The Field Guide


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This guide is a collection of insights and best practices for building a great career… by field employees, for field employees.

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The Field Guide

  1. 1. The Field GuideA career guide by field employees, for field employeesThe Global Services Career Center
  2. 2. The Field Guide About This BookOver the last few months, we’ve talked to employees around the globe about what it takes to be successful inthe field.This guide is a collection of insights and best practices for building a great career… by field employees, forfield employees.You can find more tools like this on the Global Services Career Center on EMC-ONE at, or onSlideshare at 2
  3. 3. The Field Guide Contents Networking 4 Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone 8 Being Visible 11 Learning & Development 13 Owning Your Career 16 Resources 21 3
  4. 4. The Field Guide Networking 4
  5. 5. The Field Guide You need to build up a network of contacts within the business. You need to reach out to different parts of the business in different regions, get to know people, and maintain relationships with those people. That can be more from a personal point of view of dropping people a line on email or communicator, participating in conference calls – just really trying to know different people in different parts of the organization, different parts of the world, and maintaining those relationships, because you learn a lot from those people. Whats tended to work for me is finding mentors – someone who I trust and respect, and someone I can work with to help guide me in my career. It might be someone whos currently doing the role that Im doing, but theyve been doing it for a lot longer than I have and theyre someone I can learn from, or I might aspire to do a different role and Ive developed a mentor who can help me do that. Brad Gordon Melbourne, Australia While I do not have a formal mentor at the moment, I find that I can learn from so many people, especially from people who are not from my department or area of responsibility. What we tend to do sometime is see the world with Technology Services shades, so to say, and we forget to have a different point of view. One of my mentors is a Regional Sales Manager. Its not a formal mentorship, but I learn a lot from him about how our sales folks are seeing the world, and that helps me a lot in my day-to-day business. Bernhard Grueling Vienna, Austria 5
  6. 6. The Field Guide I try to be in the office and be present and be around, because although we dont have the corporate community feel, we have our own community out in the field. Our office is pretty tight-knit. Try to form your own community in your own area and feel apart of something, even in the field. Amanda Walker Pennsylvania, USA If theres any area in the company that youre interested in going into, its good to find someone in that area to talk to. Ive never met anyone here that isnt interested in helping you if you want to learn more about their role or what you need to do to get there. Its just communication, but you have to make the effort yourself to communicate. Michael Ball Melbourne, Australia 6
  7. 7. The Field Guide The face-to-face is so crucial. I cant tell you how many times Ive thought, "Well I dont really need to go to the customer site this week," or even the office. And Ill still do it. And I cant tell you how many times Ive built relationships and found out additional information that makes things go much smoother. Getting in front of the customer or in an EMC office as much as possible goes a long way to building those professional networking opportunities. Tony Penn Florida, USA Youre going to work with a lot of people in your career, and youre going to try to figure out which ones you should listen to. Dont try to figure that out. Look at everyone you work with and figure out what theyre really good at, and learn from that. Craig McQuilkin Florida, USA 7
  8. 8. The Field Guide Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone 8
  9. 9. The Field Guide Often times opportunities do not present themselves in your local area. There are a lot of different organizations within a geography, but often times if youre looking to advance your career it involves relocating to an area where there is an opportunity. It presents a blended, mixed bag of good and bad. The good is a new set of people that youre interacting with, a whole different set of management, and the opportunity to re-impress everybody. But once youre in that new geography, youre just expanding your influence further and further. Josh Norige California, USA If you look at the European situation, its not very common that people leave their home country. One of the points that I thought was most interesting in my career was when I decided about ten years ago to move to Ireland for a while. I lived there for four years, and it was one of the best things that Ive ever done. I would encourage people to do something similar. Live abroad for a while, get to know other cultures, and see how things work elsewhere. Bernhard Grueling Vienna, Austria 9
  10. 10. The Field Guide For you to break out of your current role you have to go above and beyond what your current job responsibilities are. Your manager may guide you, but hes not going to put goals on you to say, "Go do this." You have to go outside your comfort zone and do other things. Timothy Haydon California, USA 10
  11. 11. The Field Guide Being Visible 11
  12. 12. The Field Guide From the field, you have a lot of opportunities to be visible to the right people at the right time. Often we have new products, new betas, and new opportunities for field employees to specialize into new product areas. One of the very first things that I started out in my career was getting involved in some betas of Invista and ESRS, and that actually helped me dramatically because it put me in front of decision makers. Josh Norige California, USA Make sure the people around you know your good work... without bragging. Youve done a good job. If you want to advance, you need to let people know. Its a delicate balance. For example, if Im in a conversation with my boss I may say, "Last week in a similar situation I did this." Timothy Haydon California, USA 12
  13. 13. The Field Guide Learning & Development 13
