My Road to Master Anaplanner
My Sign Story
The power of social media and the power of good people—precisely what I realized during the longest job search of my early career back in the summer of 2018. Rejection after rejection, automated robotic email after email, and hundreds of recruiters, applications, and "get to know you" meetings later, I was still nowhere near a job. "There has to be a better way," I thought. Around this time, I was scrolling through my LinkedIn feed and saw a post of a homeless college graduate with a strong background in software engineering from California holding up a sign which said, "Homeless, hungry 4 success, take a resume." I read through his story and found out that he received hundreds of job offers and interviews from doing that. This inspired me to do something similar; enough waiting around, it was time to take action.
I went to the nearest Target and bought a poster board and some markers. I printed 100 copies of my resume and created my sign. The sign said, "On a mission: launch career, take a resume."
It definitely worked. Over the course of a couple of days of spending two hours daily in the skyways, I had handed out more than 75 resumes, made numerous connections on LinkedIn, generated a lot of buzz, and met some incredible people. Despite the buzz, I still had no job offers at the end of the
two days. "What if this was just a waste of time?" I thought to myself as I was being told to leave the building by security. It was time to wrap up (and technically I found out that I was not allowed to hold my sign in the buildings as it is not permitted by the rules).
As I was heading for the exits, I heard someone say, "excuse me, sir!" I turned around and it was Robert Gerads. Robert introduced himself to me and exclaimed how unique and different my sign idea was. After learning about what I was looking for he said that he wanted to do me a favor: he asked me to hold up my sign so that he could take a picture and post it on LinkedIn for his 12,000+ connections.
My phone started ringing and my notifications went crazy! The response was overwhelming from Robert's connections. I finally started getting interviews and job offers. One of the comments on the post was from Anne Cooper at Anaplan mentioning they are looking for motivated people for their Product Support Team. The interview went well. I was impressed by the work culture, people, and values of Anaplan. They also were impressed by me and presented an offer. All signs pointed in the right direction. I accepted the offer and started my journey in the Anaplan ecosystem.
Three Years Later
Three years have gone by and I am now an Anaplan consultant at Slalom. From the moment I joined the company in March of last year, the values, culture, and accolades Slalom boasts proved to be the real deal. Despite a global pandemic, never once did I feel any sense of panic from the company; instead, it turned to protect its most valuable asset: its people. I am sure others here will agree with me that they will always remember how well Slalom treated them during the pandemic for the rest of their lifetime.
From a personal standpoint, I have been able to transition to the implementation side of Anaplan and work directly with clients to help implement Anaplan business solutions that meet their needs. I have grown tremendously since I joined Slalom. The experience on the ground has really allowed me to sharpen my skills and has elevated my ability to navigate complex problems.
In addition to this, I have also had time to pursue and develop my certifications portfolio, including Certified Anaplan Solutions Architect, The Anaplan Way, Level 3 Model Building, and Microsoft's Data Analyst Certification.
More recently, I have been working a lot more on building a brand on Anaplan Community and on LinkedIn with the "Road to Master Anaplanner" series. Two out of the 10 articles have been accepted as official Best Practices on Anaplan Community. I have also climbed up the leaderboards on Anaplan Community; last month I cracked the top 10, and as of this post, the top seven.
Where Am I Now?
Huge milestone announcement! It is finally official! I am now a Certified Master Anaplanner. This is such an incredible milestone moment.
To Anaplan, Slalom, and the rest of the Anaplan ecosystem: thank you so much for taking me in with open arms. The Anaplan Community is such an incredible group to be part of. Becoming a Certified Master Anaplanner is truly an honor. Through this community, I have gotten to meet so many incredible people. I have also gotten to meet other fellow Master Anaplanners who are also doing remarkable things.
This is certainly only the beginning. I look forward to the future with great excitement for what is yet to come!
The last year has indeed been a journey personally and professionally for all of us. Through this experience, I have learned many important skills about social media, networking, branding, and Anaplan. Additionally, I have learned a lot about myself: no longer will I accept rejection, failure, or adversity. As they say, if there is a will, there is a way.
What do you think of my story? What are some creative ideas you have seen or attempted with regards to the job hunt? I hope this has inspired some of you to go out and take ownership of your career and not be afraid to think outside of the box! Most importantly, do whatever it is that makes you happy.
I am happy to connect with anyone regarding my story and share more information as I am always willing to engage and connect! Please don't hesitate to reach out if you would like to learn more or if I can be of any value.
My new mission: strive for excellence and pay it forward. Thanks for reading!
Find me on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daanish-soomar/
To learn more, see my interview below with Anne Cooper, VP of Customer Care.