Buck Woody is Changing Jobs

Recently I read an article (http://lifehacker.com/is-it-bad-to-stay-at-one-company-for-very-long-1295782130) that stated that if you are at the same company for more than a few years, it will harm your career.

I don’t agree – consider any successful CEO, musician, or master-level craftsperson – those people may have been doing the same thing for decades. They certainly haven’t damaged their careers by being the best in the world at what they do.

But I do think that if you’ve had the exact same role at a company for more than a few years, you should be able to show that you’ve done new things and been able to adapt to change. Once, when I was a manager, I had an employee tell me that he wanted a raise because he had "10 years of experience". Sadly, what he really had was 1 year of experience, 10 times. Personally, I’ve had a lot of jobs, in companies large and small, and even my own company. My track record was anywhere from 2 to 6 years at a single company.

On October 1 of this year, I start another chapter in my career. No, I’m not leaving Microsoft, but I am changing jobs. That’s one of the advantages of working at a large company – it’s so large that there are a lot of different jobs that you can do without leaving. In fact, Microsoft in particular encourages us to change roles from time to time, so that we cross-pollinate within the company and challenge ourselves constantly to learn new things.  In my seven years here I’ve worked on the SQL Server Product Team, as a field technical resource for SQL Server and then Windows Azure, and now I’m taking a global corporate role.

I’m joining the the Windows Azure Platform Team as a Worldwide Senior Technical Specialist. My area of specialization will be data – SQL Server, Oracle, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Linux Hadoop, etc. on Windows Azure IaaS, Windows Azure Table storage, Windows Azure SQL Databases (the Artist previously known as SQL  Azure), HDInsight (Hadoop), and High-Performance Computing. My career for the last 30 years has been focused on data, and now it’s focused entirely on that space – from on-premises to distributed computing.

So should you change careers every couple of years? Absolutely. Even if you stay at your current employer, you should always be stretching, learning, and moving forward.

Comments (15)
  1. Wes Brown says:

    Rock on Buck! I agree, if you can move around and find happiness in your company then why quit over the perception you are hurting your career.

  2. Congrats!! says:

    May you help more people get better with your new gig Buck!! Good luck


  3. Kevin Hazzard says:

    Periodic change can be good. Best of luck (and skill) to you! — Kevin

  4. Jorge Segarra says:

    Wow that's amazing Buck. Congrats and best of luck in your new role!

  5. Karen Lopez says:

    Ohhhh. New Boxes for your Lines.  Congrats

  6. Dennis says:

    Hey, congratulations Buck.  Good luck to you in the move.  Any idea who's going to replace your position?

  7. David Bratvold says:

    What an interesting perspective on staying in the same job (Sadly, what he really had was 1 year of experience, 10 times.).

    I've never fully processed my thoughts on this, but you make a great point. I like the idea of 'cross pollinating' a big corporation too.

    I hope you like the next job.

  8. Mark Verbaas says:

    Congratulations and best of luck in your new role!

  9. Bob says:

    Congrats, Buck!

    I guess it's a good thing you have a current passport. Any chance you'll be coming to the Country of Texas? :-)

  10. BuckWoody says:

    Thanks all! And Bob, one never knows where life will take you. :)

  11. Steffen Krause says:

    Hi Buck,

    congratulations and welcome (again) to the global cloud world. I also had the feeling that I needed to try something else, so I got my current job, Change is sometimes good



  12. Arcane Code says:

    Congratulations good sir. I can think of no one better suited to that job.

    Of course when I first read the title, my immediate reaction was "hmm, Steve Ballmer is retiring, I wonder…"

  13. Chris Williams says:

    Congrats, Buck!  Glad to hear.  Sounds like an awesome challenge, let me know if you need some help. ;-p

  14. Ging (BST) says:

    Rock on Buck !

Comments are closed.

Skip to main content