I’ve been working as a contract Product Manager for a small start-up here in Jacksonville for about a year now. A couple of weeks ago they offered me a permanent position here and I decided last week to accept the position. My new title is Sr. Solution Engineer, and I’m responsible for providing the technical expertise during the sale process, defining appropriate solutions for our clients, and then managing the pricing and proposal process. I’m very excited about my new role for a couple of reasons.
First, I enjoy the environment here. It’s a technology company that also has a strong business presence, though it’s a fairly immature one that is still finding its footing, so a lot of the bureaucracy that you find in more established organizations (like our parent company) has not taken hold, and hopefully will not become part of the culture. There is a lot of strong talent here, which means I have to work harder to stand out, so I’m guaranteed to get a challenge out of it.
Secondly, I’m looking forward to learning from my new manager. This is much like the situation in which I left CitiStreet (now ING, this was a joint venture between Citigroup and State Street and managed outsourced Benefits administration) to follow my mentor to a competing company, Convergys. I loved my job at CitiStreet and was very happy working for my Director there, but I also really wanted to learn business from my mentor. This new role will put me in a position reporting to the Sales Director, which means I’ll definitely be out of my comfort zone, but I’m very interested in learning more about the sales process and how someone with technical expertise can control for chaos later in the implementation process.