Some people have noticed the unusual lull in my posting. Others are probably wondering why in the world they are still reading after the title doesn’t have anything to do with SharePoint.
The out of the norm silence is due to several things happening in my personal world, which I normally try to keep out of my blogging, but since this has a direct correlation to my SharePoint community involvement I have decided to share it here.
Since my vacation at the beginning of July I started to recognize that my involvement in the community and my desire to be more involved in SharePoint not just inside of my employer were not well aligned with my current career path. My employer, while supportive, was not overly interested in my SharePoint community involvement and combined with other internal factors I realized that it was time for me to consider my career options.
Like anyone who is considering a major life change I turned to my friends and family for advice, but I also reached out to my friends and trusted advisors in the SharePoint community and the response was overwhelming. The support and advice that I received from colleagues around the community was amazing. I am hard pressed to think of another group of professionals that are as impressively supportive and helpful of people (that they may have never actually met in person) as the SharePoint community.
With the decision made that it was time for a change, I returned home to find a new SharePoint Users Group was starting in my area and I immediately dove in. Now one of the organizers for the group we have made strategic moves to improve the community interaction here in New Hampshire, such as moving the meeting date and time out of conflict with our sister User Group down in Boston and getting some top quality talent to come and speak to our members. We have also gotten sponsors for raffles, giveaways, and a new SharePoint Foundation 2010 site hosted by FPWeb.net that will come online later this month. For more information about NHSPUG visit our site at http://www.granitestatesharepoint.org/
I also got involved with SharePoint Saturday New Hampshire, which is this coming Saturday, September 24th in Manchester, NH at the Southern New Hampshire University Campus. You can still register for SharePoint Saturday New Hampshire by visiting our site at http://www.sharepointsaturday.org/nh/default.aspx
All of that made me feel great and really reconnected me with the community, but I still had to figure out what I really wanted to do from a career perspective. That’s where LinkedIn came in. I have always seemed to get between 5-12 linked in requests per week from recruiters and always ignored them. I decided that it was time to hear what some of them had to say. So I responded to 5 of them. Almost instantly I got a call from a woman named Debbie Strevens from Workbridge Associates who claimed to have connections to every person in a power position in the Greater New England area and would find me the exact right for for me. I chuckled a little bit internally after the call thinking, “Wow, she has some pitch but there is no way she can be for real.” Turns out, she was.
A few months prior I had gotten some great advice from Christian Buckley of Axceler, whom I have come to respect and value as a friend and community contributor (and hopefully soon to be SharePoint MVP), which was “Sit down and write my own job description. Before you look for a new career opportunity, know what you want.”
I gave my job description to Debbie and in just under two weeks I had numerous competitive offers. After much soul searching and long discussions with my wife I accepted an offer from Sentri, Inc. to be their new SharePoint Practice Director.
While it was hard leaving what I had put my blood, sweat and tears into at my previous employer, I have been warmly embraced by Sentri and am truly excited to be working with a dynamic organization that is whole heartedly committed to Microsoft technology. Sentri’s president, Philip Green, is famous for saying “At Sentri we put all our eggs in one basket, Microsoft Software. Fortunately, this is one very, very safe basket. We are Microsoft Technology Experts.” It’s a pretty compelling statement to someone who has dedicated their career to Microsoft Technologies.
Sentri has embraced and is fostering my commitment to the SharePoint community, encouraging my blogging (which will be cross posted on the Sentri site soon), speaking, and activities with the User Groups and SharePoint Saturdays.
I am excited to be on a new career path that will allow and encourage me to follow my passion. Expect more regular & diverse content in the weeks and months to come.