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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Doing something new in the same company

Suppose you are working for a software company that makes software products, and are getting somewhat bored of the same product that you have been working on for some time now (if you have been with the company for some time now, there are good chances that you will be working for version X.y of the same product, and would have felt that you have not being doing anything new for quite some time now). What can you realistically do ? There are several options that you should consider (some of them are possibilities depending on the company you are working for in terms of size, policies, etc).
- You could ask to move to another group. Say you are working for a particular product as a developer, you could ask to move to another product. Typically, most companies are loath to lose good guys, and would consider your request
- You could change your sub-role within the same function. Say you are the engineering manager handling a team, and feel that you have been out of touch for quite some time, then you could request that you no longer be a manager, and instead move to a non-managerial role. Good companies have an equally rewarding career path for people who want to remain in non-managerial positions
- You could change your function. At times, a person finally realizes that his role is not longer attractive enough. So you could change from being an engineer to a quality role, or a product management role, or any other such role. For moving to a new role, you need to have some background skills as well as a base in the product, and you would already have a base; so that is half the problem solved. If you are looking at such an option, then you should take care that you keep a lookout for new positions that become open.
- Start something new. This is something that is a bit more difficult. Most companies of a certain size and above have a policy of allowing employees that have new ideas to work their way through these ideas. So, they can actually get support to develop their ideas, and if the idea has market potential, they could actually lead the effort to get this idea into a new market
- Take some time off. Many companies have this policy where they would allow people to take time off, and depending on the amount of time, this could be paid or unpaid leave (without harming their career in any way)
Finally, if nothing works, and you are feeling bored / frustrated, then it is time to quit your job and work elsewhere.


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