2014 in Review – The Job


2014 was a chaotic year for many reasons, not the least of which was career related. With the move, it turned out that a promotion was in the works as well.

The move itself was traumatic. Sadly, the timing couldn’t have been worse. The market in Phoenix was hitting the brakes, while the market in Santa Clara County was putting the pedal to the metal.

Of course, a pay adjustment was part of the move. Cost of living is much higher in Santa Clara than in Arizona, so that was welcome (and my first pay raise in almost 8 years). The increase wasn’t really enough to absorb the increased costs of the region, but it is a welcome thing.

More drastic, my boss decided to not make the move, opening her position. Having been in that role in the past, I was not eager to apply. The senior management team cast their net wide for a candidate. They had an early insider identified (who would have been an absolute disaster), who was nixed by the wider team. Then the net was cast yet wider, looking to our “leadership” coalition (the benefit of a large company is that there is a broad pool of middle management talent to draw upon) of internal talent.

Not surprisingly, that bore no fruit. The job description, while accurate, was off-putting. Anybody with a modicum of sense could read that it was an impossible task to fill.

About this time, I had a few people send me the job opportunity. I politely declined, knowing all to well the hell that was the job, from watching my boss.

Yes, I could do the job. Yes, I had done much of it at various times in my career. But after my heart attack, I knew that I really didn’t want to do this, so I rebuffed all these well wishers.

Then came the high pressure. Running out of time for an orderly transition, our senior executive, the VP/GM called me to pitch the role.


I had two options.

  • I could take the job, knowing that it was going to suck, but to negotiate a reasonable set of boundaries (and to begin to shed some of the insanity of my former boss’ self imposed task list)
  • I could defer, and they would hire someone who was completely ignorant of our markets/technology/products.


I caved. Took the job, and alas, my stress level has hit the insane level. It really goes to 11, and I am pegged there.

In any other organization, this role would be the Director of Product Management and Marketing. In our group, it is just the plain title of “Marketing Manager”.

The real downside is that I was unable to shed my old role of product marketing / product manager. The promise of opening a req to hire a replacement was quickly forgotten, then shuffled into the future. So the real chaos is that I have my old job AND my new job, which is really 2 full time job’s worth of work.


All is not glum though. I will be able to hire a replacement (preferentially from internal candidates), and I am continuing to simplify the insanity, to not do other peoples’ jobs for them (a favorite of my predecessor), and to not micromanage my staff.

Time will tell.

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By geoffand

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December 2014

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