The Last Suit You’ll Ever Wear?

[Quick note – this is a pretty long post on a job opening for my group here in New York and you do need to live in the tri-state area if you’re interested.]

I joined Slalom Consulting over 18 months ago and that makes this my longest lasting job since 2007. I didn’t plan it that way. Prior to a string of job hopping that started with my leap into the SharePoint world, I was at one place for eleven years. I’ve finally found a new, enduring place to work for the long haul here at Slalom.

This place is growing and I need some help to control that. The kind of help I need is usually called a “SharePoint Solutions Architect” although I’ve found the architect word be over and/or incorrectly used in the SharePoint space for quite a while now. I’ve been struggling on how to blog about this. I don’t want to simply list out a bunch of bullet points in Dice/Monster style. My excellent recruiting peers have been doing that already :). So, I decided to take a “day in the life” approach. Read it over and consider:

1) If it appeals and

2) Whether you know in your bones that you can do it.

If yes, contact me ( and let’s talk.

These are what you can expect to do in typical week/month as a solutions architect on my team:

  • Run projects, often more than one at a time. Some projects are large and so you’d own that one project. “Running” a project means that you have oversight and responsibility for the overall quality of the delivery. In nearly every case you’ll have a PM and a really strong team of devs, BAs, UX people, etc., to support you. But you’ll be the main face the client sees, trusts, etc. There’s no hiding in the shadows in this role :). You’ll bill this time and the goal is to keep you busy enough to do this 80 percent of the time.
  • Help with paperwork – SOWs, RFPs, decks – all that good stuff. I think we have our SOW process down pretty tight and solid so it’s fairly formulaic. If you’re used to writing SOWs today, our process is not going to be a challenge for you. RFPs – these are a bit harder. They tend to be bespoke in nature to begin with and RFPs typically pull in multiple different authors. It’s both good and bad, but mainly good. This can get scrambly when we need to juggle the need for excellent customer service while also trying to win new work. You probably won’t own an RFP but you will be asked to contribute sections.
  • Sales calls, but not a closer. In the course of a month, you can expect to go on a couple of sales calls with our sales team. You’ll be the SME in the room, take notes and help shape the solution. However, you won’t be asked or expected to handle the sales cycle from start to finish. You don’t need to “sell,” you just need to be the calm voice of expert reason in the room. This builds trust and confidence and that’s why you’re there. Of course, if you like selling, then there’s room for you to grow here too.
  • Help with recruiting. We do have some kind of referral program, so if you know really strong folks in the community that you think should be part of Slalom, you can benefit that way. We have dedicated recruiters (who are excellent) to do the lion’s share of this kind of work. The real help is interviewing candidates – are they a good fit culturally? Do they know their stuff? Can they make *my* life easier? 🙂 This comes in spurts, a couple times a month, although in some months you would not do it at all.
  • Help define best practices, build up our IP and make us more competitive in the market. You’re an experienced guy/gal. You’ve been around the block – not just in SharePoint, but you have experience in other technologies and lived through good and bad (even terrible) projects all over. As a result, you know what works and what does not. We’ll want you to share that experience with us on a day to day basis in a tactical sense (i.e. run your projects really well) but also strategically. “Best practices” is a bit overused as a term and I hesitate to use it. The basic idea is that you’re coming in as an experienced person with deep and relevant experience and we want to integrate the best of your learnings into how we engage with customers on a day to day basis.
  • Have fun – we are a very integrated bunch. I want to avoid yet another platitude, but it’s really apt in this case – we work hard (sort of) and we play even harder :). There’s an Aaron Sorkin kind of banter here, the room is always full of clever people, we like our drink and we organize a fair number of fun events – movie night, baseball trips (even if they are horrible, practically evil teams).

If I could sum it all into one word, I’d use the word “leadership.” Lead projects, take a lead role in building out the practice (IP, building up the team), etc.

But wait! There’s more! Why else work at Slalom?

  • Remarkable unity of intent – everyone wants to grow this thing out. “This thing” is the New York office.  Everyone is on board with this.
  • Wind in your sails – sister offices, sister practices – Slalom is a “full service” consulting organization. I lead up the SharePoint practice (a “Practice Area Lead” in Slalom lingo). I have sister practices at 11 other Slalom offices. So even though I’m king as far as SharePoint is concerned here at Slalom New York, I have peer practices in Chicago, Seattle, Dallas, Atlanta, Boston, etc. from which I can draw upon support. It’s really the best of both worlds – significant autonomy here in New York but access to tons of talent across the organization.
  • Wind in your sales (2) – We do more than SharePoint – much more. We do BI, CRM, UX, business consulting, Mobile, custom development and others. We are good at cross selling amongst ourselves and we’re good at painting – and more importantly, delivering upon – a “full service” picture for our clients. This is especially appealing to me. I’ve been at many smaller orgs working on SharePoint gigs and frustrated over and over again because we were pigeon holed as the “SharePoint people.” That doesn’t happen with Slalom and we get to do more interesting work as a result.
  • Local model – no travel.
  • Long term growth – Slalom has been going gangbusters. Lots of growth and stability. Growth also means that we need to hire leaders today to head up new teams as we add more clients and staff to support those clients.

I could go on, but I’ve probably already gone on too long.  I think I’ve captured the essence here. If you’re thinking about changing jobs and this looks good to you, let’s talk.

If you’re happy at your current job – let’s talk anyway :). I’ve been in a lot of places and was very “happy” at the time. Slalom is different and I’d welcome a chance to convince you of that.


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