Hard To Say Goodbye

Today is bitter sweet for me. I am moving on from Catapult Systems to pursue other opportunities.

What does that mean exactly?
Was I treated poorly?
Did the work suck?
No on both accounts. I haven’t been this happy in my professional life in quite a while.

But you are leaving? Yep.

Self Examination Is As Important as Feedback From Others

To answer those questions accurately I had to take a serious look at my life and the things I want from it.

I’m a list maker. I do the whole pro and con’s thing. Making short, mid and long term goals all that stuff. This time I did something a little different.

Lists, Lists and More Lists

First I sat down and looked at my resume. This is all about the work I did, not about the company or the culture. Those things do impact happiness but in my case, I already have a good grasp on the kinds of companies and the kinds of people I like to work with and for.
Where did I spend the most time?
What did I do there that I enjoyed?
What did I do that I didn’t like?
What did I do well?
Keep in mind that sometimes you do some things really well but don’t particularly like doing those things. Once I had that list I moved on to another important list.

This is kind of my “life list”.

What do I want to do professionally? This may not have anything at all to do with SQL Server.
What can I do professionally? This is a more critical look at my best money making skills.
What do I have to do professionally to support my personal life? Sometimes you have to do work you may not like to generate the income you need or receive benefits you need to support your family or lifestyle.

Analyzing The Data

I cannot overstate this, be critical, don’t get nostalgic walking down memory lane!
Get outside input. Start with your significant other and those that would be most impacted by your career changes. Then expand your circle until you feel you have enough quality feedback from people you trust to give you the unvarnished truth.

Make Your Plan

Making your plan may be as simple as shifting your daily schedule or as radical as moving to another country to do completely different work. Planning it out helps you think things through and gives you some pause to prevent snap decisions that can come back to haunt you later. If your a young person, packing a bag and flying to Malaysia probably won’t hurt people around you. I’m in my 40’s with a wife and child that depend on me as the sole provider. Make sure and make this a collaborative effort with your significant others.

Execute

Putting a definitive time to execute your plan keeps it from being just a dream instead of a journey. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments mid stream if you need to, life has a way of not following your plans. Also, revisit your plan to keep it relevant and in focus. Adding details as needed as long term goals start becoming mid or short term.

My Path

After doing all of this, I’ve decided to go back into the world of production database work at a smaller company. Nexgen Healthcare is in a unique place where they are growing and need someone like me to come help them build teams, stabilize environments and keep the growth from slowing down due to technical limitations. It’s also close to home and they are great supporters of community work and opensource projects. All in all I think a good fit for me. I loved my time at Catapult and will miss my friends there for sure.