Staying Flexible in your Career, with Gary Beumee, Ep #8

I’m delighted to be joined in this episode by Gary Beumee, a 30-year IT veteran who has spent his career working across sectors of Shipping & Logistics, Consumer Electronics, Finance, and Insurance as both a consultant and an employee. He began his career as a developer and eventually found himself managing teams. Gary considers himself to be a servant leader. He believes that the relationships one builds across IT, business, and vendor teams are at the core of being as successful as possible in your corporate life. Listen to be inspired by Gary’s story.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…

  • Changing jobs late in a career [02:04]
  • Choosing the right company [04:12]
  • Hiring during COVID [07:10]
  • Go back to the office? [15:45]
  • Management philosophies [18:43]
  • Mentors in Gary’s life [20:18]
  • Gary’s journey to IT [24:19]

Hiring during COVID

Growing a team during COVID has proved to be a challenge for many. After hiring, the new team member doesn’t have access to the type of team-building activities that used to be available. Gary used ax throwing as a way for his team to have fun and do something a little crazy. Unfortunately, anyone who’s joined his team since COVID hasn’t had that opportunity. Gary’s company has responded to this need by having online happy hours where they talk about movies, kids, and each other’s lives in an attempt to connect people. They also organized wine. Workers could sign up to have samples sent to their houses, and then everyone would go online and taste the wines together. These activities are essential for connecting new team members with existing ones.

To help his new hires be confident and feel supported when joining a team, Gary trusts them from the beginning. Many managers do the opposite, making new hires feel they already have two strikes against them. That causes people to walk on a thin wire which is counterintuitive to building teamwork and inclusion. If someone is worried about office politics or saying the wrong thing, they won’t do their best work.

Re-evaluating values

COVID was a trying time, forcing people to do different and creative things. People took stock in their lives, made adjustments that they were forced to make, and learned to appreciate what they had. That’s also lending itself to the Great Resignation and the difficulties many companies across every sector are having in finding people. People who spent a year and a half with their families have decided that they don’t want to work nights and weekends. They want work to allow them to spend more time with their families.

Some people are desperate to return to the office full-time, and others want to stay home. Both employees and employers need to be flexible. COVID changed the rules. A company might want to say that everyone has to be back in the office, but they’re going to have a tough time. Everyone has had a taste of what working from home is like, and many are trying hybrid as well. Working from home is now the new norm and expectation.

Changing jobs late in a career

Gary was never one to change jobs often. He worked for his previous two employers for over 10 years. Most people would have stayed on until they could retire rather than making a change. While Gary had no indication of a negative change, he had reached the point in his position where he thought he had accomplished everything he was qualified to do. So he decided it was time for a new challenge, despite being later in his career. He knew that waiting would make moving more difficult, so had to move now.

Gary has put a lot of thought into which companies he wants to invest time. He values relationships, so the way the conversations and interviews go is critical. He has to feel a connection with honest people, and the company culture has to jive with his values. He found that while looking for a new company, he made the job change and started establishing relationships as soon as possible.

The last 10 years in technology have been a constant mandate that people must change #Technology #Change Share on X

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