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.”