“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” – Yogi Berra
On December 21st, 2004, I joined Sandvine, a Canadian tech company headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario.
Today, almost thirteen years – and many, many, many good times – later, I (literally) hand in my badge and (figuratively) turn the page.
Well, um, I haven’t figured that part out yet.
It’s true. I know that many of my colleagues thought I was simply being mysterious or coy or a jerk, but the truth is that I haven’t looked for another position.
“Why the hell not???”
For thirteen years, my job has been inextricably linked to my life. I’m not – or at least I’m not yet – of a disposition where I can simply switch off my work mind once I leave the office. Now, I don’t feel especially like my job intruded on my life, any more than my life intruded on my job; plus, I always had an intrinsic motivation to do kick-ass work…so I’m not looking for sympathy or anything…just stating a fact for the sake of narrative clarity and context.
Anyway, the result of my mindset is/was that Sandviney thoughts have held a major position in my head for many, many years. I know myself well enough to understand that I can’t figure out something as important as, “What should I do next, in life?” while I’m still tied to my current role. I just can’t think things through with the clarity or completion that is needed.
Nor am I capable of just ‘checking out’ and continuing to collect a paycheck while really focusing my efforts on finding my next gig or developing some crazy start-up idea. That’s just not me. Plus, it’d be a pretty dickish move given that I have colleagues and team members who count on me to, y’know, be productive and stuff.
And, frankly, I don’t think I’ll fully understand the nature or quantity of the opportunities available until I’m ‘out there’ amongst the supply.
So, instead, I resigned without any plan whatsoever.
“Crazy ol’ Lee, being weird again!”
What does the future hold? I dunno…I figure there are a bunch of options:
- Do the stuff I do at a different established company
- Do the stuff I do at a start-up
- Start up a start-up
- Do the stuff I do as a consultant, on my own
- Do the stuff I do as a consultant, by joining some existing shop
- Do something entirely different
Folks who worked with me over the years know that as much as I constantly joked around (wait…what?), I took my responsibilities extremely seriously and worked very hard; thankfully, through that effort and no doubt a bunch of luck, I’m in the fortunate position of being able to take some (reasonable amount of) time off to figure out my future path. I appreciate this opportunity, and I’m gonna use it.
That I can also catch up on some reading, watch some documentaries, learn about some interesting topics, tackle some house-related tasks, etc. is a pretty swell feature, too.
So I’ll take some time, do some stuff, cleanly and completely detach from the role that’s largely occupied my thoughts for more than a third of my life…and then I’ll take the fork in the road.