When I started my first job in the HR & Payroll technology field back in 2001, I joined a well established and well respected industry leader. I was grateful for the opportunity to learn how a well oiled corporate machine works. We had a business model that worked, and no one did it better than us. But as a young twenty-something I dreamed of hitching a ride on the rocket that was Silicon Valley. Google and eBay were recently founded and in the news everyday. I couldn’t imagine how a kid in Toronto, with more brains then sense, could catch on with a California start-up at the ground floor – it seemed so far away for the son of union workers who were loyal to a single company their whole career.
Fast forward to 2013 and here I was. Not sure how I ended up here, but here is where I was. For the last 4 years I’ve been working closely with brilliant, driven people, that really wanted to contribute to building something worthy of their effort. It was everything I had imagined and hoped for. There was no concept of time, only of things that needed to get done – the environment was high energy, highly collaborative, and with an unending list of problems that needed to be solved. It may not be for everyone, but for a kid who would shun homework for brainteasers, puzzles, and any sort of mental competition I was now being paid to live out the best parts of my childhood.
My leadership was supportive, encouraging, and provided every opportunity to grow. I was put in positions to highlight my strengths, but at the same time I’d have responsibilities that allowed me to develop weaker skills or learn new skills.
Then throw in the fact that I was able to travel as little or much as I wanted, it was unquestionably my dream job. So why leave?
Back in 2010 I took a hiatus from Professional Services and HR Technology. I spent a year earning my Commercial Pilot’s license. I became a Flight Instructor and only Consulted on the side.
I reembarked my Professional Services career when I joined my previous employer, and I set aside the daily thrill of soaring with the birds (not in the clouds, but dutifully avoiding them and helping others learn how to do the same). There is no truer definition of freedom than being able to master movement in all three dimensions. Spinning and spiral dives at 4,000 ft were a Tuesday. I carry this feeling with me always.
There are no limits to what I believe I can do. Just because I reached my goals, doesn’t mean that I’m done, it just means I need to set new goals. There are Professional Services mountains I have yet to climb. I left my dream job because it’s time to dream bigger. Wish me luck!
Farhan Khan is the Founder of ESi Consulting Group, which specializes in Consulting, Training, and Managed Services for the Force.com platform. He is passionate about guiding his clients to achieve their vision through intelligent technology solutions.