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    Good-bye Yahoo!

    Yahoo!, it’s not you. It’s me. Well… Ok, it’s a bit you too.

    I don’t talk about work much here. For the most part this is not intentional, but I do try to avoid it when I can. That’s right: I can dish the goods on spit-up, but I won’t subject you to the gruesome details of my professional existence 🙂 However, this is a memorable event and as it’s had such a huge impact on my life, it’s worth talking about.

    After 9 years at Yahoo! I’ve decided to move on. I handed in my resignation on Monday, and while I took a big sigh of relief about it, I also find myself choking up a tad too. I grew up here: both professionally and personally. I started a year and a half after graduating from college. I got engaged while and Yahoo, married while at Yahoo! and I had my two kick-ass kids here. Neko was named by a Yahoo! (I had a contest for the best name. Winner was supposed to get a cookie, but I forget if he ever did. If not, hey M, I owe you one!) I owe this place a ton. The most important of which are my two boys. Without Yahoo!’s generous infertility coverage, I’m not sure our family would be what it is today, and for this I will be eternally grateful. Of course there is also my career. I’ve had a remarkable run of working with top-notch, bright and fun people. I learned a lot from them, and they shaped my career goals and what I do today.

    As much fun as it has been though, over the past year, perhaps longer, I started feeling dis-enchanted. I’m struggling to get behind our leadership’s vision, especially when I find it to be unclear, or some elements of it’s “implementation” to be contradictory. I believe in this company and I want to see it succeed so badly. But I don’t believe that the right people are there to make that happen. Or perhaps they are, but aren’t taking the necessary risk in making it happen. My main frustration with leadership, however, wasn’t our execs. It was with the management within my team about two levels above me. I’d like to think I have a strong moral compass when it comes to approaching problems. I hate seeing us go cycles and cycles implementing the wrong thing because it was easy for someone. We only end up having to fix it later, or apologize for a mediocre product. So in all the issues I raised, escalations I requested, I felt little support, and that was frustrating. Then there was the role I played in this. I felt like I was outgrowing what was before me. I was ready for more, but with the organizational structure and projects it was difficult to get the proper exposure I needed. I got comfortable and a bit lazy because I was so comfortable. My management’s response was to give me more work, and while this is one way to address re-motivating me, it wasn’t really the shake-up I needed.

    Of course a month ago I got that shake-up. It was following Yahoo!’s latest re-org. I was reassigned to a new product (Ok, this is a good challenge) and a new role (hmn… thank you, but no thank you). The new role was not at all what 1) I was good at; 2) actually wanted to do. It took me from being a Product Manager, to being an Engagement Manager with responsibilities of project management, and eventually evangelism (read internal sales). From a strategic role, to a tactical role. While I’d filled in for my project manager when he was away on vacation, I never really enjoyed that element of the job. I could do it, but I simply didn’t like it. The analogy I gave S was the following: just because I can clean my house, doesn’t mean I’d enjoy a position in janitorial services. Ok, the new role wasn’t THAT bad, but I really, really didn’t enjoy it. It had even less opportunity for growth, and was no-where close to what would keep me on track for my ultimate goals of world domination. And hey, when you’re spending 65% of your waking time at work, you better believe in and love what you do. I wasn’t. Not anymore. It was time to find something that would get me back to happy.

    So… 7 weeks of job hunting, 29 applications, 17 phone conversations and 3 in-person interviews later, I have a new place that I will call home. I’m excited. I’m going back to Product Management (hey those 3 weeks away were hard!). Smaller, privately-owned company. Commerce. Oh, and did I mention it’s closer to home? It’s a 10 minute commute door-to-door. Color me EXCITED!

    Walking out of work that day after I announced I was leaving, I choked up. I’m sure on my last day here, as I close the doors behind me that last time I’ll cry (hell, I’m tearing up now just thinking about it). It’s a bit like breaking up. As I said, this place has meant a lot to me, and I will continue to wish it well. I’ll even consider coming back for the right opportunity in the future. But I’m excited about my next move. It’s a kick in my butt to get my career progression back in focus. Wish me well.

    – bleeding purple

    6 responses to “Good-bye Yahoo!”

    1. Adrienne says:

      Big Well Wishes for your changes!

    2. Katie says:

      Wow, A!! Good for you and huge congratulations!!

    3. Rebecca says:

      You had me at 10 minute commute! 😉
      That right there is like 40 extra minutes a day of you time. Congratulations!

    4. Grammie says:

      We wish you well

    5. Jennifer says:

      Sounds fabulous, good for you for lighting a fire and staying happy. A 10 minute commute is going to change your life! Maybe that sound corny but beyond simply the time itself, think of how much easier your morning and evening routines will be (from the other response it sounds you like have a decent commute now). Less rushing and more time enjoying, yay!

    6. […] quit my old job and started a new […]

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