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“Thanks to location flexibility, I’m free to support my community.”


     -Sean, Director of Engineering, Tulsa, OK
Photo of Microsoft employee Sean
I’ve been with Microsoft for over 23 years, and I’ve been involved with the University of Tulsa—my alma mater—for even longer. That’s why having the flexibility to help both of those institutions means so much to me.

Over the past several years, I’ve grown more deeply involved with the University of Tulsa, it’s nationally recognized cybersecurity programs, and by extension, with the city itself. This summer, that connection led to an opportunity with Tulsa Innovation Labs, founded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Because of my close ties with both Tulsa and technology, they invited me to help shape the city into a new tech hub for the Midwest.

But there was one challenge: I was based in Washington state. Although I was working remotely due to COVID-19, I’d still need to run any potential relocation by my manager.

Once I sat down for that conversation, I realized there wasn’t a problem at all—my entire team, manager included, was fully supportive of my move. From there, I worked with HR to leverage Microsoft’s new flexible work guidelines and start preparing for my transition. Considering how many moving pieces were involved, it’s impressive how smoothly everything unfolded.

Now, my family and I are settled down in Tulsa and ready to get started. I’m as involved as ever with my Microsoft team—we regularly touch base to share stories and progress. The only difference is that I can now personally help the George Kaiser Family Foundation connect with the heart of the city. With this kind of flexibility, I can give back to a place that’s given me so much while continuing to work for the company I love. For me, that really is the best of both worlds.