This is the first in a series of blogs on my career change from an enterprise network engineer to a sales engineer with C Spire Business. My entire career in networking has been in the enterprise. I started back in 2004 right out of graduating college at Mississippi State University. You can find more about that on my About page. I then moved to healthcare and worked for a large hospital system in North Mississippi. In the Spring of 2022 I was given the opportunity to work for C Spire Business as a Senior Systems Engineer. And I couldn’t be more excited about the whole thing!!
So, let’s get into it. Day 1 was very interesting for a Gen Xer like myself. I never left my house. That’s right, I’m working out of my home. So, with the help of my new bosses I got into my Microsoft 365 account and began getting setup temporarily on my personal PC. They are shipping me a company laptop, but in the mean time everything I’m doing is on the public Internet. This was still very strange to me. Every job I’ve ever had required me to show up to a specific location on my first day. Being remote was very nice. I put on a pair of shorts and a polo and I was barefoot 90% of the day. I did take a couple of walks around outside to keep the blood flowing in my legs.
I said I was working out of my home and not working remote or from home. This is because I am not only doing post sales work, but I will be doing pre sales work as well. That means traveling to customers when needed. I’m really looking forward to that part of the job. I like to meet new people and learn about them. So meeting customers and building good relationships with them will be amazing for me. I can’t wait.
Let’s get back to my day. The manager of the team and one of the directors got me into my Microsoft 365 account and then Donna(manager) sent me my I9 form. For those of you outside of the United States, the I9 form is used to verify work status in the US. It’s a required document to prove that you are either a citizen or have a work visa of some kind. Since I was born in Washington, D.C. I think I qualify as a citizen. But filling this form out and providing 2 sets of identification was no small task. Thankfully I always keep my drivers license in my wallet and my social security card stays in my fire safe. Just had to scan everything in and send it back. I also had to take a selfie for my company badge. I’ve never been one for taking pictures, so I ended up taking half a dozen before settling on one with a decent smile. So, badge and laptop should be on the way sometime this week.
After doing all of the paper work I received an email with 30+ links to Cisco Black Belt training. I had never heard of this before yesterday. Cisco provides its internal employees and partners with training on their products. There are videos to watch. Some are Webex recordings and others are specific recorded videos. There were links to white papers and several PowerPoint slide decks. But these are no normal presentations. The smallest had 169 slides while the largest had 214. Talking about information overload. I spent the day going through 1 of the links that was sent. I mentioned there were 30+ right? Well, I guess I know what I’m doing for the next month. But the training is in depth and wide all at the same time. It’s designed to give sales teams the knowledge about Cisco products they need to inform customers on what solutions they might need to solve their issues.
On top of the Cisco training I also got an automated email from corporate that took me to the internal HR training videos. These are the standard policy videos. They have them on harassment and cyber security and even how to do cabling in their racks. Mostly boring stuff.
So, my first day consisted of paperwork and training. Just like any other first day. The only thing is it was 100% remote. But I am not complaining on bit about that. Overall it was pretty good. Now it’s time to log back into the Black Belt site and watch some more videos!