University Talent

Navigating Change & Uncertainty Early in Your Career

The VMware Flight program was created to support VMware’s early-in-career employees globally. The program is designed to provide employees with the tools and support needed to “take flight” and launch a successful career at VMware.

Over the next year will connect with many VMware Flight employees in different teams and regions around the world. They will share their perspective as they navigate the early stages of their career at VMware. Up first is Lifecycle Services Specialist, Karisma Daswani, read on to get to know how she adapted to a new role and team.

Six months ago, I shared my VMware career journey from summer intern to a full-time hire on the Lifecycle Services team. Five months after starting my full-time position, I transitioned to the Tanzu Partner Ecosystem team. When I was told that my manager, Rich Steeves, would be leading a new team and taking me along, I was stunned. I felt I was finally comfortable working on the Lifecycle Services team, projects that were assigned to me, and with my team, who all were a huge support system as I transitioned from my internship into a full-time role. The idea of moving to a new and more technical team was daunting at first. I was worried, I would be unsuccessful.

My one comfort was knowing I had the complete support of my manager. Knowing that he believed transitioning to this team would provide me a unique learning opportunity and propel my career growth eased my anxiety. Rich knew working on this team would force me outside my comfort zone, but he felt I was ready for the challenge.

My first few weeks on this new team were challenging. Not only were we working on transitioning a partner team that was formerly in a business unit into WPCO (Worldwide Partner and Commercial Organization), but I had to learn the Tanzu product portfolio and technology, including the many acronyms that still jumble in my head from time to time. I felt overwhelmed with information, trainings, and executive initiatives. There were days where I felt like an imposter and questioned my skills. On those very rough days, I was grateful to have not only my manager’s support but also my new and old teams’! I worked hand in hand with my new teammates, Liz Mitchell and Anna Crean, two of my mentors who have continued to guide, support, and encourage me throughout my transition. I’m also extremely lucky that my old team has kept in touch with me, constantly checking in. Having this much support pushed me every day to believe I’m capable of not just completing but also excelling in my new role. Once I embraced the uncertainty and learning curve that came with my new role, I felt more at peace and motivated to succeed.

My role on this new team is completely different and more hands-on. I’m working with my manager and team in a new way; instead of observing during team meetings, I am expected to help shape the team and plan initiatives. My opinions are heard, and questions answered in real-time as we formulate workstream success metrics and goals. I’m the busiest I’ve ever been since I started VMware and I love every second of it! Every day I work with my new team, my fears evaporate, and I feel wholeheartedly accepted.

As new graduates, we are used to the comfortable pace and schedule of school. It’s incredibly challenging to transition into the professional world, where we develop our own schedules, create our own relationships within teams, and find our own growth opportunities.  When we find a place that is reminiscent of the comfortable pace we had in college, we remain there for as long as we can, fearing change.

The reality is change, no matter how uncomfortable, is necessary to grow. Growth doesn’t happen when we log on to work each day knowing what’s going to happen. True growth happens when there are fire drills and time-sensitive deliverables due in an environment that is unfamiliar, where proactiveness and having a strong voice become vital to succeed.

Everyone’s career journey is different and full of limitless opportunities for us to shine at various stages. Being comfortable with being uncomfortable can be something extremely positive in the long run. My advice to other new graduates is to push yourself to the limit and challenge the status quo because doing so will provide valuable experience for the future.

I am forever grateful to my team, managers, mentors, and most of all to VMware for giving me an opportunity to work at an innovative company committed to the growth of its employees. I’m excited to continue my journey at this truly EPIC company!

Learn more about New Graduate and Intern opportunities at VMware by browsing our career site.

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