Friday will be my last day at the labor of love of a company where I spent nearly eleven years working with some of the brightest minds, world-class clients, and companies this planet has to offer. Like many others, COVID-19 and the economic fallout it causes has come knocking directly on my door, co-mingled with a backdrop of social unrest and palpable frustration that so many of us are feeling. It's the most intense of times.
Amidst this sudden and difficult news—something caught me off guard, and as I write this I am still grappling with my emotions. I've been bombarded by an outpouring of love, support, help, and genuine well-wishes that is making me feel like I don't deserve it. My inner voice keeps saying:
"Who is this wonderful person these people are talking about?"
And so I find myself humbled and conflicted—working to believe I am the man these colleagues and friends of mine are saying I am. I will choose to believe them and silence the inner critic as I process the emotions of a sudden job loss at the worst time. I know I am not alone and I'm thinking of those affected in every shape way and form. I look to the news, and it gives me perspective.
Yet still. I find myself looking at the open and winding road of this so-called new normal that we all keep hearing so much about. This is an entirely new terrain to me—I've never taken a break between jobs as I have navigated my career. I have been fortunate this way. I love to work hard—with amazing, passionate people and I MAKE things despite being a senior leader who manages too. If it doesn't have output, I don't do it. I suppose my roots as a designer are still present in my methods as a seasoned professional.
I am hitting pause briefly, but now that I don't have the pressures of a demanding full-time job with deadlines to meet, teams to motivate, clients to solve problems for and complexity to be simplified—I will have time to talk, riff, plan, and dream of how I could put a small dent into this world with willing partners before I depart it.
My new normal is a stretch of road to be driven and I will be looking for others to share the ride.
Find me if you want to talk. In a little while :-)