We came to the amazing city of Pittsburgh in 2017 when my wife accepted a learning position in town. Pittsburgh is a city I hold very dear, with genuinely nice people, lots of history and adorable quirks. I will actually make a blog post of all my favorite PGH things in the future. It is a city with excellent craft beer, a hard rock mentality, and true love of sports - who wouldn’t love that!
Sadly, my wife’s fit in the new role, and the lifestyle that this new role was steering her into, didn’t make her happy. She wasn’t going to make any more money after 3 hard years, would always carry a very active pager, and ultimately wasn’t having fun. After lots of careful consideration and help, she decided to quit her pursuit and accepted a job in Orlando, FL.
I’ve been blessed with excellent work relationships all my career, and excellent transitions. I’ve only changed jobs twice, even though I survived several acquisitions that changed my job significantly. Even when it was a bad schedule - I worked the graveyard shift as NOC coordinator for 6 months - or a job where I wasn’t offered upward mobility, I had excellent colleagues and an environment where I was learning to get by. When my journey in those jobs was done, I knew I would become bitter and complacent if I stayed. So I defined what I wanted, and I moved.
Here’s a phrase I learned a while ago, probably from my first boss, that has stuck with me: If you aren’t happy, move. We are not trees. We can move - to a new job, relationship, city, country, life. Life is the pursuit of happiness. We have to do whatever we need to do to feel good about how we spend this precious life on Earth.
For me, there is nothing more important than my wife feeling happy and thriving. That’s how I measure success in life - a happy wife and a healthy home. And thankfully, VMware understands that. I’m very happy to state that after working with my superiors and customers, I will continue supporting my Pittsburgh customers, even if I live elsewhere. I will continue working with VMware!
I can’t state in words how happy this has made me - it’s incredible to feel appreciated and supported. If you ever have the opportunity to work for VMware, do it. These are some of the best managers and organizational policies I’ve ever seen, and I’m extremely blessed for my managers to allow me to do this. You can’t help but want to work harder for people that give you these opportunities!
We’ve let all VMware employees locally and my customers know already. I’ve let the local VMUG know - I’m part of the steering committee - and they’ve stated they want me to keep helping, which made me insanely happy. I have been truly been blessed this last two years in collaborating with the @PGHVMUG and I’m looking forward to helping more.
Will it be tough? Sure. I loved seeing my customers as much as possible, being able to adjust to scheduling changes as needed. I will make sure to be here for every event and important meeting, but some flexibility will be lost. I will be travelling, bi-weekly or monthly, which if you know me, you know I absolutely don’t mind. I will have to prove the same or bigger value while working remote. I’ve worked remotely before - 4 years out of my total 11 - and I’m up for the challenge.
Whatever the situation, I’ll approach with a fresh mind, give it my best shot, request feedback and iterate. I want my customers to always feel they have their biggest champion in their VMware TAM, and I will improve myself and look for ways to make everything better for them. Some topics that I will be learning, apart from what my customers are deploying in the near term, are VMware on AWS, NSX and Kubernetes - expect content in the future :)
I don’t know if this is our last move. Every time we move, we hope so. But, just today, I want to say I’m grateful. I’m grateful to my wife in accepting a new challenge in the pursuit of happiness. It took a lot of guts to make a decision this big, including finding within herself a new hope in the happiness the future can bring.
I’m also grateful to VMware and our customers in allowing me to support my wife, and to all the wonderful friendships I have made in Pittsburgh, a city I “get”. Denver is beautiful, Brooklyn is unique, and San Jose will always be “peace” - but Pittsburgh is and always be “heartwarming”, and I look forward to continue being part of it.
To everyone I met in this city, we’re doing a party this weekend, March 30th. Please reach out to me if you haven’t seen the invite through Slack or Twitter. And, remember, you aren’t getting rid of me. I don’t have a job if not in Pittsburgh, and summer, my favorite Pittsburgh season, is around the corner. There’s a really good New England style IPA in Couch Brewery, you’ll chuckle at the name and be able to tell me all about it if you come to the VMUG on April 5th.