After 14 years at my previous employer (major financial services company) I decided that it was time to move on and pursue my ideal Microsoft BI position. Unfortunately I had to leave my previous company when I came to the realization that I was never going to get that position there. I must have timed this at the perfect time as the job market started to rebound in the Denver area since I had a few interviews for great positions within days of starting to look. I didn't really broadcast it loudly to the world that I was looking for a new job, since I had some very specific ideas on what this position would be and the type of companies I would consider.
The first priority for me is that it had to be a Microsoft BI focused position, not a do everything, Microsoft BI and .NET developer and SQL developer position (there are a lot of those positions out there, but I really question the judgement of the companies wanting someone that tries to do so much). I also didn't want something that was focused on just one of the Microsoft BI tools. I wanted to work in a place where I could contribute with all of the skills that I have learned over the years and make a real difference using these technologies (and the future technologies coming). Another big priority for me was to work for a much smaller company, when I started at the company that I worked for the previous 14 years it was a very small company which I have found that I miss greatly over the years and it became bigger and bigger with all of the issues that go along with a large corporate environment.
I only ended up doing interviews for 3 different companies and had 2 that I was really hoping to get. The first one didn't pan out, which ended up being a good thing because it forced me to look a little bit more for other options. Before this I was going off of positions that were being sent to me directly by friends or posted on LinkedIn (great resource for job search), now I tried to look at monster.com and dice.com to see what else might be out there. Applied for a few positions on dice.com and within hours of applying for one of the jobs on dice.com I got a call that one of them wanted to interview me. That company ended up being the one that I accepted, I immediately hit it off with the people that I interviewed with and the job description fit all of the criteria I listed above and more!
While it can be quite scary to leave a place that you are comfortable in after many years, some times you have branch out. I have not regretted the decision in anyway and it gives me the chance to do what I have been wanting to do with my career for at least the last 3 years, if not longer. I still don't want to give out company names, but my new title is Manager, Reporting and Business Intelligence (or BI Manager for short) at a Microsoft Gold Partner that delivers custom Microsoft Dynamics solutions in the Retail and Food/Beverage industries.
Thanks to all of those that help me along in this journey!
P.S. I will be at the SQL PASS Summit 2011 in Seattle this October as well, so I'll see all of you there that will be attending this year as well!