Homecoming: Sometimes the grass is greenest right where you are
- Posted on June 7, 2021
- Estimated reading time 2 minutes
Homecoming is the series in which we tell the stories of Avanade “boomerangs,” employees who left the company for other opportunities before returning. Careers are long and winding, and personal and professional aspirations vary from person to person. It’s natural for people to want to branch out, but wherever you go and whatever you do, there is always a home for you at Avanade.
In 2019, Winston Gonzalez, an Avanade infrastructure consultant based in North Carolina, had been with Avanade six years when the recruiters came calling. Demand is strong for his combination of technology experience and expertise, and in the recruiting battles for top talent, everyone is fair game.
In the end, Winston and a number of his colleagues made the move at about the same time to one of the Big Four accounting and professional services multinational companies, which was investing heavily to aggressively grow its infrastructure consulting practice.
“For me, it wasn’t the compensation,” he said. “The benefit structure was different. The company offered a pension. And I was joining a portion of my team, who had moved over.”
Winston, originally from Nicaragua, had only been at the new company a year when the pandemic hit. In June 2020, he was temporarily on the bench (a term to describe technologists who are between assignments) after rolling off a client project, when word came down that the entire bench was being laid off.
For Winston, as is so often the case, it was the close relationships he had built over the years with his Avanade peers that opened the path to his next career move.
“I had always continued to keep up with my Avanade relationships,” he said. “These are people I hold very dear. One thing led to another and they said, ‘We have a door open for you.’ My current talent community lead said, ‘Tell me when you are ready,’ and he made it happen.” Winston rejoined Avanade in December 2020.
Today Winston is a senior consultant in Avanade’s security organization, helping companies navigate the complexities of data protection. Although he retains his close connection to Charlotte, North Carolina, a relocation to Avanade’s New York office has allowed Winston and his family to be close to family and friends in New York, where he grew up.
Winston said he learned two important lessons while he was away from Avanade: the value of cultivating long-term relationships with clients, something the Big Four company does well, and that the grass is not always greener somewhere else.