My Year-end Ponderings

joannes-year-end-ponderingsIt’s December 31st. Not only the last day of the year but also my birthday. There’s something about this marked day that makes me reflect on the past year, the hits and misses, the “what might have beens” and also think about the new year, the clean slate, the possibilities and the potential opportunities that lay waiting for me to grab hold of.

I want to keep this post short and sweet so I’ll list 2 significant things I’ve accomplished in 2016 and 2 goals I have for 2017 (as they relate to my professional life).  If I write them down then I’m committed to actually doing them…right? 🙂


2016…

Thing 1: The first thing that sticks out in my mind is my decision to leave the comfort and security of permanent employment to start my own consulting business. Was this a risky move? Maybe, but it’s a goal I’ve had for a very long time, I’d sufficiently weighed the pros and cons and I was ready for the right opportunity when it came along. Along life’s journey as I have more years behind me, I’ve also come to realize that sometimes you just have to go for it. The future is promised to no one. Of course there are no guarantees in life, but I’m comfortable with my decision and am as excited as I’ve ever been for what lies ahead. That’s a win in my books.

Thing 2: In 2016 I started the transition from being an on-premises SharePoint Architect to an O365 Adoption Specialist. Although there is some overlap, the adjustment to this new role has been significant as anyone whose gone thru it can likely attest to. Do I think this was the right decision? Absolutely. I believe organizations making their move to the Cloud are looking for help to get them there. For me, the transition is still going on as I am constantly learning in my new role and I love that. Here’s a link to my blog post about the transition – An on-prem gal in an O365 world.


2017…

Goal 1: I started public speaking in earnest in 2016 and I want to continue more of that in 2017. Speaking has expanded my world in ways I can’t begin to explain and I know I want more. A person I respect in the industry once told me… “My audience is entry level. There will always be an audience for entry-level material”. Up to that point in time, I felt like I needed to be talking at a 300 or 400 level in order to bring any value.  This is certainly not the case. Although there is an audience for 300 and 400 level talks, there is also one for 100 and 200 level talks. In addition, I’ve learned it’s important to bring my “boots on the ground” advice to presentations I give. People want to know real-world scenarios and problems and how others in the industry are working thru them. That’s the value-add I want to bring to my talks. Start with the attendees in mind (“What’s in it for them?”) and build the presentation from there.

Goal 2: I want to help others needing a tech hand up. Although I’ve put in a lot of hard work on my own to get where I’m at today, I’ve also had tremendous support from many others around me and I couldn’t have arrived here without it. It’s time to pay it forward. Being a women in a tech field also gives me a unique perspective and, quite frankly, an obligation to share with others not only how to survive, but how to thrive in this sometimes challenging field. I think the future is bright for the tech industry and there is lots of opportunity for people to get involved even if they don’t know how to get started. My goal is to seek out that group of people and help them. I was inspired by the #TechForGood initiative by @meetdux (2017 is the Year of #TechForGood) and although I likely won’t travel to Africa like he did, I’m confident there is good and worthwhile work closer to home that I can contribute my time to and make a positive difference. If you have ideas, please let me know.


That’s my 2016 in review and a quick glance ahead for 2017. I hope you have some cool goals for 2017 as well. Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading.

-JCK

 

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