My career life has always been focused on Microsoft products and services. Working for a Microsoft gold partner for almost 8 years, had given me an inkling of what life at Microsoft might be like. However once I moved to Microsoft in November 2011, it didn’t take me long to truly realise, the benefits of working at such an influential organisation.
Investment in people
From the very first day it was very clear to me how much people are valued as individuals and "Putting People First" is not just an advertising campaign.
I was given enough time to familiarise myself with the Microsoft way of consulting. This included a one week new hire onboarding programme in Redmond at Microsoft Services University. It was an incredible experience that definitely helped me with my soft skills and familiarised me with the resources and toolset available to do my day to day job more effectively and efficiently. I also had the opportunity to network with amazing people from around the globe. I made some great friends from all over the world which I'm still in touch with today.
I can honestly say that Microsoft is a sea of opportunity and development. Not only that, you are in fact encouraged and expected to take advantage of such opportunities. These include an onsite library with access to the vast number of technical and non-technical materials, free access to online materials and Microsoft courses, free exams, free MSDN subscription, regular opportunity to attend events such as TechReady (which is like TechEd for Microsoft field staff covering all the Enterprise products and technologies) and most of all, 'the time' that you would need to do all these.
My manager works directly with me on regular basis to review my career development progress and provide support where necessary in order to help achieve my targets.
At Microsoft the emphasis is on the quality of work produced and the client satisfaction. We are empowered to manage our own schedules working within the needs of our customer commitments on projects, this allows me to plan the necessary development activities into my schedule to enable me to grow whilst still delivering high quality to our customers and the business.
Making a difference
Not only am I encouraged to get involved and make a difference, but I am expected as part of my commitments to contribute to my team, community, partners, processes and the practice. The opportunity to influence the development of new processes, or to better current processes is an invaluable experience that not many organisations have in place.
I definitely feel like I am part of a team. People are extremely passionate, talented, experienced and go above and beyond their duty to help. The standard and reputation of the people at Microsoft was one of the primary reasons for me wanting to join. There is a diverse background of people at Microsoft but the one thing they all have in common is that they are leading individuals in their field of expertise and they are all more than willing to share their wisdom and experience.