It wasn't a rash decision. I didn't suddenly wake up this morning and conjure up a diabolical plan to uproot my and my family's future. It was family, however, that lay at the root of this milestone. More on that in a moment.
Before I continue, however, a number of baseline facts:
- I loved my job. Working for a small, fast-growing company that's disrupting a typically staid market is an immense rush.
- I loved the people with whom I worked. They're the smartest, most insightful folks I've yet encountered in my career. Not working alongside them every day will take a lot of getting used to.
- I would have continued to love it had I stayed there. Day-to-day, I can think of far worse things to do than read a lot, write a lot, and talk to journalists about it.
Just as critical is the whole issue of balance. I want some. I want to be able to drop my kids off at school in the morning. I want to be able to edit a client's document on my BlackBerry while I grab a tea at Starbucks on the way home from morning dropoff. I want to be there in the afternoon when they get out of class and run into me at full-speed, arms wide open.
Eventually, they'll be too big to do stuff like this, and I don't want to miss it.
Workwise, I want a stake in my future, and I want to live and die - professionally - by my own efforts.
My new role is with a communications and marketing firm with a stable of incredible clients and a future brighter than I dare imagine. I'm going to be Senior VP of Strategic Consulting, which basically means I'll be taking everything I've learned so far in my journalist/IT/tech analyst career arc and applying it directly to real-time and real big client projects. It's about as direct and hands-on as it sounds, and I can't wait to roll up my sleeves and dive in.
I will still be a geek. I will still read about, pry open, break and write about technology and its impact on our lives. It's who I am, and leaving a job doesn't change that. I am also a journalist, something that's as true today as it was the day three-and-a-half years ago when I first started as an analyst. I will always have a pen in my hands. I will always write.
Am I scared? Sure. But it wouldn't be worth doing if it didn't make me a little bit nervous. Hunger and fear, in measured amounts, are necessary elements if we want to change the paradigm and move our reality to that next, previously unimaginable level.
I'm ready for that step, and I look forward to the next stage of this amazing journey.
Your turn: Thoughts?