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Welcome to episode 21 of the Nerd Journey Podcast [@NerdJourney]! We’re John White (@vJourneyman) and Nick Korte (@NetworkNerd_), two VMware Solution 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 Nick’s 1 Year Check-in at VMware, Part 1.
Original Recording Date: 2019-1-19
- John couldn’t remember the name of the AeroPress coffee maker.
- Nerd Journey 001: Career Advancement and Nick’s First Week at VMware
- Nerd Journey 010: Seven Month Check-In and Impostor Syndrome
Topics – Nick’s 1 Year Check-in at VMware, Part 1 – Nick’s Observations
5:06 – Context And Working From Home
- Nick went from math teacher to business analyst to IT operations to pre-Sales Engineer. The observations are meant to be about the transition from operations to pre-Sales more so than to be an advertisement for VMware
- Adjusting to working from home instead of going to an office every day
- Coordinating lunch with a homemaker spouse
- Training children to adjust to a parent working from home can be challenging.
- Being present at "home" during the day is for work.
- Listen to Nick’s daily routine. If you work from home, what is yours like?
- John mentions pre-planning meals as a pro tip.
- Don’t work through lunch. Put it down while you eat (away from your desk) to have a mental break.
- Working from home lends itself to working more. Can it wait until tomorrow?
- Should the daily routine be strict or flexible?
- Nick cites exercise classes as a forced work stoppage
14:57 Adjusting to travel
- Local, out of state, special functions)
- Expense reports were new to this role. It took practice to make them routine.
- John mentions that he uses Automatic to track business mileage
- Have a system, and stick to it
- Consider the aggregation of marginal gains from Chasing Excellence by Ben Bergeron
- Travel to special trainings events can be voluntary
- Planning meals and customer visits takes time and effort
- Administrative catch up is necessary after travel days
21:36 Expectations coming into the role
- Read Nick’s blog post about the process involved in getting the job at VMware
- Nick was so focused on getting in the door he essentially had no expectations for day 1
- You can’t know all the questions to ask if you have never done the job
- John and Nick work in different segments and regions even though they have the same title, and their day-to-day experiences are different as a result
- Control what you can; be prepared for what you cannot control
- Nick was initially concerned about his product knowledge coming into the role (i.e. not knowing enough to be effective)
- "Everyone here is as good as or better than you."
- Saying I don’t know is acceptable and can give insight into future areas of personal development
- John gives an analogy of the general contractor vs. plumbers, electricians, etc.
- Sitting in on specialized conversations is a way to learn new things
- Staying on top of new products and releases is challenging
- Meeting a co-worker who lives in the same area
- This is a good networking tactic, even if people are outside your immediate / extended team, in a different role, etc.
- Connections with others inside the organization (whether local or remote) are important to nurture
- Influence in a field facing role
- Influence on customers and products
- Feedback from customers can be passed to product teams to improve the products
- People in the technology field may be unaware of the various roles at companies that produce and sell a product (i.e. product managers, etc.)
- Influence on customers and products
- John talks through deal registration as it relates to the purchasing process in channel sales
- landscape-reflection: strikers @ Pixabay