Joining this community, and attending this conference, has done more for my career in a few years than any opportunity that has come my way yet!
- Attending the first conference and joining the Slack community was affirming for me on a personal level. I felt I had finally found “my people” professionally, which is something that had been absent for my entire adult life.
- Hearing other people’s stories about their career paths helped me find my own way. I considered new possibilities I wouldn’t have known about otherwise.
- The salary survey helped me get a sense for where I was and what I was aiming for in the future.
- I spoke at a conference for the first time and if it weren’t for the friendly and supportive environment of SUPCONF in particular, that might not have happened. New things are scary, and Support Driven made it less scary to stretch and grow. I had access to resources and people to help me become the public speaker I wanted to be.
- My yearly business trips to SUPCONF are my moment of zen. I have no other responsibilities for two days, except for making connections and learning about my field. I know a lot of people who dread traveling for work because they are bored, lonely, and exhausted while doing so. I cannot overstate how valuable it is to me to have a business trip that I enjoy and look forward to. There is nothing about SUPCONF that is a drag. It’s an honor and a privilege to attend.
- I have gained exposure to products/software/tools/blogs/books that have been used by me and my company that have greatly improved my connectivity and productivity.
- I’ve built relationships with the support teams of the products we use, which enhances our customer service experience with these companies.
- I have been able to anticipate and prepare for problems as our own support team grows by learning about the triumphs and tribulations of other teams at other companies.
- I’ve learned more about my own strengths and weaknesses through comparing and contrasting with other support professionals. I now have a defined list of what to work on and what to be proud of mastering.
- Access to job boards and networking makes me feel safer pursuing a career in a new and changing field like this one. If something unlikely happened and I lost my job tomorrow, I wouldn’t want to work at a big call center. With my liberal arts degree, I’d probably end up waiting tables again. But not with Support Driven! I’ve gotten to know a few other companies doing great things and making great products. I’d be proud to work for them. And through the conference and community, they’ve gotten to know me a little, too.
Photos from Ben at SmugMug of the 2016 San Francisco conference (the first ever SUPCONF!).