Chief of staff - Career path

Amazon rXDY50
Oct 31 37 Comments

My spouse with a MBA / HR / Analytics background was offered a Chief of Staff role under the EVP of a cloud / technology company.

We are debating pros and cons. It's an immediate career progression with an opportunity to network. However, there are no obvious (to us) career paths for the CoS role. Spouse is on H1B and that's an added factor (because STEM).

Looking for insights, advise, examples etc.

Me: TC 400k, YOE 8yrs
Spouse: TC 100k, YOE 3 yrs

I'm posting because spouse is not on blind.

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TOP 37 Comments
  • Fair.com ogJe83
    I love that despite having no female pronouns, it was assumed this person was a woman bc she makes less
    Oct 31 11
    • Salesforce will.i.am
      There is one thing to be chauvinistic pig and another to be logical. Easily 90% of EVP’s are male today. As this changes over time, I’m sure people will put more thought into the pronouns. Gotta walk before you run.
      Nov 1
    • SAP / Field Ops dULd42
      The spouse is on H-1B and that's a major consideration cos STEM. This itself tells me they're most probably Indian because:
      1. She has a STEM degree
      2. No other nationality needs to consider the long term implications of being on H-1B (they'll get their green cards within 2-3 years of applying).
      Most Indian marriages are between an older guy and a younger woman, and the man is expected to make more money than the woman in India. So on balance of probabilities, the younger person is the woman.

      Fuck off with your implications of sexism.
      Nov 1
    • Amazon / Product LH48
      You could have made your point without telling other people to fuck off. People here completely lost it. Calm down. debate something without getting to that level.
      Nov 1
    • Microsoft Bork13
      Seriously, I'm as conservative as they come. And it's Kind of fun to see where is one biases etc and how we make inferences on the smallest data set.

      No one is screaming sexism. I asked myself why I didn't assume they were lesbians or gays and if it was a right assumption to that they were hetero.
      Nov 1
    • Amazon rXDY50
      OP
      @SAP dULd42

      TC or GTFO
      Nov 1
  • SAP / Field Ops dULd42
    Chief of Staff roles are for people with massive skills built over a decade or more. These roles are more about people skills rather than technical / functional skills (because you're supposed to have built these already).
    Your main job is to help your executive (boss) move things through the internal politics and work flow of the organization.
    Either your wife is being set up to fail, or this executive and company suck.
    Oct 31 2
    • Flagged by the community.

    • Amazon rXDY50
      OP
      Thanks...Being setup for failure was one of our first instincts as well. But she is too junior to be burnt that way.
      Oct 31
  • Apple Alcatrazzy
    IMHO, your wife is too junior for this role.
    Oct 31 1
    • Amazon rXDY50
      OP
      Too Junior to take advantage of the role? Too Junior to deliver? Too Junior to have been offered the role?

      The last one is a good thing right?
      Oct 31
  • Your spouse should take it! It'll set her for life. CoS roles have very high visibility and most of the times the exit path is the person gets to become the GM or Business Unit Leader of a new market or vertical.
    Business Operations, Product Strategy, Corp Dev all open up.
    But also know that if the EVP is one of the very busy ones, your spouse will be very busy too! On call all time.
    Oct 31 1
    • Amazon rXDY50
      OP
      Thanks.

      My company CoS for VP is trying to branch out and the exit roles are not this promising.
      Oct 31
  • Wish Manhands
    Based on wife experience it sounds like more of a glorified ea. She doesn't have the firepower/prestige to make things happen. She'll be more of a project manager. Not bad, but not really a chief of staff.
    Oct 31 7
    • Microsoft Bork13
      So couple things if this is a start up yes I can see that it Being a PM role. But if will be what you make it Imo. And success breeds success.

      If it sucks quit after a year. And people will understand your wife didn't do a MBa just to get coffee
      Nov 1
    • Amazon rXDY50
      OP
      It's not a startup and the EVP already has an EA. We believe it may be more of a high visibility program management role.

      Either ways, it seems like a step in the right direction. That's for the comments folks!
      Nov 1
    • Salesforce will.i.am
      Think it’s irrelevant at the end of the day as long as she can sell her self properly once she jumps to bigger and better things. Not many people will be pessimistic and assume she was an over glorified PM - if they do, she prob doesn’t want to work for them anyway.

      Most will assume she was a real COS
      Nov 1
    • Speaking as someone who has been a CoS to major executives, one managed 30,000 employees. My advice is this, make sure that the role is for a defined period of time. 2 years seems to be the sweet spot. Also, make sure your wife starts networking and looking at exit strategies within the company and externally. The network you develop is huge. IMHO there are two types of CoS, one is an operations or PM type role, the second is more of a consigliere to The Godfather. I started as an operations CoS and my role evolved into the latter. Feel free to DM w/ any questions.
      Nov 3
    • Amazon rXDY50
      OP
      Thanks Mike, that's insightful. We will reach out to you as this matures.
      Nov 4
  • Salesforce will.i.am
    With the little experience your wife has, I’m surprised she’s been offered this role.

    That being said, it’s a great opportunity for her to be near senior leadership. If she’s a rock star and stands out, her proximity to an EVP could catapult her career. Then again, If you’re too close to the sun, you can get seriously burned.

    I’d take the opportunity in a heartbeat and I have 15 years of experience. With 3 yoe, she has far more to gain from this opportunity than to lose.
    Oct 31 1
    • Amazon rXDY50
      OP
      Thanks for this.
      Oct 31
  • Samsung / Strategy bcdn07
    There are CoS roles and then there are CoS roles...if she has little experience i would hazard a guess that this is nothing more than a glorified executive assistant role...managing the executive's schedule, doing other random tasks for him, etc. The CoS where you are being groomed to lead a business unit or some other role with significant P&L responsibilities require significant experience....
    Nov 1 1
    • Amazon rXDY50
      OP
      Agree...lack of experience is the one that's making this a tricky proposition.
      Nov 1
  • Don’t take it unless this is for the CEO. Your career depends on your boss. If he leaves she is toasted. This happened to many CoS I know.
    Nov 1 0
  • Microsoft Bork13
    Agree with a lot that has been said your are the right hand person. If you succeed or demonstrate success a lot of doors open due to the breadth of understanding you have in the business.

    The only concern I would have is if she is willing to put in long hours as the demands will be intense.
    Oct 31 1
    • Amazon rXDY50
      OP
      I agree. WLB is something we haven't discussed yet.
      Oct 31
  • SAP BHhE15
    With that much years of experience it's more like a glorified admin role.
    Nov 26 0
  • Fair.com ogJe83
    Iwouldjust ask. COS roles are very different at different places. Ive interviewed for a few and lways ask on the spectrum from EA to COO, where does this position fall?

    If they cant answer that tells you something important, but usually they have a clear opinion on this.

    Also i would just make very sure she REALLY likes and has gotten to know the EVP. The success of this job both internally and as a launching pad is entorely dependent on that relationship.

    Next step could be literally anything at a small company or yes director or vp most likely at a bigger one.
    Nov 1 0
  • Kaiser Permanente ٩(̾●̮̮̃̾•̃̾)۶
    Next step of Chief of Staff will be VP level. If she’s someone who takes initiative and result-oriented, she will be quickly recognized and given lots opportunities. If she is not, this might not be a good move for her.
    Nov 1 0

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