The Importance of the #vCommunity – Part 2 – The Benefits

Hey everyone, it’s time for Part 2 in my #vCommunity series. Today I’m going to talk about some of the benefits that the #vCommunity can provide you as an individual.

Friendships

You’re going to make friends.

I’m going to put this one first and foremost as it’s the most important aspect to me. You’re going to meet a lot of really good people. What is great about the #vCommunity to me is the fact that you’re meeting like minded individuals. I touched on this a bit during Part 1 of the series. Most of the people that I’ve come across that are involved in the #vCommunity participate because the genuinely want to be there. They are selfless and encouraging almost to a fault and always seem to be willing to lend a helping hand. To me, those are some of the most important qualities that I look for in my friends. I have been lucky enough to make a lot of friends in the #vCommunity that I plan on keeping for a very long time. It doesn’t just have to be people you meet in person, it could people you hardly ever or never meet that you talk to on Twitter. When people share a connection, it’s very easy for that to turn into a friendship.

Increased knowledge

You’re going to get smarter.

Whichever route you choose to engage in the #vCommunity, someone, somewhere is going to teach you something. It goes both ways too, you may teach someone else something. You’ll come across great training, blog posts, great speakers, study groups, hackathons, Git repositories, you name it. Once again, people will have a common goal and will look to work with others to get there. vBrownBag is a great example of #vCommunity members coming together to build awesome content that is by the #vCommunity and for the #vCommunity. Study groups have been pretty good to me in the past and I always try to share the knowledge whenever I can. You should too.

Career advancement

You’re going to get a better job.

Even if you love your job, there’s plenty of other ones out there. You may not have the skills today or have the right relationships to advance at your current spot but the #vCommunity can help with that too. The #vCommunity provides for awesome networking. Not the route/switch kind of networking but the LinkedIn kind. The more people you meet, the more relationships that you’ll build. Yes, skills are important to land a job but relationships are way more important. Having the right person recommend you for a position or even make you aware of a position is critical for landing the right job. Plus, having existing relationships at a company make the transition easier for everyone involved.

Mentorship

You’re going to teach someone else to be awesome like you.

I don’t know many people that have made it to where they are today without a little help or guidance. I for sure didn’t make it here alone. I’ve had a lot of great mentors along the way. Now that I am fortunate enough to have advanced in my career, I try to give back as much as I can. This is one of the main reasons that I became a VMUG Leader. It gives me the opportunity to meet new people and provide any guidance on how they can learn more about technology but also advance their careers. I’ve been through enough over the years that I’ve experienced lots of ups and a few downs as well. If sharing some of my experiences can influence others in a positive way than I’d be more than willing to do so. It’s also one of the reasons that I became of the Tech Level Up Project. I’d recommend checking it out. It’s just another way that you can give back to the #vCommunity. If you’re looking for a mentor, you just found one.

Improved public speaking

You’re going to talk to a room of people at some point.

This one may not be for everyone. I get it. Not everyone is comfortable getting in front of a room of people (especially a room of strangers) and speaking. That’s cool. You don’t have to be comfortable but it’s a great skill to have. It helps when you are comfortable presenting not only to your peers but to your management and customers as well. It takes practice and not everyone gets the opportunity to do it. I’m still learning how to be comfortable in front of a room. One of the best ways that I found to practice is to volunteer for a user presentation at a VMUG event or better yet, if your local VMUG does Whiteboard Meetings like we do at NYC VMUG, you’ll have the opportunity to get up and present to a smaller group of people to build your confidence and just get the repetitions in. Like anything else, practice makes perfect.

Recognition

You’re going to get noticed.

Some people live for this stuff, whereas to others it’s still a little weird. There are different forms of recognition. It can come in the form of an award, such as vExpert, Cisco Champion, Microsoft MVP, etc. but this isn’t the only form. The most rewarding experience that I’ve had was when someone came up to me at a VMUG event and mentioned that my article on my certification experience helped them pass the test as well. Another great example is meeting someone that you’ve spoken to on Twitter at an industry event like VMworld or Re:Invent. It doesn’t have to be limited to #vCommunity recognition though. Sometimes your work in the #vCommunity will be recognized by your employer as well which will lead to getting paid more money. Last I checked, people usually like money. 🙂

As you can see, these are just a few of the many benefits that being part of the #vCommunity can provide you. I’m sure that I forgot a bunch but I’ll make sure to keep this updated as they come to me. In part three of this series I’ll dive a little deeper into VMUG and how you can get involved.

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