Software, from vision to execution, is a people business – and at Micro Focus, our people are our greatest asset. Helping our employees build exciting and enriching careers is a key priority. At Micro Focus, we work hard to unlock the individual potential and collective capability of our workforce by investing in development opportunities, so that everyone has the freedom to carve out the career they want. For some, this means undertaking additional training. For others, it’s switching career paths entirely within the business.
Janet Greathouse, a Learning Program Manager in Plano USA, started her career at Micro Focus in the engineering teams and then pivoted to a very different area of the business – a specialised HR role in Learning and Development. Below, Janet shares her experience moving from one department to another to grow her professional career – and how Micro Focus supported her on her journey.
To start off, tell us a bit about yourself, Janet.
Originally a California native, I currently live and work in Texas. I’m involved in local civics and literacy programs and spend my free time bicycling, kayaking, and traveling with my family to interesting places where we can bicycle, kayak, and scuba. I’m the proud mom of two amazing young adults who are already doing their part to help make the world a better place.
Tell us about your career journey with Micro Focus.
I joined Micro Focus as part of the HPE acquisition in 2019. Before that, I joined HP/HPE as part of the Convex Computer Company acquisition.
At Convex and then HP and HPE, I was a technical writer and spent a few years as manager and editor of a leading-edge technical writing team. Eventually, I moved into HR/Learning & Development as a learning program manager, overseeing a portfolio of technology learning solutions for software development business units across HP and HPE. Today, I’m a learning program manager for ITOM, CTO, and PSec. In addition, I have cross-Product Group responsibilities focused on employee communications and promoting learning opportunities and resources across our software development communities.
Can you tell us more about your transition from HR to Engineering?
As a technical writer, I started my career embedded in our software and hardware engineering organizations and moved into Learning & Development over time. Moving into an L&D role was a natural progression from technical writing and initially resulted from organizational changes due to company acquisitions, which can open up all kinds of new opportunities for employees.
At HP, HPE, and then Micro Focus, I’ve been fortunate to work with inspired people managers who have supported my career changes. They’ve helped me evolve into new roles and take on new responsibilities. Working with managers in this way is a partnership and my advice to employees is to initiate these sorts of conversations with your manager, rather than relying on them to guide you.
After several years in L&D at HPE, I moved back into engineering at Micro Focus, continuing to focus on skills development for our software development organizations and on building a culture of continuous learning.
What advice can you give others in terms of driving and owning their career success?
- Proactively manage your career, rather than waiting for changes to happen on their own.
- Be open to ideas and challenges you’re not expecting. Say Yes!
- Augment your primary role with other interesting work. Get involved with your site’s culture activities, join an Employee Network, shadow someone whose role is different from your own. In these ways, you expand what’s possible for yourself.
- Find someone who is better at your job than you are and observe what makes them successful. I’ve learned so much this way!
Anything else you want to say about career development opportunities you have experienced at Micro Focus?
Most fundamental to managing our Micro Focus careers, I think, is to find ways to do work that’s aligned with our values. In my case, it’s always been important to work closely with developers and to support my colleagues. Whether that’s helping them learn new skills (as learning program manager), navigate organizational change (through management of change), share their work with customers (as technical writer), or understand what’s happening around them (through employee communications), I’ve always sought roles that are supportive and enabling to my R&D colleagues, so they can succeed and really flourish throughout their careers. It brings me joy.
How do you feel you make your mark at Micro Focus?
Highly skilled workforces are powerful. I believe that the work I’ve done over the years to build our skills capacity (at organizational and individual levels) has enabled us to innovate, to build, and to deliver meaningful products,which in turn has allowed our customers to do the same. I feel that the technologies developed by the colleagues I’ve collaborated with have helped make the world a better place, because our technologies cascade into a myriad of improvements and progress that matter to people and societies across the globe. Knowing that I had a tiny part in that casts my career in a happy light.