Walking away from the corporate world can be a frightening thing for anyone. The safety net of a nice pay cheque every two weeks, benefits, social interaction, cool offices… there are many reasons why executives choose to live with the hectic demands of 80-hour weeks, never really leaving work at the office due to 24/7 connectivity to their mobile devices and living with the pressure of hitting those quarterly forecasts.
When you are suddenly faced with the loss of a job and unceremoniously tossed into the unknown, you are forced to really contemplate how you want to live your life going forward. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade the years I invested in my career for anything. The experiences of building teams and brands, facing challenges and making tough calls, the satisfaction of winning and the learning from setbacks, and most importantly, the great (and, yes, some not so great) colleagues, clients and suppliers I have worked with have all in their own way shaped the business person I am today.
So the question was: Did I want more of the same or was it time to turn things upside down? Like so many I have already worked enough hours for two lifetimes…In choosing what’s next, how could I still earn a good income, help people and businesses along the way and try to preserve my health for my remaining working years? If I looked for employment again at this stage of my career, how long until I get blindsided again with a layoff or restructuring?
With the luxury of some time to think things through and many discussions with friends and family, I opted for creating my own employment with the intention of tapping into my talents and experience while for the first time also aligning my work with how I want to live my life. And so a drumroll please for the new 20Eight, a boutique digital advertising shop co-owned by Louise and me. The idea is to combine our experience in the Web, SEM and traditional advertising worlds to bring real and measurable results to businesses of all kinds.
In the days following my departure from Corus many kind people told me to have faith that the best years of my career would be ahead of me. To be truthful it was hard to see it at the time, but now I look ahead and believe! Our shop is starting out of the gate with clients and the pipeline is filling quickly. I am going to do what I love most… work strategically with clients to grow their businesses… and be home to cook dinner with my wife every evening!