Last year I was promised a big promotion. My former boss offered, “Work for a year, and we’ll make you The Product Manager“. Obviously, I took the opportunity. Several weeks later, the promotion was announced company wide with the note, “the title will change next year”. That was April 2021.

⁉ Problems encountered

8 months later that boss quit.

🎉 Solutions explored

I followed some advice and met with each of the directors. I needed to know I had their support and that this promotion was still in the works. I also needed to know I would be a good fit. While some “vaguely remember”, some flat forgot, but I didn’t. All directors, except one, gave me their support.

I went to the Big Boss and told him about the situation. Confused, he shut it all down. After all, he didn’t “make the deal” himself. The agreement was on his behalf. I hadn’t talked with him directly about it either. As well, I couldn’t find a shred of evidence. Nothing I had in my possession explicitly states, “Chris will be promoted on XYZ date”.

While I would have liked to express my frustration to him, there was nothing I could do. I was devastated. I had worked for months, rallied support, and wielded incredible confidence. This knocked me down, way down.

For several weeks, I asked others, “what should I do?”.  I couldn’t very well hold up the verbal agreement. Even if I could, what good would that do me? You can’t build relationships on being right alone.

The best answer, “Unless you got it in writing, you can’t expect them to hold up their end of the bargain. Move on. Let it go“.

I’m trying to do just that.

📝 Successes

I took a good long look in the mirror. I took several professional assessments with well known freelance agencies. I failed them all.

I learned that I’m not doing my job the way other (much larger) companies envision a PM. It really works for my current position, but it doesn’t really work anywhere else (At least I don’t think so). This was pivotal. I would have entered a new position and repeatedly failed without an idea as to why. Sure, I have the soft-skills, but not the discipline that comes with knowing the technical knowledge behind being a Product Manager.

As a result, I’ve decided to do something BIG.

🥇 Ambitions and goals

In 7 months, I’m going to be a father. So, I’ve built out a project plan for the next 6 months. In that time, I’m going to explore the question, “Do I like this?” in terms of Project Management, Web Development, Coding, and the tech space. I’m going to answer that question by honing my skills.

The key indicators will be:

  • Community – Social groups, events, forums, mentors
  • Tasks – Day-to-day, Special projects, aka the work itself
  • Opportunity – Pay, Title, ability to add to your Resume
  • Growth – Learning, continuing ed reqs, necessary influence
  • Job Security – in demand, full-time, and respect

I’ve signed up for Google PM Cert and will take the PMP after I’m done. I hope to use this knowledge to improve the current project planning and implementation at my job.

Also, I’ve signed up for TreeHouse’s Web Developer Cert and will be meeting weekly with my company’s Dir. of Tech. I had my first lesson last night and I’m excited. I’m also connected with multiple people on Twitter and have started a dev blog on hashnode. [Many/Most of the posts will live on EDR as well]

I’m more confident that I’m making the right choice and I’m glad I didn’t push for an unwise promotion.

🤓 Things to revisit later

  • The usefulness of this journaling format for my dev projects.
  • Career paths such as Technical PM or Digital PM.

🤦 Lessons learned

  • Get all your agreements in writing. Also, don’t hesitate to talk directly with decision makers.
  • Blessings can come in the form of rejections.
  • Dev world is an incredibly welcoming place.

Thanks for reading.

You got this,