For the past six months or so, I’ve been doing product management on two “products”, and building + managing a new team of analysts tasked with product security for a cloud based marketing software platform. I don’t feel like I was particularly effective at any of those tasks because I was stretched far too thin to be able to spend adequate amount of time on any of my tasks.
But I never complained (at least not too loud), and always tried my best to juggle the insane load and not let things fall apart too much. I figured (correctly, as it turns out) that it would be temporary and things would work out for the better.
As it turns out, this week I found myself presented with a choice: I could continue in product management, and likely have the team of analysts taken away from me, or I could make another career change and move to our engineering organization as a senior manager and continue to run – and expand – my team.
It was a difficult choice, as I enjoyed product management and finally felt like I understood it and was getting better at it. But at the same time I was just getting started with my team and didn’t feel it was wise to abandon my new guys so quickly after recruiting them – and I hadn’t yet left my mark and completed what I set out to do.
But ultimately, I had to decide what it was I really wanted to do – and that required thinking about what I ENJOY doing. I realized that when I find a new vulnerability in a system and exploit it successfully I feel a sense of satisfaction, and joy. I get excited. I’m happy. And that’s part of what my team does. Building my team would enable me to do what I enjoy, and to help others do what they enjoy – and even better, do it to help protect customers and make our products better.
After realizing that, it wasn’t even a question of which I would choose.
And so now, I’m starting anew. I can’t can’t wait to get started and make a difference.