Change is hard. Staying where you are, with people you know and love is easy. Avoiding risk is easy. Avoiding fear is easy. At the end of February, and with a lot of help from my InterWorks family, I decided to do something hard.
This is a hard post to write. Usually I just write what I’m thinking (or feeling). This time my emotions are overwhelming. Change is hard. Leaving people I love working with is hard. They are my friends. My mentors. My team. My Tribe.
What it comes down to is, I need to move on. I need to continue to grow. I need new challenges. I did a lot of thinking about what it is I love to do. What kind of work makes me happy. What is it about my work that I find the most rewarding. Here are some of my thoughts …
- It’s not money. I might enjoy more money, but it’s not what drives me.
- I want to make an impact where I work. I want to feel like I’m making a difference
- I love writing queries. Seriously love it. It’s problem solving. It’s like designing a puzzle and solving it at the same time.
- I love working with people to help them solve problems with data.
- I want to help people work with data in new ways to make them better at the things they do.
- I want to be close to home.
- I don’t want to work for a bank or focus exclusively on financial data. That stuff makes me nuts.
- I need a team. I need a tribe around me. I need to feel safe.
After rumbling through the list above, I put a note on LinkedIn and started a job search. I’ll post more in the future on what I learned in this job hunt, but let me say … wow. It was an incredible experience. My friends from all over the world rallied around me and showed unwavering enthusiasm for my search.
Very quickly I narrowed my list of prospects down to six, then three, then one. I chose a place with a great team, a lot of interesting data and people I want to learn from. I chose a new tribe.
Soon I’ll start as a data architect at Six Flags. I’ll work with the data team there to help build a strong business intelligence platform to make the park experience more fun for people every day. I’ll have the opportunity to work with one of my long time mentors (Mike Hotek), build a huge data warehouse, master tSQL-test, BIML … I can’t wait!
I challenge you to do what I did. No, not change jobs. I want you to make a list. What drives you. What do you need to be happy, to be successful. Share it in the comments. Blog it. Put your list on Facebook. Make it public. Make it real.