Last week I quit my job. I wasn’t going to write one of these blog posts. But the thing is, I love to write, and above all, I love stories and the power they have to inspire, entertain, and educate. The process of writing – the forced creation and evaluation of your story often brings clarity to a lot of things that sometimes don’t seem to make sense.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve never done anything the “normal” way, and I guess some things never change. I honestly can’t count the number of emails, calls, and texts I’ve received from friends saying “this is the most uncharacteristic thing you’ve ever done … but I get it”. When most people leave their job, they have everything pre-arranged so that they elegantly go from one thing to the next. Not exactly how approached it.
In the back of my mind, I’ve always wanted to have my own freelance user experience consultancy and design business. I love the notion of being able to work with various clients in different industries and the continual process of learning that goes along with that. I love meeting people who are at the beginning of their idea and helping them shape that into a great product and story. I love the potential that technology, business, and design together have to develop a great customer experience. I love to create and tell stories.
One Saturday morning I sat down and wrote out a pro vs con list. In doing that, the decision was pretty clear. I didn’t have anything lined up. I hadn’t been secretly freelancing on the side. I didn’t have a big plan. I just decided it was time to fly on my own. It definitely wasn’t an irrational decision, but it was fast. Simply put, I realized I wasn’t doing the work I loved and I knew that had to change both for professional and personal reasons. Life is too short to not pursue the things you love, and the past year has been a stark reminder of that.
In the last twelve months, three special people passed away. Though I never met him, Steve Jobs made me realize the power that technology has to change our lives. His favorite maxim “The journey is the reward” is now one of my guiding principles. In February I lost the only Nana that I knew. In both her life and seeing her through death, she made me realize the importance of respecting yourself and loving others. Finally, in April Hillman Curtis passed away at the young age of 51. I was lucky enough to meet Hillman and can say that his passion for telling stories and “Making The Invisible Visible” largely influenced my pursuit of storytelling. In imagining what advice each of these people would give me, I thought that first they’d ask “what are you waiting for?” and then next they’d tell tell me to “just do it!”.
Some people believe that in order for opportunities to come your way, it’s part luck, part planning, and partly just making room for new things. So I guess you can say this is my way of making room for new things.
The night before my official last day at my old company, my phone started going crazy with Twitter mentions. Turns out that Mashable tweeted about an article on UX Magazine that I’d recently published … the night before my last day. If that isn’t a sign that I made the right decision, then I don’t know what is (thanks Meghan and Pete).
I’m looking for interesting people who have great ideas and want to work together on things we love. Think you have something that would interest me? Please send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wish me luck!