vExpert Applications now open – how the community has helped during lockdown.

The vExpert Programme is now open to applications for the second half of 2020, so if you haven’t already applied, go do it now! You’ve got till the 25th June 2020! =)

https://blogs.vmware.com/vexpert/2020/05/31/vexpert-applications-are-open-dont-miss-out/

So I’ve written quite a number of blogs about how and why you should get involved in the vExpert community, so I’m not going to write about that this time…. plus a lot of other vExperts have written about this topic already so I’ve decided to write about something else – how the friends I’ve made within the vExpert community have kept me sane through lockdown!

In March this year the UK went into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, in fact a lot of countries around the world were forced to introduce pretty drastic measures to try and control the spread of the deadly virus! Little did we all know that 3 months later we’re all still in partial lockdown with life not seemingly going back to normal for a long long time!

Without social interaction such as grabbing coffee with work colleagues or meeting friends for drinks, life has been a bit monotonous… you wake up, switch on your laptop and pretty much jump on zoom calls from dawn to dusk! Work days have become longer and your work life balance has become a blur as you struggle to draw a line between work and family life! Me personally, I’ve never been so busy! My days are full of back-to-back meetings as I try to juggle the 50 odd partners I have across EMEA! I’ve had to resort to blocking out hours in my calendar just so that I’m spending meal times with my family, and also so that I can spend some time with my kids during the day!

But what’s also been a huge welcomed relief is that I can occasionally take a short break from work and just catch up with fellow vExperts in a WhatsApp group that was started over 2 years ago – back at the first VMware Empower. Over the years the group has grown to include people we’ve meet at various VMworlds and now I consider the 16 other people in the group as my confidants.

To be honest, the group was originally started to share our love of free swag which we used to hoard from VMware events… but over the years it’s become a good sounding board for everyone in the group – whether asking for career advice, to sharing funny video clips, to moaning about work and life, to asking for help in solving some VMware-related work problems. Everyone should have a group like this!

What I find is great about this mini group of vExperts is that whilst we all come from different walks of life everyone is humble and treats each other with respect. When people are having issues with work, everyone is happy to jump in to help…. When people are looking to just let off some steam, everyone is happy to listen…. When people decide they need a career change, everyone is willing to give advice!
The group has seen people change jobs, get married, and even have kids – but the one thing that still stays the same is our engagement with the VMware community (I’m fortunate that the group includes both VMUG leaders and vExpert Pros).

I’m not going to name names as I don’t want to embarrass anyone, however one thing I will say is that this group of vExperts have helped me keep sane through lockdown…. I don’t just value them as vExpert peers, I value them as friends!

And to think… if I didn’t originally take that leap of faith and apply for the VMware vExpert program, I would never have met these guys!

So what are you waiting for? Take that leap and apply!

https://vexpert.vmware.com/

Best of luck……

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