Statistics show that the average person can expect to change jobs five to seven times in his or her lifetime.
I am humbled to say that I’ve already CRUSHED “average” and I’m quickly approaching legendary status. (Actually, the adjectives “preposterous” and “ridiculous” might be a better description for my resume.)
Since graduating from college in 1997, I have:
– Been a newspaper designer at two different newspapers
– Served as a college admissions counselor
– Coached football
– Been a football recruiting coordinator
– Worked in athletic administration at a major university
– Started my own business
– Helped a non-profit tell its story through marketing
– Been a consultant
– Worked at an advertising agency
– Peeked into the world of Oil and Gas.
That’s 11 jobs in 11 years. (Needless to say, I have an impressive stack of business cards with my name on them.)
Do I win something?
What about a lobotomy and/or a day pass at the closest mental institution?
My most recent career change is the reason for this blog post. Two days ago, I walked away from a company that I whole-heartedly believed in – making more money than I’d ever made before – because I was not appreciated and/or valued.
I quit without another job lined up, because I wasn’t being true to myself – going to work every day under a cloud of uncertainty and distrust.
Please know, when I say “quit” … I approached the owners and said: “This will be my last day to work here. Thank you for the opportunity. I’m sorry it didn’t work out.”
I grabbed my computer bag and left.
It has always been important to me to leave a job on good terms, and to make sure that I left things in better shape than when I arrived.
That was not exactly the case this time, especially in regards to leaving on the best of terms. There was no two-weeks notice and/or mutually-beneficial exit strategy. (Obviously, there was not going away party.)
I can honestly say it was one of the least proudest moments of my life AND the proudest thing that I’ve ever done.
I had to walk away, and I had to do it right then.
A friend of mine put it best: “They didn’t deserve you.” And even though she made it sound like I was breaking up with a controlling, self-righteous, witch of a girlfriend, she was right.
If I had gone to work one more day, I would have been a hypocritical glutton for punishment. (More poetically referred to as a wuss.)
Was it easy to walk away? Hell, no!
Before my departure, my heart was beating out of my chest as I stared at a picture of my wife and son. My emotions ranged from sadness and anxiety to utter terror as I continuously asked myself: “What the hell am I about to do?”
Then it happened – a whisper from God. I received an e-mail from a friend that simply said:
Here’s a reminder in case you need one:
“As our pastor closed us in prayer, I told God that I feel like I AM living ‘full throttle’ and I expressed my gratitude. Thanks to my faith in Him – I’m able to live boldly without any fear. (Not reckless…just boldly.) I’m able to take risks. I’m able to chase my dreams. I’m able to love with all my heart. I’m able to be the best husband, brother, son, and boss that I can be.”
My earnest response: “Wow! Who wrote that?”
Friend: “You did, nerd! In a blog post in 2009.”
The message spoke directly to my racing heart, but being re-introduced to my own thoughts and words was even more profound. My fear and apprehension was quickly replaced with confidence.
Before I received that e-mail, I was taking a leap of faith – clueless about what I was going to do next, But three VERY simple words gave me the courage to embrace my future:
It was a welcomed slap across the face – I FINALLY recognized that I need to leverage the gifts that God has blessed me with and inspire others through my writing.
So what does that exactly mean?
It’s time to write and write some more. It’s time to be true to myself and help other people do wonderfully great things.
Maybe this leap of faith will actually inspire someone to punch their fear in the face and make a radical change of their own.
I’ll close with this incredible reminder from Max Lucado’s book, Fearless:
Fear never wrote a symphony or poem, negotiated a peace treaty or cured a disease. Fear never pulled a family out of poverty or a country out of bigotry. Fear never saved a marriage or a business. Courage did that. Faith did that. People who refused to consult or cower to their timidities did that. But fear itself? Fear herds us into a prison and slams the doors.
Lucado then asks: “Wouldn’t it be great to walk out?”
Yeah, it would….so I did.