Less messing around, that is!
My first year as a sales engineer is basically in the books – tomorrow is it – and I’ve really learned a lot about myself, the job, working as part of a team. It has been a great experience overall and I am still exceedingly glad that I was offered, and took, the opportunity.
Last year at this time, roughly, I made a similar declaration to myself that this was it – no more mister-messing-around-guy! I was going to succeed and it was going to be laser-focus and iterative improvement. Meh. I mean, I did well for a new sales engineer, but there is a lot to learn, and the person in this role must be very flexible and able to roll with any situation seamlessly. That is not really me, but I am learning. As far as focus, there were times when I was so lost and frustrated that I was in a mental gridlock with myself. This is something I do!
When I don’t see a clear solution or path forward and there are more variables than I am comfortable with, I tend to gridlock and take no action. This is another area that I am slowly and surely tackling but it’s not easy, and therefore not comfortable. This one takes time. Sales seems to have so many more competing priorities than most other areas in which I’ve worked over my career.
Enough of that stuff, now on to the good and the plans!
- Read even more – I read a lot but I also laze out and watch stupid stuff on TV, although commercial TV has made it easy for me to quit with all their dumb advertisements all the time.
- Read more relevant material – I am focusing on information security, sure, but also on machine learning, AI, data management and Big Data, and on subjects like attention and focus.
- Plan. I have to get back to that one (ha!)
- Learn time management and prioritization techniques that work for me, my family and the job. I tend to procrastinate, and I tend to get in my own way. This item is going to take further study, but I think a couple of small things might have huge returns. For example, doing documentation and followup immediately after a call or meeting not only helps me remember and retain information, but it also means that the stuff is done and not sitting until the end of quarter or until it’s too late.
- Focus on my process and workflow and not on the tools that are out there. I tend to try new tools and end up not using them, or any for that matter. If email works for me to track right now, then it works until it doesn’t – revisit then!
- Feedback – as painful as this is, I am going to need to keep asking for it and internalizing it. Sales partner is moving on and she’s been the one giving me the best and most frequent feedback. Sometimes sucks to hear, but mostly it’s been hugely helpful.
Looking at this freehand post, because as you’ll recall, I am not a planner, I see that focus and particularly focus on the most important things, is what I need to, well, focus on.
Subjects (books) I am starting with:
Anything on Logging
Anything on SIEM
Anything on ML, AI or Big Data