Goals: The Next Chapter of My Improv Life


Sometimes that offer comes along that makes a difficult choice easy. A few weeks back, I got that call. Well, I got the Twitter DM (since that is my mobile office). After three years at VMware, and ten years on the vendor side of the tech world, today is my first day at Dick’s Sporting Goods as Senior Director, Office of the CTO.

Circumstances being what they are in these pandemic times, I was wearing my soccer kit for my first interview. Not what I would typically choose for first impressions, but a perfect fit and metaphor for this one. I’m incredibly excited to get to work with a team I’ve only met virtually so far. I’m a long-time customer and a fan of the DSG mission.

Before I started the interview process, I didn’t even know a role like this existed. All of that time in the interviewer’s chair with my fellow Geek Whisperers and this one never popped up. I’ll be doing for pay many of those things I did on the side of my previous jobs (translating the value of tech into business, listening for and telling the good stories, serving the customer, fostering strong team practices).

Playing with the #vSoccer crew in Barcelona.
#vSoccer in Barcelona

As mentioned above, I was wearing my kit in that first interview–turns out my new boss played soccer professionally and our first conversation ended with a classic topic, who is the GOAT, Messi or Ronaldo? We had the same answer, and for similar reasons. (The answer is Messi, by the way, and I will happily have that discussion with anyone.) That’s the moment I knew this was the right path for me.

It’s my first foray into the customer side of the tech business, my first role outside of marketing, and a role I can grow into. I like to try new things, and this DSG opportunity is all of that and more. Of course, I’m nervous, but I am also grateful for the support of the community in helping me get here and cheering me on. I won’t be at all the shows and events I once attended, but I’ll still be recording podcasts and speaking on the things that matter to me.

I’ve spoken to many of you over the course of this lockdown (one benefit of this terrible time has been more time to catch up with folks I only had the opportunity to see in passing at a conference in Vegas!), and I’m so fortunate to have wise counsel in innumerable forms. From on-point tech questions, market trends, diversity in hiring, org chart analysis, resume reviews, and more, y’all showed up big for me and I am so thankful and inspired to give back even more.

For everyone out there looking for a new opportunity in the midst of this madness, I want to close with this: it only takes one call to take you to new places. Don’t give up, don’t quit.