML, some JavaScript. I'm still a little too young (surprisingly enough) to feel overly comfortable getting locked in. Part of the thing that's making this difficult is that the climate right now is that people don't want to allow for a learning curve. So, if I spend five years on this one product with its own language, I have to worry about whether I'll be able to move on.

    And, of course, the guy I interviewed with has been great to deal with and hasn't blinked once at anything. But my current boss has been very easy to deal with as well.

    I think I need a new guitar....
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  15. #15
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Yes!!!! A new guitar makes everything better!

  16. #16
    deus ex machina
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    Alan:

    I believe that you should make the change. You are currently stuck in a pigeon hole from which you will never escape unless you take action. The longer that one stays in a position, the less incentive a manager has to provide advancement opportunities. The sad truth is that the big raises and advancement opportunities go to productive employees who are flight risks.

  17. #17
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    Funny you should say that, Mark - I'm on my fifth manager because of all the reorgs! And they've all been very good to me. I haven't had one long enough for them to lose their incentive! The business unit, on the other hand...

    So, what I ended up doing was declining this offer for now. The more I looked into the software I'd be working on, the more I could see the future narrowing to a very small corridor - I felt like I'd be stuck working on this particular application package (either at my current company or another) or in that type of job because it's proprietary. Add in the fact that it's lateral (which I hate to do, because no money to move is fine if I feel like I'm getting a better opportunity), and it just didn't seem like the positives quite overcame the negatives. After I told my wife I thought I was close to a decision, I asked her if I was overthinking it (she said no, but she did marry me, so her judgement is suspect!). When I finally decided, she said, "Look, if you were a couple years older, or you absolutely needed the job, you'd take it. But you don't HAVE to right now."

    It does open the door for a serious conversation w/my manager about changing some things, so we'll see where that goes.

    I STILL think I need a new guitar...but, you know, the wife and the suspect judgement and all.

    Thanks for letting me vent...
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  18. #18
    I think you need your manager to buy you a new guitar.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  19. #19
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    I will tell him you said that!
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  20. #20
    Hi. I'm naked. Aldwyn's Avatar
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    Change brings growth.

    Stretch your wings, and go for it!

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