How to navigate high-change companies and make career choices you won’t regret
Patrick Morgan the former growth at Robinhood, Houzz, Spotify, TiVo, Netflix, eBay, and Reforge talks about taking charge of your career.
Hey - it's Andrew
In a really strange/cool turn of events, we're buying my parents house! They're finally downsizing and moving to another part of MA. We always joked that we'd buy their house if the timing worked out. And two weeks ago, we made it official!
Below, you'll find highlights from my convo with Patrick Moran (growth leader at Robinhood, Houzz, Spotify, TiVo, Netflix, eBay, and Reforge) where we talked about taking charge of your career, how to manage up well, and the myth of perfection.
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"Your org doesn't really care about your long-term career"
“They care about whether you’re delivering against what you’re accountable for. You are the one who has to care about your career” said Patrick Moran.
Patrick learned this lesson the hard way.
16 months into his role at Netflix, his manager encouraged him to transition teams. It seemed like a good opportunity. The people he looked up to told him he’d be good at it. They said it would be a chance to learn new skills. So he went for it.
But soon after, he realized he’d made a huge mistake.
Patrick was misaligned with his new boss. They had very different expectations and communication styles. And — because he had switched from the performance team to the brand team — he was way outside of his comfort zone and floundering.
Patrick had trusted what his managers told him. That’s why he made the switch. But he quickly discovered they didn’t really understand the nuances of the shift or whether the new position was the right fit. (It wasn’t.)
This isn’t an unusual situation. Earlier in my career, I mistakenly assumed that my manager had a “master plan” in mind for me. It took me a while to learn that there is only one person in charge of my career: me.
Realizing this changes how you make decisions. As Patrick points out, your career choices aren’t just about your career. They also affect your personal life — friends and family — and your health. It’s really important to find the right balance between what your org wants and what you want and need.
I was really excited to talk with Patrick. He’s been in consumer marketing for more than a decade, and has spent time with some amazing brands I look up to: Robinhood, Houzz, Spotify, TiVo, Netflix, eBay, and Reforge.
He did not disappoint.
In addition to taking charge of your career, we also touched on:
What it means to manage up well — The importance of remembering your relationship with your boss is a two-way street
How to know when it’s time to move on — Three red-flag indicators to watch for
Why you should question every assumption — Understanding first principles
The myth of perfection — Even your heroes screw up sometimes
Things to listen for:
[07:01] Realizing the importance of unit economics for growth roles
[12:31] Learning the value of managing up
[17:35] Balancing your career priorities with the company’s priorities for you
[19:58] Understanding the value of first principles thinking
[23:47] Adapting to a role you didn’t ask for
[26:44] Knowing when it isn’t the right fit
[30:12] Navigating doubts at work