Where have I been?

Where have you been

This post was inspired by my good friend Luigi’s recent blog post on moving past failure 

And thanks to him I have paused from things I am doing and decided to finally climb back into my blog and explain my absence and how I myself am moving past failure.

Failure as Lugi pointed out is most certainly an an option and this post explains how I have failed and how I’m moving past it, albeit rather slowly from my perspective. I’ll also state that I’m absolutely delighted I failed and faltered and the oppurtunity it gave me.

Where have I been? 

On the 30th March I concluded my 13 years and almost 4 months with EMC now being Dell EMC. I accepted a redundancy offer. As you may glean from my previous posts I had just gone through a change of roles 5 months previously. And that was from a position I was made redundant from in Dell EMC. I figured I’d take the hint and accept the second offer. So since then I have been pretty independent, looking around for my next oppurtunity, spending quality time with my family and improving my health. But I’ll explain all that in a bit.

Accepting the failure and the faltering

I’m not going to lie, the redundancy, the leaving a company and  a “family” was pretty hard hitting. And the old ego took a bruising. But in fairness to Dell EMC, they really looked after me and many others who left and I l really look back on my career over the 13 years with EMC and briefly with Dell EMC with immense gratitude. It was also time for me to move on anyway, given that Dell EMC is essentially a new company, and vastly different from the EMC I “grew up with”. It was also an oppurtunity for me to take stock of myself and reflect. And that was very valuable. Still, I have to admit for a good number of months beyond a few of my close friends and family I did not want to share my news. It took me a long time to realise, despite countless times those close to me told me, that it wasn’t my fault. This was hard for me to accept for a long time. As far as I was concerned I was a failure. I should have seen it coming . I should have prepared better. But in the end, and pretty recently, through the help and patience of family and close friends, I realised, while I did not per se do anything wrong, it felt like a failure and a faltering. And it was okay to feel that way. And it was also okay to look around and see the oppurtunity.

Moving on and letting go

This past Summer, was glorious. The weather was fantastic, hell we even experienced a drought in Ireland, But I for one welcomed it. And being off work meant I could spend so much quality time with my kids. And it worked out well that way, it was a welcome distraction from my melancholy. I got to be Mr. Mom. My wife could work, knowing I could prioritise the kids. we had a great vacation, and a great return from vacation. The family BBQ was never put to task so much in any summer previous to this. The weather was incredible. I got rare quality time with my kids I never had. Usually during the summer I was caught up in International Travel and travails on the “Conference Silly Season” somewhere between Las Vegas and Barcelona. And my wife no longer had to use up her vacation days covering my absence on work travel . I got to focus on my kids, spend time at home, painting rooms, And even finally clearing out my home office to now look more like a home office 🙂 And I’m currently building up the will power to clear out the garage and tend to the gutters before mid October swings by.

With time comes perspective and new habits: 

The time off made me realise what I had been missing with my family while I was caught up in my career. And heck, I even sorted my health out. My “Dad Bod” has been given it’s eviction notice. I have lost 15 pounds, I attend the gym 4 days a week, and get this…. I’m weight lifting. I’ve never done it before. Now I’m not going full “Arnie”, but I am getting fit. And it feels great. I feel a tiny bit younger, and a fair bit stronger, and I can run after the kids now and without feeling like I’m going to keel over. I’ve also let go of my melancholy over leaving EMC / Dell EMC. I guess after 13 years, you do need to grieve. But I’ve moved on. And I’m actually happy it happened. I’m healthier for it, I’m around for my family. And its given me a perspective and understanding of how wrapped up I got with my work. That’s not to say I did not of do not value my career. I do, and I have further ambitions. And I am going to achieve them, just not at the expense of my family.

What’s next?

Well, since it’s now September the kids are back at school. I have been looking for a new role and am ready to get back to work. Not only that but I have been doing a lot of studying too, on analytics, e-commerce, and a bit of research on GDPR that I need to write up. When I do, and it will be a blog post, you can expect it to be rather controversial. It’s a mess IMHO, but more on that in another post.

I will also have  a post on the whole experience I’ve had over the last six months with recruiters and recruiting managers.  It’ll be constructive criticism.

I’m also working on website development with WordPress and Woo-commerce. I’ll be porting my blog over to a new fully hosted site, rather than just being on WordPress. This will be a fair bit of time in development. I”m still mulling things over, as well as doing a few interviews and researching. I know the right gig will come along. When it does, it will be one that fits my paradigm of career development, bringing value, balanced with family life and definitely not all consuming. My future is uncertain, and that’s okay.

Echoing Nerd’s Blurt: 

As Luigi stated failure is an option. It’s always available . It’s right beside success. And certainly the way in which we respond to the failure or faltering is what matters. All I’ll tell you is, if and when it happens to you, breathe, and know it’s going to be okay.

Shameless self promotion: 

As stated I am looking for a new role. I have 13 years in a blue chip company under my belt, an MSc in Data Business & Design Research, a track record in community building, program and project management, with revenue generation in the multimillions. I have a swiss army knife of a career with Customer Support, IT, Marketing and Sales experience. My CV is available on request and you can find me on LinkedIn . 

Feel free to reach out. Thanks for reading. And please comment below as you see fit. Let me know your thoughts.

3 thoughts on “Where have I been?

  1. Hmmm… I think WordPress is messing with me, so if I show up commenting twice blame it on them!

    It’s good to have you back Mark. It’s been a long time (considering there was a time where we hardly went a week without interacting a couple of times one way or another). I get why you felt you were recovering from failure, and if I could have been there to talk to you about it over a pint or two I would have tried to smack some sense into you on that topic. But the reality is that no one but you can turn around something like that in your own head.

    I’m glad you had the time to spend with your family, cause I know you were missing that when you were running off your feet busy. And I’m glad you took the time to open up and share your experience openly as the only way people get through these things is to share, talk, communicate… and to know that they aren’t the only one.

    Thank you, and Welcome back Mark!!!

  2. Well done on your honesty. Enjoyed your blog including one on Strategyzer.
    Best of luck on your new direction. I have failed more times than succeeded but always win with family first. Thanks for the twitter retweet that led me to your blog

  3. I was told a long time ago “Fail harder”. “Fail” is relative. You are the true arbiter of the situation. You know the discerning differences that are buried in the minutia. Details do matter BUT more important priorities in life and career — only you know. Which is to support which? Which is the raison d’etre? Work/ Career supports your life..your real life. You have many talents and will find the better situation to leverage those talents… then everyone wins!

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