Microsoft to Agoda I never thought I would ever leave my comfortable job as Microsoft PM but life happens and several opportunities come by and leave if you don’t act on it. One such opportunity came by my side a few years back and it left a big mark on me and my family.
Microsoft to Agoda – How it happened
It was the summer of 2016, I was working as Senior PM at Microsoft and have just graduated from my Executive MBA from Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and was getting ready to search for a new Product Management role which puts me closer to the end customer in a Consumer-focused company and out of the blue I get a message on Linkedin from Agoda (an online travel agency based out in Bangkok Thailand) looking for a Product Owner. Since the hiring team was traveling to the US I thought there is no harm in meeting them for a coffee and get to know a bit more about the company and role.
August 2016, I went and met two Product Owners from Agoda in Seattle and the very same night I got an email from the hiring team inviting me to Bangkok to meet the team. At this point, I am thinking I am never going to move to Bangkok for a job but if someone is paying for me to fly down to Bangkok how can I say no to a FREE vacation.
With that thought, I accepted the invitation to fly down to Bangkok for the interviews. After completing the 6 rounds of the interviews and 2 days of roaming around the city including apartment tours, and international schools. I was sold on the city (the vibe in Asia is so different) and the role.
2 days later the hiring manager offered me the role I was super excited and thinking all the benefits of moving to Bangkok especially for the kids. After several hours of discussion with my wife, we agreed on the conclusion – moving to Bangkok for a couple of years could be a good idea especially for the kids. This experience could broaden their perspective and pop the American bubble that they were growing up.
With that in mind, we took a leap of faith and pulled the trigger and before we could realize we were in Bangkok, Thailand. The flight from Seattle to Bangkok is one long-ass flight and if you aren’t used to long flights you will need to prep yourself for 17 hour flight time.
This is how a quick message on LinkedIn resulted in me moving from Microsoft to Agoda and Seattle to Bangkok.
Microsoft to Agoda or Bangkok to Seattle
This fall, our daughter started high school and we just made a move back to the US and to be honest, we miss Bangkok but at the same time, we are happy to be back home. I have started working as a Director of Product Management at a startup in the Greater Seattle region.
I will write about details of life experience in Bangkok as well as working at Agoda in the follow-up post but till then I will leave you with this thought – You should try taking calculated risks and be open to change and try living in different parts of the world. Trust me it is very different than just visiting a different country as a tourist.
Until next time….!!!