I’ve had some pretty fun and interesting opportunities so far in my work life, but by far the biggest leap was from engineering to what we call evangelism. Convincing and then helping developers to build on a given technology is a discipline that sits in the white space between sales and engineering, and it’s something I realized I was pretty well suited to.
In my first evangelism role, I found myself stretched and developing some business skills, and had the opportunity to sign and oversee some pretty cool projects, from funding through to commercial sale.
My next stop, evangelizing a different and somewhat more consumer-facing technology, proved to be technically deeper than the last, allowing me to dip back into the engineering world — and convincing me that this is a pace worth continuing: one step forward on the technical side, the next on the business side… and always trying to grow.
So, after 4 years as an evangelist, the last leaning toward the technical realm, it’s time for a change. Fortunately, I’m with an employer who encourages growth, and we’re living in a place where I have options! When I hit my one year anniversary, giving me eligibility to transfer within the company, I had a specific role I wanted to move toward – so I asked for the job (even though it didn’t exist!) I was delighted when 5 hours later they invited me to do an interview loop with the team! This wasn’t my only option (in fact, there were at least 5 good ones) but this is the one I wanted.
Technically my role hasn’t changed – I’m still managing technical projects as a Computer Systems Analyst. But now I’m doing it for Business Development, rather than as an Evangelist, and learning lots of new things along the way.
The west coast has given us more than just career opportunity. This past month we pulled the kids in a tube behind a boat on Lake Chelan, hiked a small mountain, hosted family, kicked off summer with an evening camp with the kids, welcomed a lovely young gal here to work as an intern at our church (free babysitting!), picnicked under a waterfall, paid off our new car after less than 6 months, visited family, and finally got around to planning for retirement. The next season of work life looks to be demanding and challenging, but we’ve faced that before, and the results have been worth it. And besides, we love a good challenge… Just ask our kids!