In September 2015, I took a leap of faith. At the time my son had just been born, I had been working for my employer for over 10 years but I didn’t feel valued, either monetarily or professionally. Looking back I will admit, I was too comfortable for too long, it was easy and familiar but I started to realise my career was stalling. There was a glass ceiling between where I was and where I wanted to be. I tried for 12 months to change it and nothing happened. I won’t go into the details of how/why but finally the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back arrived and I decided it was time to move on.
I applied to Xtravirt via their website and after a technical screening with the CTO, I was invited along to a meeting with the Consultancy Practice Head and the CFO/COO for a face to face interview. I obviously ticked at least some of the boxes because following that interview I was offered a job as a Senior Consultant. The whole process took a matter of days but I had to work my notice period, so I joined Xtravirt in October 2015.
In January 2016, I started work on a VMware Hybrid Cloud Project for one of our partners which has taken up most of my time over the last 11 months. This is not a typical engagement by any stretch of the imagination, it should and would have been completed by now. Lets just say the project has had some of the challenges that every project faces. The project has been a long and often frustrating, but it is also a very rewarding project which is soon coming to an end (hopefully!).
When I started at Xtravirt, it was like working in a different world, I started working with like-minded colleagues, experts in their field and I felt valued for my experience and knowledge. I was encouraged to put myself out there in the vCommunity, so I started this blog. I was encouraged to attend VMUG meetings to widen my exposure to the community, so I did. I was encouraged to let my technical side flourish again, so I did. Professionally speaking, I could suddenly breathe again for the very first time in a long time. I became a VMware vExpert, a VMware Certified Advanced Professional 6 and I definitely wouldn’t have attended (albeit self funded) VMworld in Barcelona, all things I can say I wouldn’t have achieved if I’d have stayed where I was.
It hasn’t been all plain sailing, there is always adjustments that need to be made, especially when moving from a large corporate to a smaller more dynamic company. The Xtravirt culture is something I am adjusting to especially with respect to the long hours I continue work (which are not expected) and it is mentioned quite regularly to me as something I need to improve on. Work/Life balance is a big part of the ethos at Xtravirt, I’m just struggling to get it right all the time.
The last 12 months have flown by and the only real regret I have is not leaving my old employer sooner. That all said, would I work for my old employer again? I’ll never say never, and definitely would consider it for the right role now that I’m in charge of my own career.
However, for the time being, I’m happy where I am and I’m looking forward to see what the next 12 months brings.