Is it possible to get your dream job more than once in your life? Well, depends on what you dream about, one can say. Let me share with you some news from my life and thoughts about how I think the best job should look like.
So as not to keep your curiosity tense, I’ve just made the next step in my professional career. Today I’m starting a new job as the Azure Product Marketing Manager, or shorter Sub PMM/Azure, at Polish subsidiary of Microsoft. You can say, my story has come the full circle. After four and a half years I return to M&O (Marketing & Operations), the department where I worked, when I left Microsoft in 2016. I think I’m even more excited than when I was joining the company for the first time in 2012!
There and back again – lessons learned
I have to admit that the last few years have been a real adventure and I feel a bit like a hobbit after a trip to the wild Middle-earth, rich in memories, experiences and conclusions that can help me in my new job. Since I left Microsoft I’ve worked for several different companies: a leading distributor of Microsoft software in Poland, one of the largest and fastest growing Polish multi-cloud software companies, a start-up delivering analytics using Microsoft stack (Power BI and Azure), and one of the leading solution integrators in the field of data analytics in our country. Quite like rolling around 🙂
I’ve learned a lot during that journey. Both from a professional point of view (now I know how different challenges are faced by companies of different profiles and sizes, I’ve learned a lot about people management, I’ve had a chance to observe how organizations change as they grow) and from the point of view of getting to know myself. Also, I’ve gathered a lot of thoughts on what my dream job should look like. Let me share some of those thoughts with you.
- If I am to work with enthusiasm and joy, my job must be related to my passion.
- Work-life-balance is not a myth, but a real need. There is no way I can be productive and creative at work without a stable situation in other aspects of life. I work to live, not the other way around.
- It is people who create the atmosphere at work, not company policies or written company values. I love working with positive people who are smarter and more experienced than me, and who also share my values: honesty, accountability, mutual trust, and teamwork.
- My dream job should give me a lot of space for development on multiple levels (not only in technology).
- The company I work for should constantly push me to grow and think about the next stages of my career.
- My dream employer should take on social responsibility and positively influence the world and society.
- Well understood inclusion, tolerance and diversity should be at the foundation of the organization I work for.
OK, but then – is Microsoft “this company” and is Azure PMM “this job”? Honestly, there are solid chances they might be! According to Forbes, Microsoft is one of the best employers worldwide. I remember my previous time here and I enjoyed it a lot! Many of my good friends from the time when I was employed here still work at Microsoft and they are very happy with it. I can’t tell you how much I miss the possibility of walking through the corridors of the office and saying hello to each colleague separately. When it comes to the PMM role, Azure is in the center of Microsoft’s attention, being one of the three leading cloud platforms in the world. And, most above all, cloud technologies have been my passion for years.
You may be wondering what exactly I will be doing as Azure PMM. According to the job description here is a list of my responsibilities (taken directly from the job description):
- Own and Land Your Propositions
- Plan and execute activity that promotes Azure services to drive revenue growth; lead key product/services moments/activities/releases
- Maintain product knowledge and evangelize the product internally and externally to press, enthusiasts, influencers, sales (for pre-sales and consumption driving) customer and partner scenarios
- Act as the voice of the field by ensuring timely updates/feedback to corporate on Azure Priority execution and performance in Area/Subsidiary
- Go-to-Market Planning
- Own the local product marketing strategy in accordance with growth and bridge models. Use corporate guidance to align Azure Priorities and Programs & Investments
- Orchestrate the creation of local Azure GTM plans and investment decisions. Lead targeting for local market-owned activities, partner with segment/channel teams to prioritize investment decisions for non-product-marketing owned activities.
- Develop competitive strategies to drive target market share gains. Respond to new market, product, strategy dynamics
- Business Outcomes
- Monitor and understand Azure Priority Performance; Orchestrate execution to deliver on business metrics related to the Rhythm of Connections (ROC) and course correct the GTM plans with the business owners to deliver results
- Actively lead and engage with all stakeholders across the subsidiary for One Microsoft orchestration across sales, partner, marketing, and service
- Determine key insights and asks to accelerate adoption of Azure services, qualify inhibitors (with recommendations) to escalate to subsidiary LT and corporate
- Best Practice identification and sharing across the Area/Subsidiaries and with corporate to exponentially sale successful performance
Sounds quite like a challenge, huh? Especially for the technical guy like me 😉 Well, yes (I’m not a typical marketing fellow) and no (read on).
First of all, from my experience, practically everyone at Microsoft is able to shape the position held in order to maximize the use of talents and skills possessed. So it would be natural to use my technical knowledge and experience in data and analytics workloads to support Customers and Partners, as well as my coworkers at Microsoft.
Secondly, I won’t be there on my own with all the above duties. Because Azure is the apple of the eye of most if not all Microsoft employees, I bet I’ll get a lot of support from my peers – starting in the M&O Team, through the Teams managing different segments, right up to the Partner Channel Development Team. Looks like there is a lot of internal networking on my way in the coming months!
Thirdly, I’m going to learn a lot, I’m sure of that. Not only I’ll focus on expanding my Azure knowledge beyond data related areas, but also the new position strongly motivates me to keep an eye on other cloud technologies (competition is a good thing!). As a part of my New Year’s resolution, I’ve already started some experimentation with Azure, GCP and AWS.
And last but not least, there is still a lot to do in terms of cloud adoption in Poland (24% of Polish enterprises used cloud in 2020). Microsoft has already announced a $1B investment plan to accelerate innovation and digital transformation in the “Polish Digital Valley” (Azure region in Poland is coming).
What’s in it for you
Thank you for reading all the way here. Enough about me and Microsoft. Now, let’s focus on you.
If you are one of the following: a Customer, a Partner, a professional working with Azure, a geek passionate about cloud technologies or one of my peers at Microsoft, then there are many possible forms of our close cooperation in the nearest future.
We can sit down together and work on: gathering feedback from the field on Azure services, building/modernizing your solutions in the cloud, running digital transformation using Microsoft technologies, finding many ways you can strengthen your professional profile and/or influence the community by learning Azure and knowledge sharing, figuring out win-win scenarios for you, me and our organizations.
Interested? Give me some time to get on board and put my toys in order, and call me back soon!