The road to becoming a Microsoft MVP can take many paths. I believe there is one thing that is likely common across all of them and that is a strong support structure. I’m writing this “MVP Blogpost” to share the support I received to help earn this award.
My positive support came in many ways:
Family: I’ve focused a lot on my career over the years particularly in the past couple. I needed to immerse myself in the field in order to succeed at delivering value to my customers. My family has given me the freedom to do this and I can’t thank them enough.
Todd’s Podcast: My introduction to the SharePoint community was when I attended my first Todd Klindt podcast back in 2011 (Link to podcast). This was my weekly Monday night tradition for more than 5 years only recently stopping due to work hour commitments. Thru those 5 years I saw first-hand how much everyone was open to learning and willing to share their knowledge, in particular Todd. This was a very positive experience for me. There were lots of fun times in the chatroom and as a matter of fact, I still frequently chat with several friends I’ve met thru Todd’s podcast having now met many of them personally.
Blogging/Speaking: for the longest time, I found it difficult to blog/speak because I was always second guessing myself and thinking no one would want to read/listen to what I had to say. I was waiting for the perfect idea, the perfect post, the perfect presentation. What nonsense. A good friend of mine once told me you don’t have to be the smartest person in the room, you just have to know your audience, the skill level you’re targeting and share relevant content based on your own experiences and perspective. Also, don’t be afraid to have an opinion – sometimes people want/need to know about the real-world application of something. It is my intention to help others with the same things I myself have struggled with over the years. This has been a tremendous growth area for me.
Networking: whether at large conferences, User Group meetings, SharePoint Saturday events, or Twitter, the networking aspect is always one of my favourite things and something that the SharePoint and O365 community excels at. My MVP award is for Office Servers and Services which includes the collaboration services of O365 so it’s not a big stretch that networking and collaborating are a big part of what I enjoy and do day in and day out. Gone are the days of working in silos – reach out and ask for help from others or help others when they need help. That’s exactly how a network works and something I live every day. 🙂
Women in Leadership program: I would be remiss if I didn’t call out Conexus Credit Union (@Conexus_CU) under the leadership of CEO Eric Dillon (@Eric_Dillon). Their commitment to building strong women leaders in their organization is uncommon and impressive. I was fortunate to have gone thru their program in 2015 and although I’ve since left the organization to pursue building my own business, the lessons I learned have stuck with me to this day and I’m very grateful to them for that.
WIT: – I’m proud to be a woman in technology and although it hasn’t always been easy, I know I’ve had an easier time than many others whose struggles I’ve read. The WIT acronym has motivated me in ways I can’t begin to explain. I will continue to do my part to promote the growth of other women in the technology field. There are some really smart, hard-working, innovative women AND men out there and we can’t afford to make gender one of the arbitrary criteria we use to move the technology field forward.
I received the MVP for Office Servers and Services award on March 1, 2017 and I am so grateful for everyone who has helped and supported me. Thank you!