  14. 14. The Field Guide I have a subscription to Get Abstract. They actually provide me with a lot of very valuable summary information about business books. Like many busy professionals, its not easy to sit down and read an entire book. So when you get the condensed version, you really get the key points. Youre not going to find a book that tells you how to do your job better. Youre going to find books that help you tweak pieces of your job and understand how other people work and operate. Josh Norige California, USA What I find on EMC-ONE is a variety of information, starting from new marketing campaigns, to customer issues, to PowerPoint decks that I use myself sometimes for presentations. I have a wide variety of things that I can see and find there. I find EMC-ONE a very up-to-date and timely way of communication, and it is very much inline with what people do at home anyway. More and more, this type of communication will spread to our customers as well. Bernhard Grueling Vienna, Austria 14
  15. 15. The Field Guide When I first started there was a lot of training to get up to speed on the products that I was supporting. But other than the training, there are plenty of opportunities to go and do things outside of my role. If an opportunity comes up that youre interested in and theres the scope to do it, then you can go and work with someone else from an other team and learn a bit about their role and get a bit of experience outside of your own area. Its a combination of training and fieldwork that gets you were youre going. Michael Ball Melbourne, Australia You really have to make the time to develop. You have to put it in your schedule, otherwise it wont happen. Also, dont be afraid to bite off small chunks. If you can only carve out 15 minutes this week and not a full hour, thats fine. I see a lot of people put things off because they dont have a full hour, a half-day to dedicate to something. Go ahead, be OK with a smaller chunk of time, because 15 minutes over a few months certainly adds up. Andrew Erickson Minnesota, USA 15
  16. 16. The Field Guide Owning Your Career 16
  17. 17. The Field Guide Define what success is for you. For some individuals growing into management is success. For others, being the most technical, being the person who always knows the next thing before it happens, is success. So first, define what success is for you. After youve done that, have a plan. Map out where you are and where you want to go. I think the biggest challenge thats often overlooked is the internal career development: Knowing where you want to go. So often, people get an idea of, "This is where I should be. Externally this defines success, so I need to follow these steps to go down this certain path." I think really getting in touch with what drives you, where you’re passionate, then everything is going to be a lot easier. If you lose your passion for what you do, its going be work. Andrew Erickson Minnesota, USA We have weekly one-on-one meetings with my manager and myself, so thats the time for me to talk about any challenges or problems Im having with my projects and anything I need support on. But its also a time to talk about career, and to talk about whats next for you. If you have those conversations on a regular basis and not necessarily when you want something, I think its easier to have that conversation when you want something thats outside of the normal. Amanda Walker Pennsylvania, USA 17
  18. 18. The Field Guide The one thing I like about EMC very much is that nobody prevents you from learning. Everybody is encouraging you and creating an environment that helps you learn, be it in a self-paced manner on the web, be it classroom-type training, or real, formal training on an executive level. At the end of the day, its something you need to pull and not so much wait for. Talking about career development with my manager is a very open discussion. We have formalized a plan on where to go over the next 12 to 18 months, and this is something I appreciate very much. Bernhard Grueling Vienna, Austria I sit down with my manager and map out an Individual Development Plan. And there are things Ill do, CBTs Ill attend, books Ill read, a lot of it on my own time because its my development. Its like anything at EMC - you get done the things you make time to get done, and it has to be a priority for you. Craig McQuilkin Florida, USA 18
  19. 19. The Field Guide You have to make time to develop your career. If you sit and wait for the time to appear it wont. You really have to make the most of your downtime, so when things are quiet, you have to grab that opportunity to work towards your goals. I think having clear goals and making the commitment to put some time every day or every week into that is the only way that youre going to do it. Michael Ball Melbourne, Australia I have a CE who wants to get out of the CE ranks, and has an excellent opportunity to go into the Data Domain field right now. Hes done his Proven Professional certifications, hes done classes in Data Domain, hes come to me and said, "I want to learn more about it." He took it upon himself to see where the company is going, to get that knowledge, and make sure that on his resume, LinkedIn, wherever he may be, he has listed what he can do. And every time he gets and opportunity to shadow somebody he does it. But he took the initiative himself. Timothy Haydon California, USA 19
  20. 20. The Field Guide Quite often, the people who have helped me in my career have been my managers. One of the things I always try to do is have a strong working relationship with my manager. One of the things Ill do with them is make it very clear what my goals are from a career point of view. Ill sit down with them and say, "This is where I want to go. This is what Im next interested in doing." And I work with them to help me achieve that. Once you put out there what you want to do, as long as youre doing well in your job people are going to help you to get there. Brad Gordon Melbourne, Australia 20
  21. 21. The Field Guide Resources The Global Services Career Center EMC University & Education Services EMC-ONE Employee Community (internally facing) EMC Community Network (externally facing) EMC Bloggers Get Abstract Book Summaries The PodCenter on Powerlink EMC Careers on YouTube EMC Careers on Slideshare 21
  22. 22. The Field Guide Share This Please download, print, discuss and share this document. This guide can be downloaded internally at or externally at 22
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