It’s a great idea to take a step back every now and then and take a look at the state of your career. You’ll hit an inflection point periodically and need to take stock to ensure you’re moving in the right direction. Either that or you need to take a good hard look at why and whether or not you are a little too complacent with your situation.
VMworld made this slightly worse in my case. It’s easy to look at the announcements that were made last week, along with the general tone and direction of the industry as a whole and think that a shift in focus is due. For the past several years, I’ve been focused on end user computing/VDI/whatever you want to call it and virtualization for the past decade+. Nearly everyone talking cloud, IoT, etc., even more loudly than in years past can make one a bit nervous if one isn’t fully onboard.
Somewhat tangentially, last week somewhere around a hundred thousand people asked me how I was dealing with the acquisition of my previous employer, SimpliVity, by a much larger organization in Hewlett Packard Enterprise. As a reminder, these are completely my thoughts and words and in no way vetted by HPE; I speak only for myself. That being said, things are going exceedingly well for me post-acquisition. I still enjoy what I’m doing, and I get to work with some of the best and brightest engineers and architects in the world. The question is whether that’s enough going forward. Does it get me to where I want to be in three to five years?
Evaluating What’s Next
The bigger question now is, “How do I evaluate this?” What are the important criteria for me not only as a technologist, but also as a husband and father? The current state of your career isn’t what’s important. Rather, you should be planning for what’s next. For me, those questions are:
- Do I like what I’m doing? Do I like my team? Is my day to day work satisfying?
- Does my job meet my work/life balance requirements consistently?
- Where do I want to be in <insert time frame here>? Does this position help me get there?
- How is my management chain helping me reach my goals?
- Does the company as a whole have the structure in place to help me reach my goals?
Note: I purposefully left compensation out of this list. To me, that’s a separate topic entirely, but it’s one that has to be addressed at some level.
That question has been nagging me for a bit now, and that led me to this inflection point and reevaluation of my current status. Certainly my résumé is good enough that I could make the jump to another org, whether internally or externally, if I thought I was on the wrong track.
Making a Decision
After taking all of that into consideration, I’ve decided that staying put is the best course of action for me going forward. My rationale is thus:
- I love my job. I work with cool people on cool stuff. ’Nuff said.
- I get to work from home. That flexibility is huge, especially with kids. I have minimal travel requirements, which goes a very long way in maintaining healthy relationships at home, at least for me. YMMV.
- EUC has a long way to go before it’s a solved problem. I don’t think there will ever be a major shift away from on-prem EUC to DaaS. At the very least, there is no imminent threat that I can see.
- My management has consistently gone to bat for me. They believe in what my team and I are doing, and they consistently get us what we need when we need it. I’m empowered to work independently and make decisions within my domain. There is an implicit two-way trust that I haven’t always had in my career.
- HPE takes career advancement seriously. I’ve been onboard for four whole months, and I’ve already been promoted a level within our Technical Career Path program. I believe in the direction of my organization, as well as the company as a whole, and I’m excited to be a part of it.
So unless things change drastically in one way or another, I’m planning on sticking around for a long while.