I’ve always been amazed by the power of choice. The story I am living right now illustrates exactly what I mean.
I’ve thought a lot about the past these last few weeks. And as I begin this Monday morning, give or take, around the 600th Monday morning I’ve had at my current place of work, my thoughts are increasingly turning to the challenge of my new job.
This is probably my last week in my current job. While I’ve had three jobs in the last twelve years, I’ve worked in the same office building in the same corner of Cardiff for fully a quarter of my entire life. It’s mostly been a wonderful experience, though there have been some bumps along the way.
The people I’ve met and worked with are what I’ve thought about the most. People I’ve recruited and seen rise stratospherically and become amazing sales people or brilliant managers. But also people that were with me for a fleeting few months who decided their time was best spent else where. Or at least, had that decided for them.
I’ve made some great friends, people that will stay with me as I move on into my new life. And yet there are others that I struggle to remember.
I’ve learned so much over the last decade and I owe a lot to the people that originally took that chance on me. I have no doubt I have paid that faith back in spades as this business became one of the most consistently successful in its category and within its parent company.
Probably my ‘proudest’ business achievement is the ‘Radio Station of the Era’ award we recently won, because it reflected the fact we did it every time. Every RAJAR, every monthly target, every year for more that 10 years.
Perhaps most poignantly of all, while I look forward to leaving the radio station, it too will come to an end as the business progresses into its next phase under new owners and with a new direction and purpose. Its somehow fitting, that as I turn to wave good bye, my life’s works to this point will end too.
Its not a sad ending. The radio station has achieved so much. And this financial year will see it once again achieve new records in revenue, profits and audience figures. It is, and I am, literally going out at the top.
The people I leave at the radio station are excited to greet their new futures, as am I. Its just for the first time in an age they will be in different directions, and with different employers.
If I sound reflective, its because I am. But I’m not sad. I am very, very proud of these people and this radio station, and I feel like I have done absolutely everything I can here. The time is right for me to move on and stretch myself into new directions and force myself into new thinking.
And it all came from a simple choice. An offer was made. And an offer was accepted.
I am starting again in a new industry with a new employer and in a new business. I am starting from a position of relative strength of course, having the experiences of the last few years under my belt to insure me against my new challenges, but I am starting again.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to leave and start a fresh challenge.
It’s a risk. I am the archetypal big fish in a small pond. I know everyone in this business and am senior to most. I am fortunate to have a reputation based on both achievement, personality and ability. But I am going where no one knows me.
I’m starting from scratch. With a new ‘family’ to get to know. New clients to win, new teams to build and new alliances to form. Old mistakes to be made all over again maybe, but with new people. People I will immediately get, and who will immediately get me, and those that will think me foolish.
Over the last 12 years I have built a track record and I have cashed in on it. And now I have to start again. From scratch.
Does it sounds daunting? Or exciting?
I’m firmly in the second camp. I cannot wait!
I’m excited about everything. From the nice things like getting a new car and a new phone (!), to meeting new people. As things stand the possibilities I face are limitless. The future is opening up before me and I now have many choices to make.
Last year my future was pretty set. I was certainly happy, but bored. Not stretched, and comfortable. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that necessarily, its just how it was.
And with one decision made, one offer accepted, I’ve turned it all on its head. The road before me has opened up like a golden path into the future and I get to start out on a completely different one if I so chose. Everything is new and shiny. Everything is to be learned again, all over. I am invigorated.
A new office layout to get around, new peoples names to remember, dynamics to understand, opportunities to spot, potential to develop, traps to avoid. And for my family maybe a new place to live and new house to find, new friends to make, new schools to attend.
It was just one choice that made it all possible. And the potential rewards of making it are staggering.
I think the thing I’ve always been afraid of most is standing still. I must always be moving, always learning. And very soon I will be undertaking my biggest challenge to date. Sometimes I ask myself if it is the right thing to do. There is so much at risk.
And other times I realise there never really was a choice to make. Once faced with this challenge, and offered the opportunity to take it on, I was hooked. There was no other outcome. I would have never been able to settle for what I had when the future beckoned so brightly.
This time the choice was easy. And as usual, I am jumping in with both feet. Supported as always by my amazing wife and children, we are leaping into the unknown. With trepidation for sure, but also tremendous excitement.
I’ll let you know how I get on, and how this particular choice pays off!