Investing in Career Insurance: VMware User Group recap – Episode 110

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This week we recap our VMware User Group experience, where we talked with VMUG attendees about their careers and how to take the next step. This podcast was recorded directly after the Silicon Valley VMUG on April 12, 2016.

We had a line throughout the day of people who were interested in career consults. We’re grateful for the opportunity and we learned so much.

Matt had some interesting discussions about moving from the customer side of IT to the consulting/vendor side – looking at that shift in career track was a new thought to several folks.

We talked about moving into management and how that wasn’t the right role for everybody.

It was a mix of bringing new ideas to people and helping people get comfortable with the ideas they already had.

A few themes came up throughout the multiple conversations that day:

  • Quitting your job is not the answer, although John did tell two people that they should look at other opportunities.
  • Mid-to-late career concerns. How to you keep up your skills? How do you justify the assumptions and any age-ism that comes with having been around the block a few times?
  • Job insurance: Are you investing time and effort in your career? You have health, car, and house insurance. How are you protecting your job if something bad happens? (e.g., Make sure your LinkedIn is up to date, make sure you have your network in place by connecting at events and mentoring relationship, and make sure your skills continue to grow, perhaps with side projects.)
  • Examine your reasons for saying No. Why couldn’t you say Yes?
  • Know how to get specific when you talk about what you do. You are the expert on your own job, and you have the responsibility to be able to tell your own story. The concept of “Elevator Pitch” is no joke.
  • Assemble a board of directors to help you out.
  • Don’t apologize. You’re further along than you may think. Nobody knows everything; nobody has experience with all areas of your profession.

The Geek Whisperers had a great time. It was a unique addition to the event – one that I’d never seen before at an industry event, and we’re really honored that people spent some time with us for an honest conversation about their life and career. Thanks to Renee and the whole VMUG org for having us!

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The Geek Whisperers and our pal, the friendly giant Andy Banta

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