Thursday, April 20, 2006

MS Poll 06 and Happy Booming Brains

So, have you filled out your MS Poll for the year? It doesn't take long, especially if you don't have any extra comments to throw into the mix. I guess if you're a Partner you get the special leadership questions. So put a reminder on your Outlook calendar to spend five to ten minutes going through the poll and let loose what what you truly feel.

And expect that I'm the only that's going to be harassing you to do so. Strangely, in LisaB's kick-off email about the poll to the managers, she asked for management not to harangue people into filling out the poll. Maybe pressured people are negative? Is it a stealth poll? It will be interesting to see what the participation statistics are.

The poll seemed the same-old-same-old to me. Any interesting comments you're putting in there? I'd be exceptionally excited if VPs had their group's MS Poll numbers made public to help other people move around. Those with high numbers should at least brag about it as a way of attracting the best and brightest looking for new challenges (or to get out of their sinking ship).

You know, a bigger point about MS Poll is that it's a reflection on you and where you are in your career. Do you feel valued? Are unnecessary rules getting in your way? Are we going in the right direction as a company? Is it a great place to work? Do you have a good deal? Does your group act upon MS Poll feedback? Are you paid well?

Listen, Good Looking: if you're saying strongly disagree to a lot of those questions, you've got to hit the reality check button and decide either to find new work digs in Microsoft or a new company altogether. Think about it after you submit it. You have to take advantage of the times in our economy when you're most valued and now is one of them. Computer Software Engineer is the #1 hot job. The boom is back. Ride the wave, either at Microsoft or someplace where you are happy.

Speaking of happiness, there's been a lot of talking about deciding to be happy:

And then it sort of bounced around the net even more.

I'm sure Gretchen and Zoe are quite happy to be doing what they are doing at JobSyntax:

Thanks for the mention, Mini! I have started a new blog with my new company. I plan to be even more direct and honest than before. :)

So Gretchen would never, ever say: if, as you ponder the poll and your happiness, you decide now's the time to test the waters outside of Microsoft, get in contact with us over at JobSyntax to see how we can help you find your way through the talent landscape and build your confidence to find the company that best suits you.

She's just too cool for that.

I'm not! Strike while the hiring iron is hot, baby! Fundamental truth: the best way to advance your career is to change companies. Not jobs. Companies. And, as you ponder those experiences required to advance at Microsoft in the CSP and wonder when you'll ever be able to meet the challenges let alone ever be given those opportunities, just realize the best way is to leave and grow, and then see how far up the ladder you can climb should you return.

I know, a slick Mephistopheles I'm not.

Other random notes...

* Mark the calendar: April 27th, 2:30 PM PST Microsoft 3rd Quarter results. Sure would be nice if that coincides with the day that anyone who wants to can buy an Xbox 360. You know, four months after the Christmas rush. Does Bryan Lee with his amazing abilities to mis-predict still work for Microsoft? Yes, of course.

* AdamBa's latest post, A Former Microsoftie Kapenda Thomas, reminds me of that dev vs. test vs. PM post I promised. Yes, yes, y'all, it will come but I'm still getting over that whole mess of negativity I kicked off with that little "fire da bums" post. I've got to see how I can fold that future post into a happy, pro-active piece before getting it up. This post from Mr. Barr is at least an example of a happy ending with pro-active people.

* This past week, Slashdot discovered an essay from last year: Working at Microsoft. I'll once again highlight my favorite snippet:

In contrast, most of the middle management should be tossed. [...] Of the six-seven managers I've had, I'd relish working for (or with) only two of them again. Two were so awful that if they were hired into my current organization (even on another team), I'd quit on the spot. The other two-three were "nngh" -- no significant impact on my life one way or another. I'd love to think this is some kind of fluke, that I've just been unlucky, but many other Microsoft employees have shared similar experiences with me.

* Finally: is it Sinofsky + Ray Ozzie to save Microsoft from itself? An Ozzie focused feature appears in Fortune magazine: Microsoft's new brain. It's a good read and has some length to it. Near the end:

Now comes the hard slog of reinvigorating a 70,000-employee business. Many of the new services the company is coming up with cut across multiple parts of the organization and will require much closer cooperation than has been common in the past. That makes for tension.

You could really simplify the reinvigoration by having less employees. Just throwing that out there.

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