Building the Life I Want

When Sun was sold to Oracle, I lost my job, as did many others. Because I’m (ahem) a little older, I had the advantage of options – look for a full-time job, look for a part-time job, freelance, join an agency, or do nothing at all.  Over the past year, I’ve done all of the above.

After I said “No thanks” to a fourth job offer, I realized that there was no company in the world that appealed to me just now.  I was still so burnt out after the nightmare of Sun’s last couple of years that the thought of running someone else’s communication department gave me the heebie-jeebies.

I tried joining a small agency with friends; that was pretty much a disaster.  (Note: if you value your friends, do NOT go into business with them – please learn from my mistakes. In the end I had no business and no more friendship, a bad deal all around.)

I picked up a couple of consulting assignments, but because I just didn’t (and don’t) want to go market myself aggressively, the gigs were occasional, with long droughts of nothing in between.

Which I was really fine with.  I’ve surprised myself at how happily occupied I can stay without the structure of a job.  I cook, practice Spanish, listen to music, visit my grandchildren, stay in touch with friends, walk my dog, spend time with my husband, read, watch crap TV, and enjoy myself.

But as time went on, my new life started to grow in some interesting ways.  First, thanks to Rick Sauter (who works for Communitelligence), I was given the opportunity to become a trainer for Melcrum, facilitating their Black Belt communication courses, along with two other trainers.  I can’t tell you how wonderful this is, and how much I enjoy it.  I meet tons of people, I interact with professionals who are eager to further their communication skills, and I get to stand in front of a group and share what I’ve learned. Perfect.  Second, my consulting business grew, somewhat to my surprise.  More assignments started coming in, but not so many as to overwhelm my quality of life.  Just enough to keep me on my toes and engaged.

How long ago was Sun?  Honestly, I can’t tell you.  It feels like a lifetime away.  I’ve walked away from it with the best – strong friendships forged under good and bad times at what was the greatest company in the world, invaluable learning experiences, and a finely honed philosophy of communication ideals and practice.

I’ve reclaimed my life, my profession, my family, my sanity.  Everyday I wake up, excited about what is to come. With no regrets about what is past.

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One Response

  1. Love your honest accounts of your life. Perspective is everything. Hurrah for you to try new things and learn and share with the rest of us. Life is good on the other side of Sun.

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