There’s something eery about my last day at work. A lot of uncertainty in the air, some self doubt, a lot of hope and an unshakeable tingle in my hands. Faces that will be missed and meeting cancellations. With all of that, there’s also deep, personal thoughts.
I’ve been through this before, but somehow it is different every single time. And while I wonder what could have been if I decided to stay, I can’t wait to see what comes as a result of this decision. With all of that in mind, I feel the need to explain to myself why I am doing this, and why now feels like the right time to do so. It also makes me reflect on the journey to this point.
How I got here
Right at the beginning of 2015, my life took a drastic turn. After a hectic 2014 project, many headaches, and at times what felt like the verge of a breakdown, my project was finished on time. It was a substantial relief, all that work finally done. Then I took a break and 2015 felt like a new beginning. I stood in front of a whiteboard on the first day of work, talking to my team about everything that we needed to achieve in the new year. Attempting to inspire and telling them that 2015 would be different. With a new product launch we could focus on our users, their feedback, new technologies and methodologies I had read about over the break. Then the Director of HR walked in and told us that the company had taken the hard decision of cancelling our product. All 76 of us, Product, Design, Engineering, QA along with all consultants were let go at the same time. It was a huge blow, but with products, that’s how it goes sometimes. I think it was easier for me to process than for the rest of the team. That is, until I got home.
Life felt pretty good up to that point. My wife and I had just had a baby. We had a nice apartment on the 38th floor of a tall downtown building with the most incredible view of the bay. We felt so lucky… we were close to the highway, and our apartment was positioned just right so we could enjoy an uninterrupted view of both sunrise and sunset. On that day in January 2015, everything that we enjoyed became our biggest concern. How long until I landed my next gig? What if we couldn’t provide for our newborn baby? What if our resources depleted and our runway ended?
It all seems silly now to be honest. What felt like a defeat was really an important transition in disguise. Soon enough, I was presenting ideas to the executive team at HBO Latin America and somehow they really liked me–and gave me an opportunity to continue along the same path.
Since joining the company in early 2015, I have had what is possibly the most rewarding experience. I’ve worked alongside some of the most talented, smart and interesting people. Together we’ve conquered big challenges and applied changes that will have lasting effects in our product, audience and our company.
Now it is time for me to move on. While I am infinitely grateful for this experience and the personal growth I’ve experienced here, I want to try new things. To put things in perspective, here are some things that I want to achieve:
My baby is turning 2, and she is much more expressive now than ever. She cries every morning when I close the door as she is asks me to carry her. Every day I start my day with the thought that I want to be there for her, be there for my wife, have lunch with them and stay for coffee. While I will be working and spending time with clients, coaching groups, etc., this transition gives me a real opportunity to spend more time around my girls. This thought makes me smile.
I don’t want to sound egocentric or superficial, but a big part of this is for personal enrichment. I want to spend time with my family, see new places, gain new perspectives and apply fresh inspiration in my day to day. I follow a lot of people on Instagram that post beautiful photos of the Pacific North West, Iceland, Portugal and Northern Europe. I want to add some of those photos myself.
Find New Challenges
I really like working on digital products and have an undeniable passion for processes and user experience. For the last few years I have been building design teams and applying different methodologies to communicate and successfully build consumer applications. I’d like to expand on what I’ve learned in the meantime by speaking more, coaching product/engineering teams and consulting with clients that need design strategy.
Build New Relationships
Almost on a daily basis I think to myself that I want to meet more people, attend more events, learn more and be of service to the design community around me. While I frown upon excuses for the sake of excuses, at the moment I lack the time or flexibility to do as much as I’d like. This new chapter offers the independence necessary for me to add some of these items to my agenda.
Explore New Avenues
I want to produce content somehow. I started writing and recording a UI Design class, which I didn’t finish… I constantly have conversations with design peers about starting a podcast, vlog, writing articles on Medium or putting together email or webinar curriculums. These conversations usually end in “Alright dude, let me know…” and that’s pretty much it. I am convinced that this is the right time to take some of those conversations and spring them into action.
I Want to Teach
Coaching is sort of an ultimate goal of mine. It is the one thing I can give back to my community, and it has truly been part of my plan all along. I’ve had conversations with local bootcamp-style schools, have thought about creating a Meetup circuit in my area and flirted with the idea of online tutorials. This is high in my list of priorities and am excited to get started.
With a heavy heart and mixed emotions I say goodbye. I’ve had the last of the realest possible conversations with those who spent their time with me, enriching my career with their knowledge and injecting glee in my days with their charisma. I awkwardly shake hands with those who I didn’t get a chance to work or interact enough with. HBO Latin America has been a great place to develop, learn and interact. I can only hope for a future as rewarding and filled with continuous growth.