As the cliche goes, there comes a time in every person’s life when they have to decide what kind of person they want to be and what they want to stand for. In the era and location that we currently live, this is somewhat of a luxury. Survival, in terms of basic human needs, is relatively simple with abundant food, water and shelter that we enjoy (and often take for granted) living in the United States of America in 2018. Despite that, it’s easy for one to go through an existential crisis in trying to determine one’s purpose. So many of us go through life everyday working at a job that pays the bills, but doesn’t fully maximize our potential or allow us to share our gifts with the world. Once you add a mortgage and a family into the equation it’s easier to avoid that thinking about that and drifting towards the safety of a mundane job that is safe.
Fuck All That, It’s a Lie
Quite recently, the company which I have worked for almost 14 years had an abrupt and unexpected re-organization. Re-organizations and job eliminations are always tough, but this one was done in the most callous and unprofessional manner. I’m embarrassed for management by the spinelessness and coldness used to fire people who had built an in-house team from 2 people to 20. Not just 20, but a high-performing in-house creating agency-level digital properties.
Perhaps the technique used was the preferred example chosen by an author such as self-congratulatory blowhard like GE’s Jack Welch from their 1995 MBA business management course text book that at that time would have been ideal, but with time, has been shown to been a complete failure (ie see GE’s stock performance from April 2001 when Welch retired to today – *spoiler alert, it went from $49 to $13 in a time-frame where the S&P 500 went from 1255 to 2857). In practice, it was short-sighted, under-evaluated and foolish.
Besides losing all respect for management and how they have conducted themselves with this recent re-organization, I’ve decided that I don’t want my skills or knowledge to benefit the people who have devalued the work that my fantastic team and I have done.
It’s time to move on.
Going back to my original thoughts, it’s very easy for people to stay in a job that is safe because you have a mortgage and a family and you want to make sure they’re taken care of. The problem is, that safety is an illusion. If that safety is an illusion, why are you not working on something that you’re passionate about?
There are two things that have brought me to this epiphany, the first being this recent re-organization that I was lucky to “survive” and the second was the recent birth of my son. Ever since I first found about that my wife was pregnant, I knew that something about my job had to change. I love the field of UX/Front-End development, but rather detest the financial services industry that I’ve been in for over a decade. Even before he was born, I made a promise to myself and my son that I was going to have a job that I was proud of and that he would be proud of by the time he got to school. Well he turns one this month, which means he’s still about 4 years away from school, but that time flies by very quickly so for me, the time is now to start making this happen.