Last week, I learned from my boss's boss that I had 48 hours to decide on what my next job would be after my assignment here in Asia ends. I'm reminded of my earlier post in 2011 about the Paradox of Choice. As you can see, I later changed my mind about the Asia opportunity, and accepted it. It's been a hard job. I've learned about myself, about my peers, my supposed friends, my true friends, and my colleagues.
My two options were:
- Hardcore technical leadership
Lead a team building a next-gen product that will directly-attack a given customer need in the market. It is a "high value, high risk, high reward" technical opportunity, and requires working with several different parts of our organization, and other parts of the company. I'd take the role of team leader. One of my mentors told me that delivering on this project is an easy way to my next promotion. This job exists on PowerPoint only, but touches on hot technologies that are applicable across the industry, and make me much more "marketable." The team might evaporate in the next few months.
- Strategy and Change Agent
Join a technical strategy team built up across our division (that spans thousands of people). Rotate among different parts of the division as a "change agent" applying the agenda of the senior VPs to rank and file engineers. First assignment: my own group. This job is definite, but requires me to "stay put" in the area, and prod on the residue left behind by the Dead Sea Effect, attempting to cajole, negotiate, or convince an organization VERY set in its ways to adapt to change. This assignment is a 'sure thing,' but has no specific product or technical deliverables.
I actually wrote down a pro / con list for each job, and after 36 hours of deliberation (including talking to several partisan, senior executives) I chose option #1. I immediately regretted that decision.
I'm reminded of the Paradox of Choice once again. Three days later, a colleague was publicly announced for job #2. Everyone was impressed. That could've been me. :-/ I wonder if I should've taken the strategy job just because it seems like "the point" for going on the assignment to Asia. It seems like the job that would most-maximize the time I'd spent here.
I'm still waiting on my management to set up a meeting to begin the "ramp up" process for the offer I accepted.
Someone told me to "take the definite thing." I wonder if I should've chosen option #2? Before I decided, DJ observed that I'd never have enough information to decide, and therefore I should "just flip a coin." ;-)
Of course when I get back to the US, I'll test the waters once again the job market, and see if two years of international experience changes things. ;-)