I remember the first time I read The Lord of the Rings. I understood viscerally why Frodo, Bilbo, and company decided to leave The Shire in search of adventure. They were drawn by a calling and an urge to break free from the everyday hassles of a ho-hum life. One hundred eleven birthday parties are a lot to celebrate in a single place.
Once the Fellowship got to Rivendell, though, that's another story. Rivendell is a sanctuary of tranquility. Its gardens and flowing streams provide a level of comfort and stability. Rivendell is a place of refuge, learning, and growth. Within its gates, the world seems at peace; it's hard to imagine ever leaving.
After twelve years at the same company, I am departing for a new adventure. We rarely measure jobs in decades, yet here I am, having spent a significant chapter of my life at one of the best companies on the planet to work for. I had a strong reputation, a level of comfort, predictability, familiarity, and certainty that I likely could have ridden to retirement. But today, I'm trading that in for a new journey toward an adventure with different opportunities, challenges, and the thrill of the unknown that you can't get within the walls of the familiar.
I'm joining a boutique consulting firm called Headstorm. As soon as I met them, I knew it would be a fit. They remind me of the Fellowship, a small, intrepid group hyper-focused on a North Star. Everyone brings their own experience, skills, and perspectives to forge a formidable force greater than the sum of its parts. The allure of being part of a nimble, high-impact team was too good to pass up. I love the idea of a small, focused, well-functioning team changing the world around them for the better, and I think I have that in Headstorm. I'm also excited about stretching my skills in new directions, particularly around helping clients develop new strategies and implementing them in a human-centric way.
Over the last twelve years, I've grown in ways I could have never imagined. I retooled my career completely from a technical implementer to a leader of teams. I've built a robust talent stack of skills and experiences with dozens of people I can genuinely call my friends. Looking back, my core memories are not of what was accomplished over the years but of the people I worked with and the stories we wrote together.
The thing I'm most grateful for, though, is that Pariveda helped me better understand myself. Before joining, I thought I was introverted and detail-oriented. I figured all software developers were introverted and detail-oriented, so why not me? In my first three months, I took Predictive Index training and realized I am extroverted and not detail-oriented at all (big surprise). The tension I felt in my career over the several years leading up to my time at Pariveda is hard to describe. How much longer would I have experienced it without being part of an organization that fervently focuses on human development? I'm grateful for Pariveda giving me the gift of understanding a little bit about how I'm wired, giving me a vocabulary to express that, and giving me feedback over the years to help shape it into something more productive and balanced.
As I step into the next phase of my journey, the legacy of Pariveda accompanies me. The lessons learned, relationships forged, and insights gained are not just part of a farewell; they are integral components of my evolving narrative. I leave with phenomenal memories, an enriched perspective, an expanded community of colleagues-turned-friends, and a heart full of gratitude.
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