My Year in Review
A Look Back While Stepping Forward
7 December, 2021 by
My Year in Review
Cory Speaker
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As we begin to wrap up our year, get those last few client request customizations in before the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve, I wanted to take a look back at the year I have had since joining Team Hibou. 

Not everyone's year is going to look like mine. I switched careers after 21 years working in the Retail Grocery industry (shout out to essential workers!) and started something I had never done before which is learning to use and support Odoo. This was a terrifying idea at nearly 40 years old, to leave the comfort of a union job and being 15 years away from retirement with a pension and start all over? But I did it anyway and I am very happy that I did. 

I joined Hibou in March and immediately began training to become Odoo Functionally Certified. That training lasted 3 months and circled heavily around our own Hibou Courses to help educate myself and my onboarding buddy, Mishael. During that time, in addition to video watching, test taking, document reading and all of the other things that go into training to use a new ERP, we also helped out in updating our documentation

Now, we update our docs with each new version of Odoo (released every fall season) but as a learning tool, I would say it is invaluable. To not only be walking through each application's menus, learning the different items and terms, configuration settings, and workflows, but to at the same time be using Odoo itself to document those things? It's next level immersion in the material. 

So May comes and we take our certification and pass (of course) and then we have to demo an assigned application to our peers to show how well we grasp the concepts in Odoo. It is one thing to study the right material and answer the right questions. It is another beast entirely to have to show a group of people that you know the ins and outs of an application and to field questions on the fly. Luckily, we work with caring people and no one grilled us too hard, just hard enough to show us that no matter how much we know, how much we think we know, we all have more to learn. So Odoo Certification test passed, demo to coworkers and company owners successful, we were ready to jump into the real work.

We at Hibou all wear a lot of different hats. The hats I acquired in May included that of (Junior) Project Manager and Technical Support. I covered our support methods in a previous blog so I won't retread that ground here. The support work is a process and I do in fact learn multiple new things everyday, but after nearly a year, I like to think I have developed quite a bit of first hand experience in resolving issues within Odoo.

In June, I showed the initiative to want to help our sales department. and, being a small team, it went hand in hand with joining our marketing team. I began learning how Hibou does business as a business. Sure I had learned about Quotations and Sales, and I had documented the processes, but now I was getting to send quotes out to real people and feel that rush every time a conversation I had turned a potential client into a signed contract. I go through new leads and opportunities every morning and afternoon, reply to anyone interested in learning more about our company or our modules, follow up with people I have previously met with that may have more questions about us. The leads are many, the opportunities are fewer, but each time I can sell us as a company and demonstrate our experience, expertise, and capability and that turns into a new client? So satisfying.

And marketing. I write MOST of our blog content and do all of our social media posting and engagement. (Shameless plug: Like and follow our accounts by clicking the social icons in the footer of this page to help spread the word of Hibou!) So if you have taken the time to read even one of these blogs, or liked or retweeted something I have posted, thanks! We are a very niche market and as such it has been difficult growing our social media presence but consistency is key so I turn in a blog each Monday and Friday and bounce around LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter throughout the week. With the additions of Instagram and Youtube integration in Odoo 15, we will be adding those to our list in early 2021. 

So much has changed for me these last 9 months. I went from waking up at 2:45am every day, dressing in a uniform and answering to those who only cared about a bottom line to sleeping in until 6am, working remotely in whatever clothing I feel like, and collaborating with a team of people who care about what they do. I went from just a body in a huge corporate machine to playing an integral role in the success of Hibou. I've studied, tested, and applied my knowledge to client projects and to people who would end up becoming clients. I have learned different ways to communicate with people to effectively and efficiently transfer knowledge, I have learned how to be patient and slow down and really listen to a client's requests or struggles, and I have learned how to properly troubleshoot, test, and resolve the things I can assist with. I have learned valuable skills to use when trying to sell myself as an Hibou member to gain a client's business, and I continue to learn about marketing and Odoo as a whole, every week. I may have missed Thanksgiving with this post, but I am thankful for all of the things above, for the last 9 months, and for the foreseeable months to come.

Want to see how you could be a part of Hibou and get in on some of this gratitude? We are looking to add a Python Developer and a Client Services Accountant. If you or someone you know is looking to be part of a great team, contact us!

My Year in Review
Cory Speaker
7 December, 2021
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