September 22nd, 2009

(Thanks to David Bowie for today’s title)

I’ve been rather quiet on this blog for a few weeks. And with good reason: I’ve decided to leave the company that I’ve worked for since 2002.

It was not an easy decision. The people there have been my extended family. I’m not indigenous to the state I now live in and I have no people here….at least none that are related to me by blood (and even less after Mr. J moved out of state too).

Thus leaving the place that has nurtured me, expanded my career horizons and frankly, during some of the darker episodes of my life, sustained me has taken an extraordinary amount of courage.

Of course, harder to explain to people is why I’m taking a job that doesn’t put me geographically closer to Mr. J.

“Why would you do that?” people have asked, dismay and confusion written all over them.

The most succinct answer is this position will allow me to work remotely, which will allow me to spend more time with Mr. J.

In my defense, I didn’t go looking for this job. It came looking for me. And I have to say: there is nothing quite as sweet as being courted by a recruiter and then the top management from a company. I heartily recommend it.

When I was in college I remember being friendly with the Economic Chairs’ Secretary. To my 21-year-old self she seemed ancient (which basically means she was about 35).

I remember her lamenting the fact that she hadn’t gotten her degree when she was younger. Instead she had married right out of high school, had two babies and then divorced. She was going back to college now but she cautioned me to finish my BBA.

The real take away for me was how she regretted so many missed opportunities: or the road not traveled.

I vowed that when I was “ancient” I wouldn’t look back and say, “I wish I’d done this. And I wish I’d done that.” I decided I would carefully weigh all options presented to me and make sure that I wouldn’t someday regret the decisions I did make.

Now that I’m “ancient” plus a few years, I can say that whenever an opportunity has arisen, and not necessarily just work related, I’ve asked myself, “How will I feel if I don’t do XYZ? Will I regret it later? Will I consider it a missed opportunity?”

I get calls from recruiters pretty regularly. All of them, until now, haven’t been situations that would work for me.

This one did.

Or I sure hope it does. At least I won’t later look back and say, “I wonder what would have happened if I’d taken that job with ABC Corporation?”

I am excited and yet sad as another chapter in my life closes and a new one begins.

On what I promise will be a funnier note (at least some of it), the things that I have learned on this journey of changing jobs have been eye opening.

Several topics I’ll be exploring in the near future:
1. Why leaving on good terms is imperative
2. Disengaging from a team
3. (More) Interview Dos and Don’ts and how I did EXACTLY what I told everyone not to do. (Thankfully I had an opportunity for a do over.)
4. Irony and my beater car
5. How a winning lottery ticket lost me my debit card

Do you have any words of advice as I travel into my position?

Come on: someone tell me some war stories!

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