Nerd Journey 021: Nick’s First Year at VMware Part 1

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


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.
  • 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.)
      • John talks through deal registration as it relates to the purchasing process in channel sales

Contact us if you need help on the journey, and be sure to check out the Nerd Journey Podcast Knowledge Graph.

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