Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Devilish Dilemma

So... my work situation has really gotten crazy. That big re-org that I talked about in the last blog entry happened last week, and I am left in this group doing PM work, along with 3 other people. over 70% of the team moved to various operations groups, including all of my employees, which is where I would have preferred to go- seeing as I enjoy doing build and deployment engineering. I even fought for it- I talked to my manager, then the next manager I had, then my skip level manager, and all had the same feedback- ok, we will keep that in mind, but also realize that we might not be able to move you very easily depending on various other variables, such as budget, headcount, and retaining talent. Well that was the case, as they wanted to keep me pretty badly. I went and talked to the operations team I work with, and apparently they made a pretty big push to try and get me, but were rebuffed quite thoroughly. Seems like both teams wanted me.

Well, in the meantime, I have been doing a decent job managing very, very large projects for the current team- just last weekend we had a datacenter maintenance that took over 10,000 servers down to upgrade switches. I managed the whole thing for my division- communications, smoketest, representing our division on the war room bridge, and so on. So... I feel successful here, but. I don't really enjoy being a PM. I wasn't hired to be a PM. I have pretty good impact, and work on things that span very large groups at Microsoft, but it holds little long term growth for me. Now I'm in this dilemma- if I start looking and find a great position and leave this group, I am leaving a team that loves me and that regards me highly, and I leave big broad work that I am completing with a high level of competency. I'd probably be giving up a promotion if I leave. And I might even find myself on a worse team with bad management or crummy team mates. My current team doesn't have much drama or politics, which is somewhat rare here at MS. But... long term, I'd love to be working on a product or in a group that I am passionate about. I am decidedly not passionate about IT patching or infrastructure. It's commodity work, albeit highly complex commodity work.

So there you have it. stuck between a rock and a hard place. No idea what to do, besides pray and fast.