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Goodbye Comfort Zone! – Starting a New Job

Right now, as I write this, I’m between jobs. Earlier today I finished my last day as an in-house data warehouse solutions architect and business intelligence developer. Tomorrow I’m starting my new job as a technical architect in a consulting company. It’s sad to say goodbye to wonderful coworkers, but it’s also very exciting (and scary!) to start a new chapter in my life.

Goodbye Storebrand

I started working in Storebrand as a consultant in August 2011, then became a full-time employee in November 2012. It was a big change for me back then, going from being a consultant to working in-house. I was looking forward to digging into the business, working on a large enterprise data warehouse, and taking responsibility for a solution for more than just a few months before starting all over again on a new project. I had a great couple of years being an architect/developer by day and an MMORPG gamer by night :)

In October 2013 I attended PASS Summit as a shy first-timer. It completely changed my life. I knew nothing about the SQL Server community when I arrived in Charlotte that year, but then I got sucked into this whirlwind called #SQLFamily! Since then I have organized two SQLSaturdays in Oslo, helped restart the Microsoft Data Platform User Group in Norway, spoken at 10 SQLSaturdays in 7 countries, spoken at 7 larger conferences in 6 countries, presented a full-day workshop, presented several webinars, participated in interviews and podcasts, been in the newspaper, written a bunch of blog posts, become both a Data Platform MVP and BimlHero. Phew.

Long story short: I’m definitely not that shy, want-to-be-invisible person anymore :)

Over the past couple of years I have realized how much I enjoy traveling, teaching, speaking, blogging and sharing knowledge. I have also learned the hard way, with a massive crash and burnout, that I can’t do all of it on top of a full-time job – even if I love what I’m doing and have fun doing it.

After nearly five years of working for and in Storebrand, I decided to take a huge step out of my comfort zone and quit my job.

Hello Advania

…and it’s going to be a huge step out of my comfort zone. I’ve taken some small steps so far: start speaking, start blogging, blog and speak about new and more advanced topics, speak at larger conferences, do a full-day workshop…

But this time I have absolutely no idea what to expect – and I can’t wait :)

Advania, formerly Knowledge Factory, is a tiny consulting company with zero employees focusing on SQL Server and zero Business Intelligence projects in Norway.

Wait, what?

Yep! I will be their first employee focusing on SQL Server and Business Intelligence in Norway. (The others work with Skype for Business, SharePoint, O365, Active Directory, Exchange, Security and more – so much to learn!) Part of my job will be working on projects and part of my job will be doing what I love: sharing knowledge by teaching, speaking, blogging, presenting webinars, organizing events and so on. A lot of responsibility and even more possibilities.

Honestly, it’s terrifying! I have a million thoughts running through my head: What if I can’t find any projects? What if no one wants to hire me? What if I don’t know everything from day one? What if what if what if?

But I try to turn all of those what ifs around: What if I find the coolest project ever? What if I finally get to work in other countries? What if I get to spend my days doing what I love…?

This is an opportunity I couldn’t say no to. No matter what happens, I’m not going to fail – I’m going to learn. Sure, it’s scary, it’s going to be stressful, but it’s also exactly what I have wished for. New challenges and new opportunities. A chance to grow and learn and pay it forward and help others. A new chapter. I can’t wait to write this story :)

Dear coworkers

To all my former coworkers in Norway, Sweden and Lithuania: thank you. I have learned so much from working with you, we’ve had lots of fun and I’m going to miss you so much. I wouldn’t have been where I am today without you. I wish you all the best and I can’t wait to catch up with you to hear all your success stories!

And to my new coworkers: Hi! I look forward to getting to know you :)

About the Author

Cathrine Wilhelmsen is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP, BimlHero Certified Expert, Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert, international speaker, author, blogger, and chronic volunteer who loves teaching and sharing knowledge. She works as a Senior Business Intelligence Consultant at Inmeta, focusing on Azure Data and the Microsoft Data Platform. She loves sci-fi, chocolate, coffee, craft beers, ciders, cat gifs and smilies :)


Hi! This is Cathrine. Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I'd love to hear your thoughts, but please keep in mind that I'm not technical support for any products mentioned in this post :) Off-topic questions, comments and discussions may be moderated. Be kind to each other. Thanks!

Congratulations! You’re gonna do a great job and have a ton of fun.

Thank you so much, Brent! :)

Congratulations Cathrine!

Thank you, Rob! :D

Congratulations, ma’am! :{>

Thank you, Andy! More time for Biml projects, woohoo :D

Best of luck! Keep up the great work! ;)

Thank you! :D

Congratulations, and best of luck! You’ve picked a consultant company with tons of knowledge and with an ambition of being among the most mentioned consultant companies in Europe :-) Looking forward on hearing about SQL from Knowledge Factory(that’s what I will always call them)

Thank you! Very happy to join so many talented people, looking forward to bringing some SQL to the company :)

Congratulations, ma’am! You’ve come a long way. I remember the conversation we had in 2013 at the PASS Attendee Appreciation Party that ended with “this is #SQLFamily”

Best of luck.

Thank you so much! A lot has happened since our first conversation, I’m very happy I met you that year :)

Gems and precious stones are meant to be discovered because they already have what it takes to shine. The same is true with people like you. Keep up the good work that you are doing in the community.

You will doubtlessly succeed. You have the potentials and a mind for greatness, better days ahead. I have been richly blessed by your teachings. Stay great!

Thank you so much for the kind words, Sam! :)

Congratz Cathrine, good luck and keep in BIML’izing people :)

Thank you! And I’ll definitely keep Bimling ;D

Congratulations Catherine, Break a leg :)

Thank you, Reza! :D

Good on you, Catherine! I remember first meeting you in those early shy days. You’ve come so far! But, to be honest, I think this is just the start of your upward trajectory. Keep up the amazing work!

Thank you so much, Kevin! That means a lot to me, coming from you :)

Hi Cathrine. Stumbled across your blog while researching Microsoft certifications and really got interested. You seem to have had quite the journey. Perhaps you can offer some advice. I am currently working as a Project Manager/Business Analyst. I have experience in software development but recently my hands on work has been more focused on SSRS reporting, including writing queries in SQL Server. An area that interests me is Business Intelligence, as I am having to provide such insight into my company’s data more and more. I have been researching possible certifications that can be taken in a modular fashion. I was looking at the MCSE that I believe you were attempting, in particule the MCSE: Business Intelligence. Do you think this will be an asset, as I noticed some of the modules focus more on the administration aspect; installing, configuring etc that usually our IT guys take care of. I am more interested in building warehouses, producing dashboards etc. Any insight you have will be greatly appreciated!

Good job, and best of luck to you :)

Hi! This is Cathrine (again). Just a reminder. I'd love to hear your thoughts, but please keep in mind that I'm not technical support for any products mentioned in this post :) Off-topic questions, comments and discussions may be moderated. Be kind to each other. Thanks!

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