Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Ready, Set, GO!

As of Monday August 15th the review model is done, wrapped up, closed, fini. And already one senior person on my team is saying "See ya, wouldn't want to be ya!" and is leaving Microsoft. All I can say is, if you are leaving Microsoft and like your manager and haven't told your manager yet, give your manager a little gift and say, "You know, you don't have to write my review because I'm going to be leaving for another company." "Bless you!" will be on of the things unsaid, simply because you just gave them back a few hours in their life.

If, however, you truly dislike your manager, be sure to ask their manager to push your manager into giving very detailed review feedback and a strong career path message, especially focused around that new snazzy Career Stage Profiles. Something that would take at least half a day, if not more, to write up.

As far as the year goes, this is one of those inflection points that folks starting making major moves around:

  • Looking for a new position internally.
  • Networking to find new people to join their group.
  • Getting the heck out of Microsoft.

If you're thinking about moving to a different team, this is the best time because it at least gives you the better part of a whole year to prove yourself against your new peers (vs. joining later and needing your former manager to say how great you are and fitting into the new team’s review model - most people just say "fudge it" and get mightily tempted to whip out a 'welcome!' 3.0). And if you wait too long and too many key contributors move on, you might find your team locked down for a while and will have to wait to get that transfer at a non-optimal time.

I'm interested in gaining visibility into:

  • Good divisions / product groups to be in.
  • Bad divisions / product groups to be in.
  • Good groups looking to hire stellar internal transfers.
  • Groups currently locked down and not allowing transfers.

(This is for a, ah, good friend of mine.)

One of the recent comments made a great observation: the mspoll / OHI numbers should be available for everyone so that you can look into a potential group's poll results, up the chain, to see what state of mind your new potential peers are in. In fact, I'd add it to the list of queries against a new group: "Tell me about your poll results and how they compare." Shoot, ask them to bring the poll results up on their screen so you can look at them.

As for the continuing series of comments about racism and preferential treatment maybe / not / definitely existing at Microsoft: if you have an honest, serious concern over a specific occurrence, you should in this case really contact your HR generalist (no, really). This, in all things, is something they should take serious simply because it could result in a lawsuit (bad press, loss of money, yada yada).

I have never seen anything that's triggered such a bias concern and have only seen folks exhibiting exemplary decision making for promoting and rewarding contributors based on their accomplishments.


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