This is the last part of this blog series on Dynamics 365 career. Here I have listed what are perhaps some of the most overlooked practices of people wanting a career in Dynamics 365.
Don't be like many who have become shortsighted in their Dynamics 365 career paths. Follow these last tips if you want to have a successful Dynamics 365 career.
Read great books.
There are some great books out there. I would expect that you’ve read a couple of these books. If I just think of key books that I'm wanting to see that you're apply yourself because you're wanting to grow a career in the space, I'm expecting to see that you've read:
Linchpin: Are you Indispensible? by Seth Godin – A book on “how to make remarkable products and spread powerful ideas”.
Demonstrating to Win! by Robert Riefstahl – I did a training course on this about 6 or 7 years ago. I cannot recommend it highly enough if you ever get the opportunity to read Demonstration to Win.
I'm expecting you've read the most recent three books on Dynamics CRM. Get them on Kindle, get the physical books, whatever works. Get the audiobooks if that works for you. But I expect that you have covered those things so you're really addressing: 1) how to present the product well; 2) how to be an absolute key employee – that's what Linchpin deals with. Absolutely imperative that you’ve read those two books.
Those two courses are absolutely world class when it comes to how to present software to customers that are not familiar with it. You must, you must, you must take a look at that. In fact, I'll probably do a bit of a deep dive on this. But before those courses, if those courses are not on your radar or they're not close to you now, what you need to do is, you need to read the book Demonstration to Win. Read it and then practice what you learn in it. In other words, take notes heavily with that book. Read it, read it, read it so that it becomes a part of you.
And then, the other type of book I'm wanting to see that you've read and that you've got experience in understanding on is a book around how you develop your career. So, I would be looking at career development books like:
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey – It's an old book but that's still in vogue.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – I highly recommend this if you want to have a successful career in Dynamics 365 and in your personal life.
Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss – a really great book to really understand how you're really thinking, how you're looking after wealth, health and wisdom.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab – The other key book that’s you know will age this post is an absolute important one to get across. You need to have read that because that is a real insight into where technology is going which is a key area that we play in. So, I think those are starting point. You need to have gone through those items, understood them, demonstrated them in your CV.
A lot of my success in my career, I have driven around presenting to people that have never seen Dynamics before and being able to put it in words that don't make it look complicated. Don't be focused on ‘isn’t this is cool, isn’t this a cool feature.' You have to be focused on what is the business outcome the customers are wanting to achieve and showing that Dynamics can do that.
Be an effective communicator.
Another thing I'm looking for is, do you have a blog. Are you blogging? Are there posts that have your name on it that you have written? I want to see that because what it does is it gives me an insight into your ability to articulate your knowledge, your information, and that you have the ability to research. Never settle for thinking that you know everything. I want to see that you're researching and learning, and there are some consistency around what you’re blogging and what you're talking about.
There's lots of ways to get visible if you don't have experience.
Learn to articulate.
Dynamics is a very people-focused technology. It's a very people-centric profession to be in. You can't be all nerdy and geeky and not engage with people. You need to be able to articulate, talk with authority on the subject. And I tell you, a lot of people don’t realize that that doesn't come naturally to most people. It didn't come naturally to me, so what I found is you've got to go out and acquire the skills.
A great tool to acquire these skills is Toastmasters. Toastmasters has been around a heck of a long time. I recommend to every one of my staff that if you are not a strong verbal communicator, you need to go to Toastmasters. Go and get the repetition of week after week after week after week after attending that hour-and-a-half session or whatever it is, whatever Toastmasters to you, find it. Get involved. As I say, practice makes perfect.
What Toastmasters gives you is a controlled environment where everybody is encouraging you to do well and definitely will help you every step of the way. You will go through a series of speeches that you need to give as part of that. And the beauty is that you’re incrementally honing your skills and become very good.
I've seen people so introverted and shy and had no voice, after six months were just unbelievably different people when it came to speaking to others and engaging with authority. Even myself, it just totally changed the way I communicated. So, I highly, highly recommend that.
Those are all things that I would look at as starting points.
I might write another post on some other things like what you should do when it comes to interviews. I have a four-step interview process or four discrete interviews that I came to do. I'll also talk about what I’m looking for in interviews, how I carry on interviews, and how I think about interviewing people because that's critically important.
And with that, I'll leave it there at this point. What I would really like is feedback. If you have seen other things that work for people starting up their career in Dynamics, share them below. Put some comments in there. I'd love to see it. I'd love to evolve this kind of post areas so that people that are starting their career, they can read your comments, etc. and also take that as an additional insight.
Thanks very much!