No wlb at Google

Dec 20, 2019 16 Comments

I'm just a couple months in since starting my PgM job at Google. I expected a lot of complexity and having to learn a ton in a very short time, but my team seems to have a crazy pace.

While my manager told me that Google doesn't really evaluate you for the work you do in your first 3 months, she had already given me deadlines and deliverables for the following 2 weeks. She wanted me to get commitments from all the teams in the project for timelines. It took me just as long to meet all the teams involved and learn a little bit about the product.

These deliverables were impossible for me to meet and at the end, the engineering team told her that they need more time. I tried to gently point out that good planning takes longer than that, especially with this level of complexity, but she said that i just need to "push on people". Is this what it's like for most of the PgMs at Google? I'm a little shocked because I've been successful so far by bringing teams together to do planning in a way that's collaborative.. not pushing timelines on them before they've had the time to sit down to write requirements.

How do i handle a boss that's so demanding? And is this culture the norm at Google? I'm a little disappointed to see everybody on my team eat lunch at their desks all the time (or skipping it altogether), and missing the holiday parties and activities because everybody has too many meetings.


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TOP 16 Comments
  • Infosys / Eng BRY47
    I think you just got unlucky, if I am to believe what’s normally posted on here about Google’s wlb.
    Dec 20, 2019 2
    • OP
      I'm wondering if that just applies to engineers.. most eng that I've talked to in my area are really chill and say that they have full freedom to push back. But if they do that, then how are PgMs expected to come up with magically short turnaround for projects??
      Dec 20, 2019
    • Facebook / Other

      Facebook Other

      It's hard to generalize any big company. So much difference between teams and orgs
      Dec 20, 2019
  • Google dinoball
    Bad bad boss. This kind of boss really sucks ass because they themselves also cannot deliver at the speed at which they are demanding others to deliver at.

    I think in the end it comes down to 2 possibilities. If you really work long long hours and deliver everything as demanded, would that be a Meets rating or an Exceeds rating? If it is for Meets (most likely the case), then I think you are in a shithole (like I also am in).

    I’m not sure why the heck Google would hire such losers but this is life.
    Dec 20, 2019 4
    • Google dinoball
      @exhausted - Not sure what else I could do now except to look for a new team or job. Just waiting for the holiday season to be over before taking real action. My manager is hopeless. I hope you have better luck than I do!
      Dec 20, 2019
    • OP
      Thanks. Hang in there and i hope you find something you like.
      Dec 20, 2019
  • Facebook qx
    Sounds like a shitty manager.
    Dec 20, 2019 0
  • Twitch / Creative Hi twitch
    Imo, I think the good wlb people often talk about at gewgol pertains mostly to engineering teams. On the business side, people are cut throat, as they have to be.
    Dec 20, 2019 0
  • LinkedIn aaavp
    This is not just wlb issue. How could PMs demand commitments from engineers when requirements haven’t been written and signed off. I thought at Google, engineers call the deadlines or at least have a say in what goes in release or has that been changed?
    Dec 21, 2019 1
    • OP
      Yeah they totally have a say and are free to push back. But it doesn't prevent leadership from making promises about when things are going to get done.
      Dec 21, 2019
  • Apple Oslooo
    What org is this ?
    Dec 20, 2019 0
  • Depends on which org you are in, but overall ramp up is about 6 month and based on your description, seems like your management sucks per google guidelines
    Dec 20, 2019 0
  • Blue Origin Rsrz24
    What dept are you both in? I’m told I have an offer coming for PgM L5 but work/life is a huge concern of mine.
    Dec 21, 2019 0
  • Google ce1sa4
    Yikes! I’m sorry this has been your experience 😥
    Dec 20, 2019 0


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