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My 9 Year Metaversary Reflections
Today is my nine year anniversary of working at Meta. Nine years ago today, on April 28th, 2014 I took the shuttle from San Francisco to Menlo park for the first time.
Little did I know that I'd continue working at Meta for another nine years beyond that day.
That had never been my plan.
I had never intended to stay at Facebook so long. It was always my intention to return to Austin after three years.
My wife and I owned a house in Austin. We didn't even sell our home. When we moved to San Francisco, because we always thought we'd go back to that house. It was our little American dream house. It was yellow. Red door. White picket fence. Raised garden beds in the backyard. Half a dozen pecan trees. We even had backyard chickens at some point.
I was certain, I was going to come back to that.
What I was envisioning was, that I would only spend three years at a place like Facebook.
That would give me that big name on the resume that I felt like I was missing. The set of experiences that would take me from being able to get jobs where I was managing marketing teams at mid-sized companies in Texas to really opening the door to an even broader number of opportunities.
That was my goal. I was doing well in Austin. I had recently been promoted to director of online marketing at Indeed. Indeed was continued to grow extremely quickly. I was continuing to advance in my career there. They were continuing to invest in me and put resources around me. And things were going well.
But it seemed like going to Facebook would just accelerate things even more. And unlock more opportunities that would have otherwise been more challenging too reach.
I thought it would unlock higher tier opportunities that I felt I wouldn't be able to land if I would've stayed in Austin and continued working at Indeed.
It was also a big thing for me because part of me felt like maybe I just got lucky at Indeed. It was a right place, right time. Kind of situation. I joined the online marketing team as things were continuing to grow and continue to explode growing by double digits every year, and ultimately getting acquired by recruit.
When you're at a small company or smaller company and they were still pretty large, but the marketing team was relatively small. You can quickly advance. Quickly going from Analyst to Senior Analyst to Manager to Director. All within a relatively short period of time, less than three years. So there was a big part of me, that was self-conscious about that. Hey, maybe I just got lucky.
So there was a big part of me, that was self-conscious about that. Hey, maybe I just got lucky.
The role that Facebook was offering me was an IC role. An individual contributor role, that would mean that I would be going back to being an analyst. In my mind, this was kind of exciting. It was my chance to prove to myself that I could do this at a place like Facebook. If I could do it at a place like Facebook. I knew I'd be able to do it anywhere. It would remove that mental obstacle that I had, that self doubt that I had. That maybe I got lucky. And if I just had those three years, and was able to show some advancement within Facebook. That would really give me the validation that I really needed.
That's what I had in my head. It was all about — Go to Facebook, work three years, come back to Austin, live in my little yellow house.
And that was the plan.
So. Obviously. That part of the plan never happened.
It's been nine years. I'm still at Facebook. I'm still in San Francisco.
So what happened?
Honestly, every year as I went through and thought about what I was wanting in my career, what I was wanting to grow, and whether I thought that Facebook was the best place for me to do that. I would ultimately realize, and say, “you know what? I'm still growing. I'm still learning. I'm still surrounded by people smarter than me.”
I would ultimately realize, and say, “you know what? I'm still growing. I'm still learning. I'm still surrounded by people smarter than me.”
I think I have three more years in me. Every year I would ask that same question. Every year I would answer; “You know what? I think I got three more years, in me.” Now, if I'm being honest, some of those years were, like, maybe I have another year in me. Maybe I have another two years in me.
But year after year I continued to say. Three more years. Three more years.. Until we're hitting nine years now.
That doesn't mean I was not occasionally pursuing outside opportunities. I definitely was.
I think, on a regular basis, making sure that I'm exploring what else is out there?
Looking for jobs and looking for roles while you don't need one is honestly the best time. It also allows you to make clear headed decisions without feeling like you're having any time pressure forcing you to make decisions.
So over this entire nine year period, probably every year, or every other year I'd talk to companies. I’d occasionally go through the full interview process. Occasionally get offers.
But ultimately decided each time that, you know what, I still think over the next three to five years I have the biggest upside by staying at Facebook.
And honestly, in nine years at Facebook, it feels like I've worked at three or four very different companies over that time.
I started as an IC.
I proved that I could do the role it at a place like Facebook.
After a year and a half I got promoted to the next level. Six months later, I became a manager.
And Facebook was just exploding. I think the head count was doubling almost every year I was there up until these past few years. Being at a company that's continued to grow, and the role that I was in was also one that was seeing a considerable amount of growth.
We went from a relatively small team of around 30. To growing very intentionally, but ultimately growing as the rest of the company grew. And with that came a tremendous amount of opportunities for internal advancement. There was just a sheer need for more analysts, and with the need for more analysts means the need for more managers, and managers for those managers, and leaders for those teams. There was just a considerable amount of growth. Year after year after year. Both in terms of the type of work that we did, the scope of the work, and more importantly the impact of the work.
Over nine years I've continued to be able to say — that Facebook (err Meta) is the best place for me.
This year feels different. It's definitely different.
The biggest difference I would say is that, I had always felt like the decision to stay at Facebook or leave was a hundred percent mine.
There wasn't a single moment in my nine years at Facebook that I felt like that decision would be made for me.
Obviously that's changed over the last year. Meta saw their first layoffs in November, 2022.
And the next rounds of layoffs happening now. In the most recent earnings call Mark publicly shared how two of the three “moments” of layoffs have already happened, with the one remaining moment happening in May.
Me and my function are part of the May “moment”.
Suffice to say…. nine years.
I am extremely grateful for the opportunities.
I have felt like I've always been able to be stretched.
I have been set up for success and just overall grown as a leader faster than anywhere else that I could imagine.
I never planned on being here nine years.
But those “three more years”, add up.
Now I'm not sure if there's three more. But, I'm definitely been grateful for these past nine years.
Regardless of what happens next month. If this is my last vest of Meta stock, then that'll be the end of this chapter.
But regardless, it's been a good nine years.