You may have seen the good news I shared recently about being awarded a Microsoft MVP award. Needless to say I’m over the moon with this. I know this is an aspiration for a lot of people so I decided I would write a post to let them know exactly what changes after receiving that one little email.
My award email came through on Friday 1st June and landed in my inbox about 4pm UK time. A great start to the weekend no doubt. After telling my family I quickly drafted up a short blog post to ‘announce’ the news and then shared that through my twitter account, LinkedIn and my work Teams channel. This is where it all began, from there on in my phone went crazy with notifications and emails of people liking my post, sending me nice comments, adding me on LinkedIn etc etc. My twitter follower count jumped >10% over night and all of a sudden I had lots of new friends on LinkedIn and people I’ve never met from all around the world have been congratulating me ever since. Lesson No.1 if you get awarded, control your notifications, or even switch them off. By the Saturday my wife had confiscated my phone whilst we were out with the kids. Whilst I 100% appreciate all the congratulations and nice comments it’s an unexpected side-effect
Once the notifications start to curtail you start to get some emails from Microsoft about various conference calls going on where you can either hear the latest plans and/or start to give your feedback. You can add yourself into various distribution lists depending on your interests, but for me at least, you start to get the feeling that Microsoft genuinely want you to get on board and give feedback where you can. They are committed to this and it’s not just lip service. The responsibility or expectation that comes with this starts to sink in a little as the week goes on. You need to complete your MVP profile, amend your social media presence and add some logos to your blog, all things that can take a bit of time. You can also browse through the benefits and pick and choose what’s useful to you. In amongst these new emails is a shipping notification of ‘that’ tangible thing that you’ve been looking forward to for so long – the MVP pack complete with award. I don’t mind saying I’m looking forward to that one, I don’t know what to do with it yet but I’ll figure something out. I was also added to a mailing list with other Enterprise Mobility MVPs. Whilst I already know of number of these guys, something is very clear after sending out a quick intro. These people are genuinely friendly, don’t take themselves (or their “status”) too seriously and seem to be willing to help. A very promising start to my MVP life indeed.
Whilst I’m predominantly a remote worker at the moment, I made a trip into the office during that first week. One other thing then also becomes clear, not only does this mean a lot to you, it also means something to your work colleagues. Now, undoubtedly there’s a certain attraction for the company marketing dept. but people seem genuinely pleased for you and certainly in my case I heard lots of “about time” and “I’m pleased you got there eventually” type comments. Probably some reflection of my community contributions over the last 5+ years. But I guess that’s the point, this is not an easy thing to achieve, especially if you have a busy job, family and general life stuff to balance out at the same time. Now it’s just about sinking in and I’m thinking forward about what contributions I will make next, I’m thinking hard about how I might notch this up a level. The resources are all there for the taking, so how much you use them and learn from them is up to you.
I hope that gave you a little bit of insight. I’ll not keep this a regular thing, I just wanted to put a slightly different perspective on the “how to become a Microsoft MVP” posts that are out there. If nothing else, I hope it inspired you contribute to IT community as much as you take from it and if this is an aspiration of yours, simply keep at it. To leave you with a bit of humour, I was reminded this week of these videos about Microsoft MVPs. Show these to your family friends who still don’t know what you do for a living