Why did I join Google

A common question I've been asked, when people look at my CV is why I joined Google - it does seem to be slightly out of alignment with the last few jobs. I think looking back on it was a couple of reasons - firstly they reached out - the set of skills I gained working in startups is very applicable to work at Google. Secondly - I felt that a bit more stability for a while would be a really good idea. It's very hard work building a great team and then getting rid of it.

One thing that I hadn't really thought of before I joined Google was how much I was going to learn. Mostly these are in two areas - the Google attitude to manager training is mostly really excellent, especially if you want to learn. I wish I'd had this sort of training before I started working in startups. One key area is the ability to communicate clearly when a team is in a state of massive uncertainty, another is a strong focus on clearly communicating feedback on a regular basis with compassion.

Overall - I'm very glad I've been working at Google, although the level of hierarchy is a little crazy sometimes (when I joined, I had 9 bosses above me!). Mostly that's not been a big issue for me, but sometimes having very senior people changing plans can be tough when a lot of work has to be thrown away.