Laura Slot, a Commercial Account Manager here at VMware, shares her story about what led her to her role in VMware and how change is an intricate part of her life, and how it’s something we should all learn to embrace.
As the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, said: “change is the only constant.” Well, Heraclitus would have been amazed if he were able to look around today. What would surprise him the most? The computer, the internet, the mobile phone, or how we now work together in a 1.5-meter society? Recently much has changed, and will continue to, even faster than ever before. Change happens when you give people space for renewal and innovation. According to Heraclitus, giving people space should be constant in our behavior.
Change Forces Growth
A few years ago, I decided to leave behind the pharmaceutical industry’s comfort to create space for my personal development. Everything that once was normal suddenly changed — I had to reinvent myself, which came with a lot of insecurity, a feeling of failure, but above all, perseverance. In my search for a new role in the tech industry, I found myself lacking IT knowledge, so I forced myself to search for other possibilities and ways to understand what VDI, Disaster Recovery, SIEM/SOC, IAAS (Infrastructure as a Service), SAAS (Software as a Service), PAAS (Platform as a Service) was all about. What do these concepts mean in relation to why something is of importance to a customer, and which innovation need is behind it? Now, exactly a year later, I am in a completely different role after reinventing myself from a Pharmaceutical professional to an Account Executive at one of the world’s leading technology companies – VMware.
“You have to keep moving because the only thing constant is change.” – Laura Slot
You have to keep moving because the only constant is change. In other words, normal is not normal! If you find yourself thinking of something you do as normal, you’re already too late to start moving again. My advice to people looking to make a significant career move is to create space for change. This is where it can get tricky because most people are not good at change. They want to keep holding on to the familiar and comfortable, while others are already exploring the unfamiliar and growing professionally and personally.
Change Alters Our Daily Routines
Working effectively at VMware as an Account Executive without having any pre-existing technological knowledge during a global pandemic, begs for a unique approach. The cool thing about VMware is that they allow you to keep researching and learning to stay relevant and current in your role. Every day I am learning and growing in this role. While working at home during the global pandemic, I’ve also changed my daily routine. I choose to go running on the beach every other day. This is when and how I evaluate the digital encounters I’ve had with my customer’s day. On my run, I mull over these customer interactions and I try to learn from them. I also use this time to prepare myself for a meeting or e-mail and to make sure I’ve understood the other person’s perspective.
I see my kids every other week. When my kids are with me, they go to school for two days, and I’m expected to homeschool them for three days. This is quite a new and challenging situation in combination with my work and requires some work-life balance adjustments. After all, the house has been transformed into an office, a school, and a home. I’ve learned that by expressing sincere interest in each other and showing that we all take the responsibility to create success together, we can help each other when necessary. This is why sometimes you can find me on a skateboard, creating a TikTok with my daughter or exploring the Raspberry Pi with my son. This way, we don’t have to agree on standard lunchtimes instead we align our plans quickly on what we eat for lunch and dinner, while also spending quality time together.
Helping Customers Adapt To Change
In conversations with customers, I talk about how we can navigate through these times with existing VMware technology. We talk about what have they done, what have they learned, what would they’ve done differently and, how do we ensure this becomes the basis for a fast-changing society in which government agencies are expected to adapt to that change.
My role and the world is ever-changing and with that brings days filled with new explorations with customers, insights with colleagues, fun, and energy to continue what I’ve started. The only thing constant is change, and that’s precisely what makes life so beautiful.
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