This may come as a complete surprise to many, but I’ve decided where to call my “vocational home” for the next several years. I’m sure it isn’t a shock that I moved on as I seem to get the 4-5 year itch if I’m not starting something new. I guess I have Attention Deficit Disorder to some degree, though I’ve always said that ADD (or ADHD apparently) is a common, and perhaps even positive, trait of many consultants.
Anyway, I’ve decided to take a role at Microsoft. Specifically the role of Engagement Manager within Microsoft Canada’s Consulting Services organisation.
This role will help me to develop two clear gaps in my professional profile, specifically:
Large Company Experience
I’ve never worked for a large company. In fact, outside of working for a few different companies that had acquired my companies (and a handful of small start-ups), I’ve never really had a “proper job”. In some senses this role at Microsoft is my “first job out of University” (even though that was almost 18yrs ago).
A former business partner of mine and still close friend always said that we are in an ideal demographic. The opportunities that will be available to us in our 40s and 50s will be substantial given the leadership vacuum caused by the baby boomers leaving the work market en force. As such, he would say, we need to start preparing ourselves to be qualified for those opportunities as they come up.
The glaring gap in my profile is demonstrated success within a larger organisation.
Performance in a Focused Area
As an entrepreneur that has founded, developed and sold three different companies over the past 17 years, I’ve always had a role that could only truly be measured by the overall success of the company. The adage of “chief cook and bottle washer” is always correct insofar as you are simultaneously head of sales, finance, operations and delivery … even if you have a head of sales, finance, operations or delivery.
For some time I’ve always wondered how I would do if I was only measured on a few key areas vs. all key areas.
There are three reasons I took this role at Microsoft:
- Familiarity. I’ve been partnered with Microsoft for over 10yrs and have developed dozens on dozens of great relationships in the Microsoft Canada subsidiary as well as down at corporate headquarters in Redmond. Not only that, but I have a very intimate knowledge of most of the products, services and solutions and feel as through I’ve almost been an insider anyway for most of my career. The team that I will be working directly with is in particular one of the highest performing teams within their practice globally at Microsoft… and I love a winning team.
- Potential. I believe that Microsoft has lost much of its “mojo” in the last 10-14yrs. I won’t go into my personal position on the why, but I can say that Microsoft is poised to either surge ahead past some of its key competitors or cede further ground all the way into effective oblivion. I’m certain the next five years will be a crucial period for Microsoft. I’d like to be a part of it either way as there is a lot of change coming.
- Lifestyle. This role at Microsoft addresses both key gaps in my professional profile, but still allows me to a) remain primarily customer-facing, b) be home most nights with my family and c) work within the community that I have invested heavily in for years.
Anyway … as with anything, this is a measured risk, but I want to throw everything into this.
Here goes …
(and if you’d like to contact me, you can reach me at Jame.Healy@Microsoft.com).