For the past two years, I held a volunteer role with Microsoft as a Regional Director. I’ve spent more time explaining what it is over the past two years than anything else, but it is a ‘trusted advisor’ to Microsoft to talk about developer audiences. So, I am no longer an Regional Director, having going through the reapplication process and not succeeded.
If you’d asked me last year ago how I’d feel today, I’d have told you that it hurt dreadfully. Today, however, my life and my business are very different. From the Microsoft perspective, I supposed I didn’t really understand what the Regional Director role is supposed to do. I worked on exposing issues with Teams, for example, rather than cheerleading it. On the plus note, I’ve had plenty of ‘Thank You’ messages from people whom that blog post has really helped, so I’m glad about that.
I never fitted in with the Regional Director group although I tried solidly to do so for two years. At some point, you have to realize that it isn’t going to work. Although I reapplied, I was in two minds about it; I knew I didn’t fit in and this wasn’t my tribe. I wasn’t given a reason for not being renewed but I agree with Microsoft’s decision; it just wasn’t my tribe.
I find that my tribe instead has been fulfilled by doing my MBA. There, I can ask and talk about really hard questions on ethics as an academic exploration, and the directness is appreciated. I am in a global class so I also get my needs met for a global perspective.
I can move on now and do different things which interest me, rather than trying to spend effort on being a circle in amongst a lot of squares. So, I tried it for two years and it didn’t go further than that. Two years is still a long time, and I’m chalking it up to experience. I have learned that sometimes it is hard to find your tribe, and regardless of how long you try, sometimes the tribe or the environment just isn’t for you. It’s a bit like blackcurrant and chocolate; great separately, but together, not so good. It doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with that tribe or me; it just wasn’t a good mix.