Quick change of course – OK to quit?

In listening to the latest VUPaas podcast, “GS is Quitting”, I had an epiphany.  GS Khalsa was sharing his decision to drop his pursuit of VCDX to focus on other priorities in his career.  He and Chris Wahl discussed the rationale and benefit of pulling back on goals when they no longer make sense at a particular time.  This discussion was well timed for me as I’ve been putting heavy pressure on myself to knock out certain goals that are not necessarily the wildly important goals for me right now.  I actually felt like someone was giving me permission to set aside these goals to focus on the bigger picture and certainly some more pressing targets.  This was my epiphany – that it’s OK to put a looming goal on hold for awhile if it doesn’t make sense to pursue it at the moment.  So, I’m about to make a quick course change to adapt to my current situation.

In my last post I shared my goal of completing my CCNA R&S in the next few weeks and then preparing my pursuit of the CCNA Data Center track.  I’ve been talking up this year as “The Year of the Network”.  I had in mind some lofty certification goals for this year that included the CCNA certs, along with others such as my NCDA and VCAP-DCD.  The only way to stay on track with these goals was to keep knocking them out in quick succession.  The CCNA certs were especially important with my increased exposure and focus on data center networking.  However, at this point I’m going to put all of that on hold for just a little while.  I realize I have other priorities to focus on that are primarily centered on the fact that VMworld 2014 is just around the corner.  Let me explain.

VMworld is all about virtualization and the VMware ecosystem.  Sure, software defined networking and NSX were all the buzz last year and looks to be this year as well, so my bolstered  network stance will be a huge help.  But in a desire to keep up with the quickly changing landscape of virtualization and VMware’s product line, I feel the need to focus on several other specific areas over the next couple months:

  • VMware’s new products – Did you hear the latest vSphere Beta is available to the general public?  I have not had the luxury of test driving the beta of previous versions so this will be exciting.  I’m hoping to dig into it and share my own thoughts about it once VMware makes public announcements of it (maybe at VMworld?).  I also would like to make sure I’m well versed in the fundamentals of some of their other products like VSAN, vCAC and NSX to get the most out of information presented around these products.
  • VMware ecosystem – I’ve been spending a lot of time lately speaking with VMware Technology Partners.  Working for a consulting organization and VMware partner, we are always looking for ways to provide more value to our customers.  There are some excellent tools and products offered by third party companies that are truly impressive and assist in the performance and management of the virtual infrastructure.  The more I’m exposed to these offerings, the more I can bring these to the table for our customers.  This will also be a huge help as I will meet most of these companies again on the Solutions Exchange floor at VMworld.  As a partner, I am mindful that my purpose for being at VMworld is gathering information that can be translated into solutions for our customers.  The more in tune I am with the players and products in the ecosystem, the better the conversations and thus, the better information gathered.
  • vBrownbag Techtalks – I’m super excited about this.  I submitted a session topic for the vBrownbag TechTalks and hope to be selected this year.  I know competition is probably fierce since mass numbers of folks had their VMworld session submissions denied and they are likely looking at other outlets to share.  I am a quiet voice in the community so I might not make the cut amidst these much more well known names, but I at least am going to be ready to go.  I have what I believe is a neat topic integrating vCOps with vCO.  I love these products and I want to make sure I have a strong presentation ready to go if selected.

These goals along with some other bigger picture priorities around family and health have helped me reconsider and refocus my energies.  In life, we often need to make these directional changes based on our priorities and current circumstances, whether they be life events, workload, changing environment, feedback from our current direction, or simply new information.  Life moves too quickly so the faster we can make these course alterations and adapt to new circumstances, the better we can keep up and still enjoy a more balanced life.

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