From Crossroads to a Bridge

Four years ago I reflected on the crossroads in my career. Should I go technical or do projects? Will having too many interests hurt my career? I eventually applied a mixed-background of business analysis, project management, and Tridion expertise into a Web Functional Consultant role that I've enjoyed for almost four years.

I recently accepted an offer as a Technical Product Manager in Amsterdam with SDL, which changes everything again. This time I'm taking a bridge-of-sorts across the Atlantic pond. Before I go, let me share...

Lesson Learned from Web Consulting

Doing software consulting for almost four years taught me a few things.
  1. Time is your most valuable resource. Value your time.
  2. Good habits make a difference. Since I made a habit of writing, I have over 200 Tridion-related blog posts. A list, like a Travel SMaC can help reinforce good habits.
  3. Bad habits make a difference. Since I haven't kept up my physical activity, I've gained more than a few pounds.
  4. Be flexible when scheduling travel for projects but also clear with your needs and preferences. If you fall behind in a project, the client may want more time. But even if you're wildly successful, the client may want more time. This goes back to #1--value your time.
  5. Make friends. You can work remote, but spending time with the team in the office can be worth a move (to the Bay Area in my case). Camaraderie turns coworkers into colleagues.
  6. Make a change. There's never a perfect time for change. You can just prepare as much as you can and trust you'll work out the details whether it's a change at work (e.g. new project or role) or at home (e.g. new family members or a move).
  7. Life's too short, don't wait.
I survived the last career change with a rather tough October in 2011. In August we'll replace "moving to San Jose" with "moving to Amsterdam." Wish me luck. I hope my Tridion-from-a-Functional-Consultant perspective posts have helped, because things are changing again.

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