Choosing my own adventure

3 minute read

Three things I wanted to experience in my next job

One month ago, I started a new job. I left a place I love to go exploring. After eight years of following a clear path, I was ready to be left to my own devices and seek out a new course.

What came after was to choose the next step. I did not want to leave one place without going to another destination. Deciding where to go next was almost as difficult as deciding to leave. But I knew that—more than anything specific—I wanted something different, something new, and some new things.

A new challenge. A new perspective. A new setting.

I understand and am grateful for the fact that I am speaking from a place of immense privilege. I had options to choose from. This is not the case for many others. Still, I hope this post may help others who have the luxurious challenge of having to choose their own adventure.

I chose Vistaprint, and here’s why.

I wanted to be part of something new

My decision to leave came from an immense sense of curiosity and a desire to learn. The impulse was motivated by the idea that testing my abilities in different ways will help me grow in different ways. The path we take today often shapes which roads are open to us in the future. I was looking for a chance to start from something small and build the skills needed to shape it into something bigger.

In my new role, I will be helping a company chart new territory, journeying into the data and analytics space. It is a mission that will require me to depend on everything I have learned about online experimentation and data science. And the challenge is to do it all without the benefit of the support and legacy of a long-established leader in those fields that I had grown accustomed to.

All I am equipped with now is what is in my backpack, the ideas in my head, and the lessons I have picked up along the way.

I wanted to experience new customs and traditions

Traveling well means exploring everything a place has to offer — its tastes, sounds, and unique celebrations. To not do what we always do; truly appreciating what makes a place special. Ordering the local lunch special stir fried beef with tree ants, instead of the usual sandwich.

The differences we discover, no matter how minute and deeply ingrained, are refreshing reminders that there are often many answers to the same question. It shows us that our way is not the only way. Challenging our assumptions about what it means to live and do right.

Starting a new job and joining a new group of people likewise means adopting new actions, behaviours, and updating our opinions. In the first few weeks in my new role, I have discovered alternative tools, techniques and ways of thinking at every step. In one of the very first meetings I attended, I experienced first-hand the six-page narrative technique that I’d previously only read about in the book The Everything Store. It was a small but striking reminder that there are still many more new things for me to see and do.

It is one thing to read about something in a book. It is something entirely different to experience that thing first-hand. Even if we end up never eating tree ants again, the experience itself will change our minds forever and for the better.

I wanted to feel at home

Like many of us, I realised the enormous benefits of working from home last year. I am grateful for the privilege to have access to a nice home office with a door that I can close. I also live in a house that is big enough for my kids to play, while I work. Again, I understand this is not true for everyone, but for me, it makes all the difference.

Working from home has helped me improve my work-life balance. I stopped spending three hours of my working day commuting. I started taking my kids to school in the morning. And I go for a run between meetings at least twice a week.

So even as I set out to explore new worlds — I wanted the freedom to work from my spare bedroom office. To adventure far and wide, from the safety of my own home.

This new opportunity has given me these things, and more. I am eager to see where this journey takes me next, and what I will learn along the way.

I am choosing my own adventure.