I’ve been told in this situation that I’m brave, courageous, that people are proud of me and inspired. I didn’t really get it until after actually leaving the building.
The send off was amazing - sad faces and heart-felt we’ll-miss-yous, balanced with you’ll-be-greats and we’re-proud-of-yous. I had a final lunch with the leadership team that included a gift of Dr.Seuss’ Oh the places you’ll go from the CEO. I cried - actual tears, which never happens - and said sincere thankyous to them for teaching me so much over 2 and half years and for their support of my new journey. There was no bad mojo, no negative residue. The office shut down early for a happy hour where we all laughed and ate and said goodbye. When I walked out into the parking lot a group was waiting to take me to an afterparty at a restaurant down the street. They bought my drinks and made me laugh. It was really one of the most beautiful, bittersweet days of my life.
All of that above was Wednesday.
It was Thursday that the whole “you’re brave” thing started to make sense because let me tell you, it was terrifying. Instantly it felt like ICG had moved on and forgotten me. I couldn’t jump into marketing myself or Lever yet because there's no website or portfolio for Lever yet, and my new client didn’t officially start until the next week.
So, I set up my office feeling alone and unsure. I got encouraging texts from friends and family and busied myself setting up my new office but it was just so freakin’ quiet! Moving into a big office with just me and a few people down the hall was like moving into a tomb. Still, there was a spark of excitement inside. I was doing it, really doing it! All I had to do was hunker down and make it to Monday, where I knew the pressure of all the client work would take me to a happy place. The terror, loneliness, and sadness of leaving stayed around though, even after I’d reached the happy place, it had a spot in the back corner.
If you’re considering leaving something warm and safe for the unknown, prepare yourself for the initial shock. It’s like when you get a puppy. You know you’ll love them later, you wanted one forever but think ‘holy crap what have I done’!? It’s a lot like that, actually. So prepare yourself.
Next Post: How all the ducks fell into a row for me