Did I mention… I like a challenge?

As I write this, I am almost 2 months into my new job here at risual, and it has been somewhat of a rollercoaster ride. My name is Rick and I my role here is an O365 Technical Consultant, but my previous role title was ‘Senior SharePoint Consultant’.

I started my SharePoint career about 2005 with SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and have progressed through all the iterations of the platform to the SharePoint Online of today. About 4 years ago, I also jumped into the world of PowerApps and Power Automate. The issue for me however is that my knowledge is, and has been, purely focussed in just these areas. In a previous role for another company, Azure work was done by an Azure Consultant, Skype/Teams was managed by a Skype/Teams Consultant and when it came to SharePoint or PowerApps, that was me.

Having recently been in a company where the business processes were not great, working without defined objectives or documentation, I was happy to move to risual. In addition, I have a passion for learning new skills and I was ready for the challenge. What I was not ready for however, was an influx of knowledge that presented itself in the first week, or the challenges I met since then, doing things out of my comfort zone, and that is where the rollercoaster set off on its rails and I began to have a crazy ride!

One of the first tasks I was presented with was building a PowerBI dashboard for a client based upon SharePoint data. The SharePoint data I was fine with… PowerBI however, not something I was really that clued up on. So, I did what I can only describe as ‘PowerBI in a Day,’ and by the end of it, I had a rather good looking PowerBI dashboard rendered on a page in SharePoint. Amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it! Did I mention that I do like a challenge?

Next was a workshop around ‘Insider Risk’ within Microsoft365. Hold on a minute… once again, not SharePoint! Yes, the principles do apply to SharePoint, but this was not SharePoint specific, and it is based upon the Compliance Centre in Microsoft365 which was another new area for me! I never did anything with Security and Compliance. That was always left to a Security and Compliance Consultant! So, I set to learning Compliance Centre in Microsoft365 and all of the information I needed to so that I could deliver a workshop proficiently and accurately. Did I mention that I liked a challenge?

As it turned out, I did know a great deal of it… just not specifically in the way I had to deliver the workshop, but the principles of it, creating policies and applying them to groups and users etc. In the end, the workshop was delivered successfully, and the client thought it was extremely useful and engaging.

Now as I go into my third month, I am tasked with my first Microsoft exam. Now as I need to work towards a specific ‘Expert’ qualification, the only choice of exam which is near my comfort zone is ‘Managing Microsoft Teams,’ and while I know much about SharePoint and collaboration, the telephony and chat side of Teams is completely out of my knowledge remit. So, once again, it is another opportunity to gain knowledge in something else I do not know much of anything about. They say, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained,’ right? So, on to this next challenge… by the way, did I mention I like a challenge?

About the author