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

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