A few years ago while in the midst of being laid off from my 3rd different company, and second in as many years, I wondered about how nice it must feel to be able to leave a company on my terms. I wasn't entirely deluded—I naturally assumed it would be difficult to say goodbye and move on—but I was convinced that it was still the easier and better way to go.
I don't think I was wrong about which method of exit is the better one, but I couldn't have been more wrong about which one is easier. Perhaps it's partially due to my inexperience (this is the first time in my career I've voluntarily left a full-time job), but I think the bigger reason is the decision I made to leave a great group of people and a company that clearly valued my contributions. That's not an easy thing to do, and it's a decision I did not make lightly.
But when I evaluated the opportunity before me, it became clear that it was time to move on. Time to work for a company located 10 miles from my home instead of 2500 miles away. Time to work together in an office with a great team instead of working remotely with a great team. Time to go work for a company making their own products instead of a company making products for other people. All of this is not to say there aren't advantages I'll be leaving behind (unparalleled flexibility and a commute of 10 feet from my bedroom to name a few), but for me and this time in my life and career, it's not where I need to be.
So as of today I will be saying goodbye to my colleagues at mPortal and on Monday I'll be saying hello to my new team members at SteelHouse. SteelHouse is a technology marketing company focused on empowering companies to take control of their own marketing strategy instead of relying on marketing firms. Their industry-leading tools and services aim to revolutionize the way online marketing is conducted and sold. My role within the company will be to manage the design and development of their marketing platform product, leveraging my experience in interface design as a bedrock.
It's a different kind of role than those I've held in the past, but at the same time it's exactly the sort of role I've been looking for. Working solely on the "design side" of things, my responsibilities have centered on the function and style at the exclusion of implementation. This isn't to say I've been ignoring the engineering implications of my work, but just that I haven't had much direct influence on that aspect. But it's no secret that a great product must be usable, attractive, and expertly engineered, and I am eager to help guide SteelHouse in delivering state-of-the-art products and services.