My career in technology

Archive for the ‘Career’ Category

Don’t Just Get A Job, Build A Career (Lessons Learned Building a Career, Part Three of Infinity)

In April, I gave a presentation to the North-by-Northwest Job Clublet (NxNW) called “Don’t Just Get A Job, Build A Career”, regarding the long-term investments that I used to make a difference in managing my career successfully.

What follows is broadly what I spoke about, updated because the events that were ongoing at that moment finally did reach their conclusion.  I’ve talked about all of these things before, and they aren’t even ideas original to me, but I think it is helpful to look at these long-term strategies from the perspective of things that paid off after three years of investment.



Learning From Teaching – Moments of Power

February 6th I was at the Stephen Ministry group at First English Lutheran Church presenting “Tools, Techniques and Resources for Supporting and Guiding the Disemployed Back to Employment” (re-scheduled from November).

I have given this presentation before, at the Stephen Ministry group at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, and gave a modified version of this for Launch Pad Job Club, entitled “What I Did on My Summer Vacation”.

Over time, I have become more and more in favor of speaking without using slides.  None of my presentations are particularly slide-heavy, but this time I went completely without slides, and just talked.

In doing so, I discovered new things about my presentation, and rediscovered others, and in the process discovered something that I wanted to share with you about managing your career.


Speaking at #SPSHou, and a Status Update

While things here at Working It Out have been quiet on the surface for the last month or so, it has only been because things have been so very busy everywhere else.

SharePoint Saturday Houston & SharePoint Group Therapy

First of all, I will be speaking at SharePoint Saturday Houston this coming Saturday.  I’ll be running my SharePoint Governance workshop, “SharePoint Group Therapy“, like I did at SharePoint Saturday Austin earlier this year.  If you are in Houston and have SharePoint governance questions you want answered, or issues you want some help resolving, or you feel like helping others with their issues or questions, be sure to attend my session.

My Career Journey

Second, after interviewing several potential candidates for the role, I have selected my new employer.  While all of my suitors were desirable places to work and I hope to be able to work with them later in my career, a combination of timing, the challenges offered, and the chance to work with some folks I know and some I have worked with in the past all contributed to my choice.  I appreciate the time and effort over the last several months that each of the other companies put into working with me to match their needs, my talents, and their opportunities!

As you might imagine, between wrapping up my previous projects and evaluating my next opportunities and challenges, I have fallen behind in posting new content for you.  Over the next several weeks, I will be posting new content, including material I have been puttering around with for a while, but as you can imagine, jumping into a new environment also presents challenges to my schedule, so please bear with me as I acclimate to my new environment.

Other Speaking Engagements

I did get an opportunity to indulge one of my other passions during the past month – speaking to the Austin North-by-Northwest job club about some of the investments that are key to long-term career management.  As per my new M.O., the presentation was extemporaneous, without PowerPoint slides, and as always hammering home some of my favorite advice about your job search.  I used examples of things that I had done that had paid off in making this job transition a matter of choice rather than one of panic and desperation, which I think made the points a little clearer.

Site Traffic

It has been so busy this year that I never got around to doing a 2011 year-end wrap-up, and here we are over a quarter of the way through 2012, so I guess that point is moot.  In the time since, several milestones were hit and went by unremarked because of how busy things have been.  In February, I completed my first 1000 days of blogging with my biggest month so far.  March blew the doors off February, with 6,809 page views, more page views than I got during my first 365 days of blogging.  Naturally, this period included my biggest week to date, by a huge margin, thanks in part to some malware that I learned how to exterminate the hard way.  But my difficulties made the lives of others easier, so, even though malware hunting isn’t my primary role, I feel justified in taking some pride.

Naturally, a post that contributes so much to the bog’s bottom line has its own laurels, as the post that reached 1000 page views the quickest – 12 days.  Three other posts joined the 1k+ page views club, and the leader of the pack, Add a Unique Auto-Incrementing Column to a SharePoint List surpassed twelve thousand page views.

Those are the highlights of the recent developments, and since I am coming up on the end of my third year of blogging, I’ll have more detailed coverage then for those who are interested.

What’s Your Strategy?

The New Year is a time when many of us take stock of the prior year and plan for the coming one.  You’ll soon see a year-end post where I take stock of my year, but right now I want to talk about the year ahead.

Specifically, your year, and how you plan to manage your career in the year ahead.

As the old saw goes, “Failure to plan is planning to fail.”  So I am asking you to not plan to fail.

Whether or not you are currently employed, you should look at your employment, your employment history, skills, professional activities and job searches as pieces of a whole, your career.  You need a strategy to manage your career.  Here’s why, and some ideas how… (more…)

User Friendly

Here is where the two paths meet.

As mentioned in the site description slug (under my picture to the right), in my guidance post, and in my Manifesto (of sorts) (and probably about a dozen other places on this blog), I am both a SharePoint administrator and a board member of a nonprofit that helps people become re-employed after losing their job. Some of my posts on this blog are about SharePoint, and some are about career management.

As part of my role in giving career management advice, I strongly encourage people to be involved with professional organizations, or to start one if there isn’t one in their area. As a SharePoint professional, I am a member of two area SharePoint user groups (one in Austin and one in San Antonio), as well as an attendee (and onetime board member) of other local technology organizations.  I’ve helped organize events, I’ve given presentations, and just plain volunteered to help set up, clean up, or do whatever was needed.  I also help other local organizations by promoting their meetings and events, even organizations whose technology focus is outside the range of my field.  I’ve seen a number of ways that organizations meet the needs of the members of their communities.

What I’d like to do is get your input about what the organizations that you are involved in or know of do to support their professional communities (regardless of whether that community is technical or not).  How is the group organized, what kinds of activities does it engage in, and what have you found to be the most effective of its activities?


Speak Up!

At the end of September, I spoke at Launch Pad Job Club about ways to make yourself a better candidate for that new job you want.  One of the major points was to be active, to take advantage of opportunities to volunteer, raise your profile, and interact with people, whether or not you are currently employed.

In the spirit of “eating my own dog food“, I have several speaking engagements coming up. (more…)

Donate Your Twitter Account?

One of the ways we have been trying to promote Launch Pad Job Club has been through social media – LinkedIn, Facebook, and, of course , Twitter.  Our Twitter account is @LaunchPadJobClu (yes, there is no “b” at the end, Twitter has a length limitation on user names, and LPJC was already taken).

As a twitter user, your followers are different (by and large) from my followers.  This statement is true for any values of “you” and “me”.  There may be some overlap, more likely a greater level of overlap if we follow each other or both follow similar people, but you and I are highly unlikely to have exactly the same followers.

Let’s say, for the sake of discussion that there is an organization whose work I believe in.  I follow that organization’s twitter account.  They tweet something that I want to share with my followers.  I click the retweet button (or I copy and paste the tweet text into a new tweet) and share it with my followers.  For people who do not follow the organization, I get to expose them to the organization’s message.  For people who do follow the organization, they get a second chance to see the tweet that they might have overlooked (tweets being the ephemeral things they are).

If lots of people retweet what the organization tweeted, their message is magnified greatly to an audience far larger than just those who follow them (and were paying attention at the moment of the tweet).

This is what Donate Your Account is all about.  (more…)

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