This is part 1 of a 3 part series where I discuss my decision to leave Novell, how I prepared myself to take the big change and how I coped with the new environment.
13th February 2015 was my last working day in Novell It was a hard decision considering that I was associated with Novell for 18 years. Friends and colleagues were even more puzzled with my decision of joining a startup since I spent a good part of my career in corporate world. One question I was asked often in the last few weeks is about my feelings.
Are you worried about leaving? Aren’t you scared that you won’t have the paycheck going to your account at the end of the month? etc. etc.
Many of the fears were very eloquently discussed in a 4 part series by Ravi Vekaresan ex Microsoft MD. One will notice a lot of similarities while dissecting each of the points that Mr. Ravi called out in his articles. It was sort of reaffirming my thoughts that I can survive. Many people did this. If not now, then when?
I borrow a few statements from his articles as it was no different from what I went through and what my friends asked me.
Fear of being nobody
Probably this will be the far most important issue one has to deal with if you are in the leadership role. You will have to deal with an emotioanl imbalance suddenly when no one is waiting for your approval. You feel dejected when you don’t have to douse the fire. You are worried if your TRP comes down over a period of time as you are not quoted in the media that often.
Dealing with loss of high flying lifestyle
As a corporate executive, one will enjoy a number of benefits. High flying habits such as flashing your loyalty cards where ever you go, the grin on others face when you are allowed to board the aircraft ahead of other unlucky souls because of your medallion status, smile on your face when you see your name flashing on the TV screen as you enter the full service Marriot room etc. are a few of the unwanted habits that you acquire during your corporate life.
You will get the picture if you are a salaried employee for a couple of decades. Though it makes a lots of difference in the initial days of the career, as time progresses, one takes it granted and stays with the comfort of a handsome amount getting deposited into your bank account at the end of every month. A lot of planning is required when you decide to let that go. Commonsense says that one needs to plan for his 18 months of survival at the minimum before you take the plunge.
Definition of social status has changed from your community where you live knowing you to being known as a thought leader in the industry. It has become your LinkedIn rating or number of twitter followers or number of google search results. I’m not sure if we are really bothered about your immediate community anymore. It could be an important factor for a few.
Having decided to quit, decided to let go all the comfort and financial security, next step is to prepare yourself for the big change. I’ll talk more of that in the next post.