Thursday, September 15, 2011

If it's your anniversary and nobody says anything, did it happen?

As I write this I realize, had I been at my old job I would have celebrated my 30th Anniversary.

It is rare in today's climate to work for a company for more than a decade, let alone two. I almost reached three.

It is rarer still, after 30 years, to leave and not retire.

To survive the old job as long as I did I had to morph, flex, mature, morph, flex and mature some more. I survived some incredibly bad bosses. I had the pleasure of working with some incredibly good ones. I was an average sales rep, grew into an above average revenue producer and built a stellar experience.

I was promoted to supervisor, and soon thereafter to Advertising Sales Manager.

I knew the business inside and out. I knew the community from the west to east. I wore a suit and served on the Board of Directors of the Portland Advertising Federation. I pulled on jeans and served on the Board of Directors of the Clark County Fair.

Near the end, I could have done my job with my eyes closed and slept my way into retirement.

Instead, I left.

I learned something about myself. I learned I was thoughtful yet decisive. For months I considered the move, but I decided the day of one interview

I was willing to give up the world I had known since my early twenties to launch myself into the complete unknown. I was a risk taker. Who leaves a secure job to go work for a start-up? Me, I guess.

Upon arrival at the new port, I had to morph, flex, reflect, and learn while running faster than I could have imagined. I've had the pleasure of meeting incredible people. I've had to say goodbye to other incredible people. I stepped in to fill a hole and received a promotion.

During the first months I would hear myself say, "I can't believe I left."

I don't say that anymore.

A lot of thoughts and baggage gets lost in the hectic pace of how I drive my life, my career and my writing. What doesn't get lost are the people. My calendar 'pop-ups' tell me who's celebrating a birthday and who's celebrating a company anniversary. That may create a phone call, an email, a tweet from me and occasionally a celebration lunch.

Then I sit back and reflect, that on the 29th anniversary, no one said a word.

The day slipped by only recognized by me in the middle of a decision process.

The wordless reception of something significant was not reason to leave. But it was a reason not to stay?