The devil you know, versus change

While it may seem like the grass is greener, the Dude has never actually found that to be the case. He will take the devil he knows, rather than the trainwreck

Recently, there has been an abnormal level of chaos in the Dude’s organization. He has been at his current employer for about five and a half years and in that time he has been through 6 VP/GM’s 2 directors, and 3 managers all while being in the same role.

Recently, his director (someone he had become quite close to, enjoying long chats about the business, the products, and what was happening in the market and among competitors, the Dude should point out that this director rewarded the Dude with a grade increase, and quite generous RSU grants and pay raises) has decided to leave the company.

This was shocking, yet not surprising. There were definitely some signals that were being sent, and when the Dude got the early call from the director, he was given the news pre-general awareness.

The VP/GM wanted to keep it under wraps to allow her to build out a strategy for how to move forward. But within 3 days, the cat was out of the bag (the Dude remained true to his promise of confidentiality) and the VP was pissed.

What was surprising was how quickly the news spread outside the company. The next morning, the Dude got a ping from one of his former co-workers who had heard the news.

Truthbomb: You really can’t keep this shit secret.

The real reason for this post

That same day, while the Dude was eating dinner, he got a text message from his first boss. A query to “touch base” and to call her back.

The Dude assumed that this was about the director’s resignation, but it wasn’t. She has a job that she wants the Dude to apply for.

For the record, the Dude really liked working with this person. She was a good complement to the Dude’s work ethic, and we got along great. She left a little over two years ago, and is doing something good for a company that the Dude really doesn’t like.

But, the Dude felt compelled to at least look at the job posting.

Whoa. It was like someone had looked at the Dude’s background, and crafted a role specifically for him. I mean, hitting on every one of his strengths, and proclivities, and no downsides. All the good shit.

It was so damned tempting, that the Dude updated his résumé, and passed it along. One of the conditions though was that the Dude would have to get a certification. It was a pretty simple one, probably a day’s time invested.

Look, the Dude is 56. He has been a product manager for over 23 years. He has worked in many different technologies, and has easily absorbed what he needed when he needed it.

Getting an entry level certification is not a big deal, but an annoyance. Is the Dude going to use it? For the role advertised?

No, not really, but it was a firm requirement.

But, it also said that the position would be a 5 day a week in the office role. Sure, there is an office about 12 miles away. But literally nobody but the Dude and his former boss would be in that office from the same team. So what's the point?

After the last 18 months, working from home, with a distributed team, the Dude finally has fully embraced the remote worker lifestyle. When the COVID restrictions ease, he will probably return to the office. A day every other week or so. But not full time.

Sure, if he was early in career, it would be a different story, but now? Nah.

Lastly, it is at one of those companies that the Dude knows enough about to know that they are a miserable fucking place to work. One of those where you are expected to be constantly reaching for the next level, to stretch yourself, to never be static.

Truth be told, the Dude is happier as an IC, and with about a decade left in his career, he doesn’t want to step on the high pressure “up or out” management philosophy. And that is a non-negotiable for this company.

So, after careful consideration, and some deep soul searching (the role did look perfect) the Dude conveyed to his former boss that while it looked like a great opportunity, he was going to have to pass at the moment.

He didn’t say that he really didn’t want to work for that dumpster fire of a company.

Now to deal with the fall out in his current job.


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