And now... the moment you've all been waiting for!
A few months ago, after a bit of soul searching I decided that it might be time to start thinking about my next career move - my time with SBL has generally been great, but I felt I'd gone about as far as I could with them, and that I was starting to stagnate a little.
I put the feelers out, but nothing seemed to be doing. I had chats with a few vendors, but either the role didn't feel right or my location didn't fit (I live 2 hours from London by train, and my SO wants to stay close to her family so a relocation isn't an option).
I had serious think about where I wanted to go, and there were a few options that sprang to mind:
I could look to move into a management role. I pretty much knew that this wasn't something I really wanted to do next, it's not something in my skillset nor something I really want to be there either.
I could look into moving into a more cloud-focused architect type role. This was appealing, but I'd either have to very quickly up my skills in Azure and GCP or accept that I was going to work purely with AWS. While that wouldn't be the end of the world, one of my favourite aspects of working for a VAR was the diversity of challenges and toolsets that I got to tinker with, unfortunately outside of Rackspace I couldn't find myself an employer where I'd get to maintain that spread of technologies.
I could just look for another reseller, and see if I can get my mojo working again with them. This was the easiest to rule out, I'd already decided that by the time I'd got these vibes I needed something different.
Nothing was jumping out, so I put my head down and carried on with my day job. I had a bunch of stuff to deliver for customers as well as some planned extra service to build, so I was a busy lad.
Out of the blue I spotted a message in the #vExpert Slack workspace for a job that sounded intriguing. I obviously didn't have a hope in hell of getting it, but you miss 100% of the shots you don't take so I had nothing to lose. I dropped one of the folks that I knew through the community who worked in the same role, asking a bunch of questions about the job. I put out feelers to other folks I knew who worked there. Everything came back sounding like this could well be right move for me, so I put in an application.
Radio silence followed. I heard nothing for a few weeks, then I got a call out of the blue: a standard HR sift type call, and I was asked if I could be available the following week for a call with the Hiring Manager.
That call seemed to go well (though I was sent a Zoom link, so thought it'd be video conference so I put some trousers on... it was a mobile phone call, but I'd put the effort in to dress smart so I was in the right mindset), and was then followed by online interviews with the 2 guys who work the role at the moment. The first one I only had a couple of hours notice of, but I wanted to show keen for the role so I ran with it.
I came off that call feeling like I'd blown it. I didn't feel I'd done myself justice, but I'd try to claw it back in the next interview. This one went a bit better and then...
...you guessed it, more radio silence. I was hassling the recruiter for feedback every few days, and was starting to give up hope when a couple of weeks later I was asked if I would sit 2 more interviews. I did my prep, went into these as calm as I could and got asked to attend a final face-to-face interview with the hiring manager.
I was ready to explode by now, I really did have a chance to land this job.
I did land this job. In 2 weeks today I'm incredibly proud to announce that I'll be joining VMware as a Technical Marketing Engineer in the vSphere team, working alongside those awesome folks Adam Eckerle, David Stamen and Nigel Hickey, covering the EMEA region. My initial focus will the the Upgrade From vSphere 5.5 programme, and I'll be getting around a little...
Timing couldn't be better - my first week in the post is also VMware's Tech Marketing Summit in Palo Alto, so is the perfect place to meet all of my new workmates - not all for the first time. I can't wait to get started!
On a more sombre note: I'll miss the team at SBL like crazy. We've achieved some awesome stuff in the 5 years since I joined the team there, with some awesome growth commercially and personally for me (and the other folks there). I'm going to miss my customers too - I've already messaged them all, and will be doing face-to-face handovers in the coming week and a bit that I have remaining.