Yesterday was my final day of work at my employer. The morning started off fast and furious as per usual, but like always I was able to wrap everything up cleanly by the end of the day. I sent my farewells and best wishes and received many in return. I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity to work there, as I have learned so many things from a lot of bright people. I come out of the experience stronger, wiser, and with a more clear direction of where I want to go in life.
Over the years I have spoken with friends and family about my life, my career, and my goals. But there was always one pervasive thought that I always kept coming back to. It was the idea that I was destined, perhaps, for something greater in life. What that "something" is manifests itself over time and becomes clearer to you once you begin to stretch your wings. It's a feeling that I think is in everyone, and needs to be awakened in order to unleash your true potential.
The Time is Now
For me that time came just yesterday. I had a friend over for dinner in the evening, and explained to him what I had wanted to do, my reasoning for leaving, and what my goals were for the next six months. I had a plan, and was wondering what he'd think of it. I asked him a few questions, not precisely in these words:
If I told you that I was going to spend the next six months off and make a presence for myself online, do you think that I am capable of doing it?
If I told you that I was going to create a business in order to pay the bills but that allows me to spend more time with family, do you think that I have the skills and knowledge to do so?
If I told you that I was going to give a 110% effort to make it work, and at the end of that, even if I failed, would you still support me?
His answer was an emphatic "yes". I suppose that he could tell from the passion that I was speaking with; that my words held with conviction, promise, and authority. I couldn't sense any doubt in his response.
This is the kind of support that you need from your friends. I already had it from my family. And I'm so thankful, because it means a lot. I'm very lucky.
My friend used the analogy that what I've done is essentially a leap of faith. Now that I'm in mid-air, all that I needed to do was just "land it". It takes a certain strength to leave the safe comfort of a decently-paying job in order to move onto something different, and where there's no guarantee of success. I can honestly say that I wouldn't have had the strength to do so if it weren't for the love, respect, and support of my friends and family.
I had been in my previous job for three years. It honestly feels like I have been there for 10 years, as I have learned so much in such a short period of time. Day in and day out, through the best and the worst times, my friends and family have been there for me. At the end of the day, you have to value what you have in life. For me, I want to have my friends, family, and personal health, because without those I have nothing. I can always get another job, I know I have the skills and experience to do so. I know that you can too. It is the belief that you have the talent to do something great that is further strengthened by a supportive circle of people that enables you to make it a reality. Even in your darkest hour, when everything seems bleak, your friends and family will be there to see that you are never alone. When you are weak, they give you the strength to do what needs to be done.
How important are friends and family to you?
In IT we often are responsible for the greater good of many, and need to carry that weight on our shoulders. Sometimes we have to do this alone. In a field where the pressure to succeed is high it is often that we find ourselves lost in the insanity of the moment. But remember, your friends and family will always be there to pull you through and give you an outside perspective on things. They will help you to focus and maintain composure when nothing else seems to help. Ultimately, they will give you the support and understanding that you need in order to be successful. I know for a fact that I couldn't have done what I did without them. I also know, that what I am about to do, whatever that is, that they will be right there beside me.
What role do your friends and family play in your lives? Let me know.