After almost six years, yesterday was my last day with Orange. And as I shared going away lunches, coffees, drinks and dinners with co-workers (friends) over the last couple of weeks, I was reminded of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Besides Tom tricking people into painting the fence for him (clever boy), my other favorite part of the book was where he and Huck attend their own funeral. I’ve always found that idea so interesting. Okay, self-serving, yes, but interesting. And so I was struck by a similar notion in leaving my job, albeit less morbid.
In the busyness of work and life, many of us, myself included, don’t find enough time to tell those around us how much we appreciate them. And I worked with many fantastic and talented people, both at their jobs and as humans. So many kind words were spoken to me before my departure, and several of us joked that it was like a funeral. Their words were so nice to hear, and I was glad to return the favor, but I was saddened by the fact that we didn’t have more of these conversations over the years, despite mutual admiration.
I had a couple of co-workers in particular who were unfailingly and consistently encouraging. We all know, and need, these people. Unfortunately, though, most of us allow thoughts to slip our minds, or days to stretch into weeks, which stretch even further, before we say the things we meant to. I hope I can rectify that moving forward using the example of those who were so generous with their words to me.
So, I dedicate this post, not just to my next adventure, but to my friends at Orange who helped prepare me for it. I leave there with a lot to be grateful for: additional skills, knowledge, self-awareness, stories, laughter and friends, to name a few. I am forever changed by the experience, and hope to have left them better off as well.
What’s next? I will be a full-time freelancer again. My hope is to do more writing and consulting, specifically working with social justice groups, nonprofits and social enterprises (cause-based organizations). I will also likely do more marketing and communications too, at least on some level, since that help is always needed. Of course, I also have contacts across various industries from all my years of work, so there will likely be other odds and ends in there as well, which I kinda like. 😉
I especially love small businesses. They’re flexible and scrappy, and I get a thrill out of helping things grow. And they usually need someone to like me to help them put better systems in place. So, while small businesses often can’t hire a staffer with my experience and expertise, they can usually budget it in for projects here and there. And that leaves endless possibilities, and a whole lotta fun.
Therefore today begins my next great adventure! Well, as soon as I finish this Hobbit/Lord of the Rings marathon…
I look to the past as a guide for the uncharted road ahead, while eagerly walking forward, not knowing what the future will bring. That, to me, is part of the thrill of living! I’m not in control anyway, and I know the Lord is at my side, so let’s just see where He takes me, shall we?
Micah 6:8 (NIV)
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.