Global Accounts, Job Searches During Recessions, and Organizational Silos with Josh Fidel

Welcome to episode 77 of the Nerd Journey Podcast [@NerdJourney]! We’re John White (@vJourneyman) and Nick Korte (@NetworkNerd_), two Pre-Sales Technical Engineers who are hoping to bring you the IT career advice that we wish we’d been given earlier in our careers. In today’s episode we discuss covering global accounts, job searches during recessions, and organizational silos with Josh Fidel @jcfidel.

Original Recording Date: 04-23-2020

Topic – Global Accounts, Job Searches During Recessions, and Organizational Silos

02:47 – The Move to Globals at VMware

  • Josh loved working with the people at VMware.
  • He left the vendor side because the "this hammer will solve all your problems" mentality can be a challenge.
  • In his current role, he has more tools in the tool belt to present as options to customers. You can still be consultative while working for a vendor, but it can be a challenge.
  • Josh started at VMware after leaving an implementation job. He started as a regional SE specializing in vSAN and was really excited.
    • It wasn’t long before he was at the top of regional sales for VMware.
  • John gives listeners some background on solution engineering and how segments are different as it relates to customers and coverage.
    • Josh liked the regional specialist role because he interacted with customers in Healthcare, SLED, Enterprise, and SMB.
    • As a vendor, any partner Josh could train was boots on the ground for him.
    • His success came from teaching others. "If you share money, you run out of money. If you share knowledge, it just gets bigger."
    • Josh’s territory spanned Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Northern Kentucky, West Virginia, and Western Pennsylvania. He supported over 40 core sales teams.
    • Josh loved driving and could easily take calls while on the road.
    • He got to meet so many people in this role.
  • A position came up in the Globals segment, but Josh was nervous about it, wondering if he could do it.
  • Josh gives credit to Noel Nguyen as being probably the best boss he’s ever had and had trouble breaking the news about a move to Globals to her.
  • "I wanted to throw my hat in the ring, but we’re talking the biggest of the big."
  • Josh expected the customers to be the biggest of the big and the brightest of the bright, but that was not always the case.
    • Even in the messy customer environments there were still bright spots (the engineers).
    • The culture of some organizations was oppressive. People were afraid to make a change and afraid to lose their job.
    • Josh cites The Improvement Kata as a willingness to conduct experiments and fail. The large companies did not want to fail and did not in many cases have test environments.
    • Most any engineer would love to have a lab / test environment, but this can be seen as "just another cost" to executives. Every engineer should be able to make the argument to financially justify one.

14:15 – Advocating for Yourself

  • Don’t be afraid to be an advocate for yourself.
  • Once you get to a certain point in your career, you lose the fear. You get good enough at something in your community / area to not need to worry about a job because you have built your brand.
  • Prior to the virus, people were very geographically centered. Now people are realizing they can do certain jobs from anywhere.
    • This is true in technology, or is it true for some other job roles?

16:38 – Finding a Job in Economic Uncertainty

  • During the downturn, the company he worked for had just closed. He needed to provide stability to his family.
  • Josh was lucky enough to find a job at a hospital. He had to be conservative and hedge bets.
  • Josh Retweets anyone’s request on Twitter who is looking for a job. "We are job seekers. We are job finders."
    • He gives a great example of leveraging connections on Twitter to help someone quickly get in touch with the right people.
    • Write some blogs, and get on Twitter to get your name out there.
  • Right now people who need work will take something that gets them money to feed their families.
    • Josh speaks to the idea of universal basic income and people’s fears of COVID driving them into further debt.

24:39 – Inside Organizational Silos

  • Sometimes interacting with everyone can be a challenge in these environments. People may or may not be willing to help.

  • Companies who can overcome the fragmented, siloed operating model will do well.

    • Internal finger pointing is a problem of culture that can impact the business / organization.
    • Josh cites a database issue that has crashed a production application multiple times for one of his customers. The vendors who support various components of the solution continue to point fingers at one another, and he stepped in to help.
      • In the last two weeks they have made progress but only through starting with what is known without blame.
      • Josh had to change the culture of the calls. Focus on fixing the problem.
  • Find Josh on Twitter @jcfidel.

  • He likes meeting people, networking, and helping where he can.

Contact us if you need help on the journey.

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