Just when I thought I was out…

They pull me back in. But in all fairness, I was the one who asked to be pulled back in.

My game plan for my post-Microsoft/Seattle life was to attend graduate school full-time for a Masters in Human Factors (User Experience) at San Jose State while I trained for my 3rd degree black belt with my grand master and get serious about triathlons and long-distance cycling. But life always seems to happen to me whenever I make plans.

After the injury, a close friend (a fellow karateka from Seattle) gave me some advice, “If you could do anything, what would you do?” And my first honest thought was, “I wanted to get back to working on great products again. I want to help people become more productive as possible using those products. I want to do another Tip of the Day series. I want to write more books and do more community activities.” As I looked around the Bay area, I began to realize more and more that Microsoft gave me the opportunities that I wanted back. It was amazing how much I took for granted as a college hire to MSFT. And more importantly, I learned why all non-MSFTies ask “What’s a Program Manager?”

This summer, a PM position opened up on the Mac PowerPoint team, ironically down the hall from my last MSFT office (I seriously can’t make this stuff up). In a way, my career has moved naturally from F5 to build (in Visual Studio) to a “PM F5” to start Slide Show :)  But more importantly, in an internal farewell post to the Microsoft bloggers, I said, “If someone were to do a tip of the day for Windows or Office, you could change the world.” Little did I know I would be inspiring myself. And yes, I’m still in grad school for a Masters in UX (Human Factors) at San Jose State – If Jeff Atwood has it on his blog tagline, you know it is worth getting a Masters in.

Long-time readers of this blog know how much Karate meant to me, so I hope to find something else to fill that void (maybe Iaido if my wrists aren’t too tight from all the years of typing, or rock climbing provided I can overcome my fear of heights). New readers will be wondering, “Why are you sharing this?” They should read about my phobia of plants. Seriously, I’ve always worn my heart on my sleeve (i.e. to be as human as possible on this blog) as a Microsoft employee – hands-down my favorite opportunity at Microsoft. And I don’t see any reason to change that now.

Here’s hoping I can hit another blogging home run with Mac PowerPoint. For my next blog post, I plan to follow what I did for Visual Studio: to blog about the best features I never knew about PowerPoint until I joined the team.

Here we go!

Comments (15)

  1. Alan Stevens says:

    Go Sara, Go!


  2. Jared Barboza says:

    Congrats!!! Mac Powerpoint has no idea how much more awesome their team just became 😀

  3. Abhay M says:

    Yay, congratulations!

  4. Keith Elder says:

    And my old friend from the Sippi is back! Awesome.

  5. Steven says:

    Wow. No more shotokan? That sucks. But good news for Microsoft and for us all that you're back in business. The best of luck.

  6. Programmerman says:

    Congratulations, Sara! I look forward to reading about all the features of a product I will likely never use. 🙂

  7. Peter Ritchie says:

    LOL, Go Sara Go…

  8. Carey Payette says:

    Welcome back Sara !  You are always an inspiration 🙂  I've followed in your footsteps and have trained real hard over the last 2 years and will be testing for my black belt early next year.  So sorry for your injury but glad you can get back to a place that you are passionate about!  Until next time 🙂

  9. GregM says:

    Glad to have you back, sorry to hear about the leg.  Best of luck in whatever you decide to do to replace karate.

  10. MarcT says:

    Yay, you're back! Go Sara Go!

  11. Jim Wooley says:

    I guess absence can make the heart grow fonder. Good to see you back.

  12. Antonio says:

    Go Sara Go!!!!

  13. Manuel says:

    Since your last post on Oct 18 2010 I never took your blog off my Netvibes reader. What a nice surprise to see a new post almost two years later. I'm sure anything you write will be a success. I just saw a program where a person tells the other that their dream was cut short a while back. What did you do said the other. I found a new dream he answers. Find new dreams Sara, and go get them!!!!!

  14. Welcome back Sara. What a nice surprise.

    Didn't stop to follow you.

    Keep on with great blog post.