Leveling Up

So after fifteen years at the same company, here’s a phrase I didn’t expect to be uttering anytime soon … Friday is my last day at AMI.

Yeah, that’s an eternity in the technology field. Heck, it’s an eternity for me. I’ve been an employee longer than I’ve been a husband (sure, only by a few weeks, but we nerds thrive on technicalities).

To be honest, I’m more interested in having a career than a job. I’ve been able to blend experience in engineering, public speaking and multimedia production into an interesting career path. And because I want that career to keep advancing, I am reluctantly moving on.

I have to be honest with myself … I’ve been at the same level for years. It’s been one of those creeping realizations I couldn’t continue to ignore. My challenges aren’t in the daily job but figuring out what I’ll do myself next. It’s a good company, and one I’ve never regretted working for … but at the core it’s a small company. I know my work is appreciated and beneficial, but I can’t feel like I’m settling for something comfortable and safe if I stay. There might be new opportunities there in the future, but I don’t know how long I’m comfortable waiting for them to appear.

Over fifteen years I have had some wonderful advances in my life. I’ve gotten married, moved to another state, bought a house, built a house, added friends, traveled the world, become an uncle twice (once by blood, once by friendship), accidentally taken over part of one of the world’s biggest sci-fi conventions and (thanks to my wife) fundamentally changed the way I look at love and relationships.

I’m 39 and prefer my mid-life crisis be a career shift rather than some expensive sports car. Seriously, you can’t get a drum set into one of those damn things … the trunk space is appalling …

For the folks I work with who are reading this, you have no reason to see this as a problem with the company. Some of the smartest people I have ever met with are under that roof. I didn’t start out as an “expert” in 1996 when I joined, people had to teach me (FYI, I’m still not an expert). My first presentations weren’t quite as polished as they are now (“um” is a hard word to let go of). I had a chance to do all of this because I worked at AMI … they let me try different jobs, apply different skills and find where I could do the best work.

My new job lets me work from home, combined with some travel (no surprise to anyone). I stay in the technology field, so I have the opportunity to work with some of the people AMI that have helped me over the past fifteen years. I have a lot to learn when I hit my new job, but it wouldn’t be a technology job if I kept using the same old stuff.

So now the fun begins … clean out the old desk, clean up the home office and try to avoid answering the phone with the phrase “AMI, this is Brian.”

7 Replies to “Leveling Up”

  1. Best of luck to you, Brian! You will kick ass at whatever you choose to do. Lots of love,

  2. Congratulations, Brian! As Teresa says, you’ll rock. 😀 Would love to hear more about what you’re going to be doing! And as always, if I can help in any way, let me know. 🙂

  3. I’m all kinds of happy for you and look forward to hearing more about this around a bottle of scotch when us out-of-towners invade your house in a few weeks. 🙂

  4. I just took another look at this post tonight (thanks to the pingback bringing it back to my feed reader), and it’s actually a little eerie how many things we have in common. We’re damned close to the same age, and I’ve worked at ADTRAN pretty close to the same amount of time you worked at AMI. Some of the comments you made about that job feel pretty familiar, too.

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