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A New Season (A Networking Success Story)

I’d like to share a networking success story.  Last year, I blogged about my experience at the PASS Summit of 2005, where I was essentially a wallflower and didn’t really do any networking.  Since then, I’ve realized its importance and have embraced professional networking as a key component in a successful career. 

Ever since then I have carried through on the lesson I learned, spending as much time as possible getting to know my colleagues, and lending them a hand whenever possible.  At the PASS Summit this past November, I got the chance to redeem myself from the lack of initiative from my trip four years earlier, and took the opportunity to get to know as many people as I could.  During lunch on the third day of the Summit, I met a fellow Dallas-area business intelligence professional who works for a small consulting firm in my area.  He mentioned that his company was looking to hire one or two more senior BI people, and I hinted that I was considering making a move.

To make a long story short, that encounter led to a few phone calls and a series of meetings with this company, and as of next week, I will be a permanent part of their team!  My new role at Artis Consulting will be as a business intelligence consultant, solving complex business data problems alongside some very sharp coworkers.  I’ve had the opportunity to spend a little time with all of the leadership and several of the staff members, and I’m very excited about this move and the new challenges that it will bring.

So back to the success story… Looking back at the events of the past couple of months, I don’t believe things would have ended up this way without the groundwork I laid through networking.  In the last few years, I’ve spent a good deal of time working with and getting to know the folks in my local SQL Server user group, which in part led to my leadership role within that group.  That leadership position helped me to meet and develop friendships with other SQL Server group leaders, and one of those relationships led directly to a friendly introduction to my initial contact at Artis, resulting in the interviews and eventually the new career with that company.  It's important to note that my new role at this company was not openly advertised as a vacant position, so I would likely not have found this opportunity through a traditional job search.  I do believe that there was a greater comfort level on both sides of the interviewing fence after we came together through a known and trusted common contact.

My recent experience is further proof that building professional relationships through networking is a great strategy for career improvement.  If you’re like I used to be – introverted, a bit shy, perhaps doubting the value of professional networking – I encourage you to take a chance and get to know some of your peers and colleagues.  Find a local user group in your area of expertise, and set a goal to meet X number of people.  Attend a local technology event such as a product launch or a SQL Saturday, and introduce yourself to others there.  Invite a colleague you don’t know to lunch or coffee.  Volunteer to be part of a team in events such as GiveCamp.  There’s nothing to lose!  The very worst thing that can happen is that you’ll meet some people you’ll never see again.  And often, things work out such that your networking contacts work together to change your career for the better.

"Fortune favors the bold.”  -- Virgil

Tim Mitchell

Tim Mitchell is a business intelligence consultant, author, trainer, and Microsoft Data Platform MVP with over thirteen years of data management experience. He is the founder and principal of Tyleris Data Solutions.

Tim has spoken at international and local events including the SQL PASS Summit, SQLBits, SQL Connections, along with dozens of tech fests, code camps, and SQL Saturday events. He is coauthor of the book SSIS Design Patterns, and is a contributing author on MVP Deep Dives 2.

You can visit his website and blog at TimMitchell.net or follow him on Twitter at @Tim_Mitchell.


Posted by wnylibrarian on 5 February 2010

Many congratulations! I like your quote: "There’s nothing to lose!  The very worst thing that can happen is that you’ll meet some people you’ll never see again." That is so true! This is one of those situations where only good can come out of it. If in networking you never see those people again, nothing will happen. It's 50/50. However, if you don't try for sure nothing will happen. That's a 100% track record no one should have.

Posted by Jack Corbett on 5 February 2010

Congratulations Tim.  I hope you have much success in your move.

I know I still need to do more when it comes to networking.  I'm better , but I still have a ways to go.  It doesn't come naturally, but reading about others' successes is definitely a motivator.

Posted by Glenn Berry on 5 February 2010

Nice job Tim! It is always good to show a concrete example of the benefits on getting out of your cube and networking.

Posted by Steve Jones on 5 February 2010

Tim, congrats, and best of luck in the new job.

I'll have to remember this story when I do the branding presentation and add a networking section.

Posted by Wayne Sheffield on 5 February 2010

Congrats Tim! When I read "If you’re like I used to be – introverted, a bit shy", I thought you had become psychic and were talking about me!

Posted by Jason Brimhall on 5 February 2010

Congrats Tim.  I have had similar experiences.  The first PASS Summit I attended, I was a bit of a wallflower.  I too have since learned the value of networking.  Especially after recent moves and business endeavors.

Posted by Roy Ernest on 5 February 2010

Congratulations Tim... You used the opportunity that you got in the best way possible it seems...:-)

Posted by Don Gabor on 10 February 2010


Congrats! I'm sure that your new role as a business intelligence consultant will lead to even more opportunities for you. Keep it up!

Posted by Anonymous on 21 February 2010

Pingback from  Success - The Psychic Component

Posted by Anonymous on 21 February 2010

Pingback from  Success - The Psychic Component

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