Many years ago, I had my “dream” job, a software developer writing Unix Kernel—a job that I had been working towards for almost eight years. But something was wrong; something was missing. For six months, everything was out of place, but I could not put my finger on the problem.
Working late one night, I took a break and went to the break room to hit up the vending machines. On my way, I walked past a senior developer’s office. He was at his desk banging out code and sitting prominently on the corner of his desk was a bag of Cheetos and a Mountain Dew.
As I walked back to my desk with my Coke and a bag of corn chips, I realized a change was required. I did not want to spend the rest of my career interacting with a green screen terminal. I wanted to do something more impactful. For most of the next week, I struggled with the notion of changing careers while trying to support a young family.
Eventually, I made the decision to change careers. With an updated resume, a recruiter and a newfound conviction, I landed the new “dream” job. This transition was one of the most challenging moments of my career. The fear of failing, the self-doubt and the concern for my family made this one of the hardest career transitions. Little did I know that this one choice would lead to exactly where I am today and exactly where I was meant to be.
When we take a bird’s-eye view of the most profound moments that have shaped our professional and personal worlds, we can often see—in hindsight—how these moments served as catalysts to what came next. Sometimes that moment was forced upon us, like when we lost our job, got caught in the middle of a corporate merger, watched our loved one pass on suddenly, moved across the country to support a spouse’s job relocation just to name few. However, other times we enacted that moment, like when we said “yes” to that jump promotion, left our cushy corporate job to pursue the entrepreneurial path, volunteered to take the assignment abroad, got married, started a family… the list goes.
No matter how that moment came about, however, it brought us a step closer to the next moment. To the bigger moment. To the more impactful moment.
When you think about it, our life is a series of transitional moments that become strung together over time. Those moments represent many decisions that we make—or don’t make—every single day. Moreover, those moments start to shape the critical chapters of our journey, informing our past and shaping our future.
Today, you are on the precipice of another transitional moment. Perhaps you are already in the throes of it, or maybe it’s on its way. You are likely feeling a range of emotions about what’s ahead: excited, nervous, thrilled, challenged, activated and inspired, to name a few. But you are not alone! And because of this, I am so excited to create conversation around our regular moments of transition.
I am thrilled to announce the launch of the ON Leadership Conference (learn more here!), taking place this fall in the Providence, Rhode Island, area. The half-day conference will assemble change-champions and intentional leaders like you to explore the power of transitions, arming you with the frameworks, perspectives, and methodologies to handle these profound moments of change with heightened centeredness, confidence and control.
We have a dynamic day planned!
You will have the chance to hear from a series of speakers and disruptors who have propelled their careers forward by embracing the unknown, cultivating grit in the face of hardship and enacting—as well as reacting to—profound change. Not only will you hear amazing speakers, but you will also have the chance to engage with your fellow attendees and bounce your thoughts off of them, while providing insight and advice to help them navigate their moments of transition, as well.
For me, launching the ON Leadership Conference has given me the chance to enact a personal and meaningful moment of transition. Like many of you, for seven years, I hosted the AlwaysOn Leadership Symposium through my IT services firm Atrion. The conference allowed us to bring together more than 700 business leaders across the community who were passionate about exploring how technology, business, and leadership intersect. We would bring in speakers from all over the country who would speak on everything from the Four Disciplines of Execution to the art of resiliency.
The inaugural ON Leadership Conference will weave in some of the experiential and topical components that made the AlwaysOn Leadership Symposium a “can’t miss event,” but it will be an entirely new show with an original purpose. We will be bringing together leaders across all industries, professions and experience levels for a day of learning. We will be seating solopreneurs right alongside large enterprise CEOs. Moreover, we will be exploring the intersection of business and leadership in both our professional and personal worlds.
The exact date and location of the event will be released soon, but for now, I encourage you to join my mailing list (click here) to receive up-to-date information about the conference.
Until then, keep charging forward towards those inflection points. Honor all the emotions that it brings—even the feelings of confusion. Know that you are not alone in facing great change so start talking about your moment with trusted friends and colleagues. And welcome, with open arms, whatever is next. Because, trust me… it’s going to be awesome!