You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.
Tomorrow is my last day at Microsoft. I almost chickened out of it yesterday, but I really am leaving. I’m leaving the strong reviews, the excellent benefits, the caring team, and the supportive management team. Did I mention that I’m leaving behind the excellent benefits?
When I came to Seattle, I did it so I could eventually get a job at Microsoft. It’s a great place to work and I didn’t believe any of the rumors about how it could suck your soul dry. And I don’t think it sucked my soul dry. It did make me tired, and even occasionally cranky, but that’s just because I have a job with responsibility. It’s not specific to the company I work for. And yesterday, I was more or less given a great offer for a new and different job at Microsoft that would have been sort of easy. Not that I wouldn’t have to work for it, but it would have been right in my comfort zone. I guess I’m just not into comfort right now. I’m into fear.
Starting Monday, I’m doing the thing that scares me quite a bit. I’m leaving the security of Microsoft to work for a company called Aquent as Vice President of Studios. I’ll be covering the Microsoft account, which should come as no surprise. I’m actually very concerned about my ability to fulfill expectations in the new job. I have that lump in my stomach, scared that I won’t be able to provide the leadership and direction that they need from their vice president. Scared that they might just see me as one more in a string of leaders who couldn’t deliver. And then there’s the fear that some of the people who know me from previous work will be shocked and disappointed that I would be hired as their leader. All the insecurities that I don’t usually let anyone see are boiling, causing that lump in my stomach.
It would be much easier to stay, to continue doing the work that I’ve mastered, to work with people whose respect I’ve already earned, and to hate the commute. But right now, right here, I’ve decided to do the thing that is a big gamble. I’m doing the thing that scares me and has kept me awake more nights over the last few weeks than I’d like to count. I want to face the big challenges, if not without fear, then at least with the knowledge that I am doing the thing that I fear. I’m doing the thing that will help me gain strength, courage, and confidence.
I've enter this post in Scribbit's October Write-Away Contest.