Monday, May 26, 2008

New Boss, Same Job

I got a new boss a few weeks ago.  It has been something that has been in the making for a while but it became official in the last couple of weeks.  I'm working in a completely different organization, and it looks at first glance like the scope of my job has greatly increased, but in reality I don't see it that way.

It's true, that my scope went from my particular division to company-wide.  My boss, who is the CTO, is much higher on the org chart than my previous boss.  But in reality, I don't see much of a difference.  Sure, my co-workers probably do.   It certainly seems like I have more influence and scope, but that is mostly perception.  Here is the thing.  I just do my job.  I'm not overly concerned who my boss is and what my reporting structure looks like.  I'm here to do what is best for the company not necessarily what is best for my team or division.  This is especially true when you have a job as ambiguous as mine is, Program Management.  My main responsibility is to make sure we ship the right thing in the right time, and it doesn't really matter who I report to because that function doesn't change.

To be fair, my personal situation has gotten better.  I think my new boss understands my role better than my old one and is giving me more support.  But that is not to say that I'm going to do anything differently than I was before.  Having the interest of the company above and beyond most other things has always served me well.  It has kept be focus on the bottom line and had made sure that I make the right trade offs.   Not sure why I would do anything different just because the person I do my 1 on 1 with every week has changed.


  1. Word to the wise - Be careful if you get too much boss switching. Managers have their own career, but yours are dependent on showing your skill level to your manager. If by the time you're ready for a promotion because you've proven to be at the next level, but your manager leaves,... you're back at square one; You'll need to prove yourself to the next new boss.

  2. A good rule to ensure your own promotion is to draw out the path with your boss. Make sure the path is for the near future and in detail. List out what it takes for your next promotion. Once your boss agrees to the list, make a timeline for when you think you will achieve each milestone. For instance, plan to achieve the next skill level for project management in 4 months by transitioning from department-specific projects to company-wide projects.

    This way, when you get a new boss before you get promoted, you can at least show the new manager where you are. Also, before your former manager leaves, have the three-way talk with the new person so that your career is not stagnant. Be assertive and put that meeting on both people's calendars. It's your promotion.