The Most Important Thing is This

In 1999, only about 2 years into college, I got the opportunity to take a co-op job at a company called Rockwell Automation. I wasn’t actually in a co-op program, but I was able to re-arrange my school schedule to make it (mostly) work. It was a 6 month gig, that continued on in near full-time employment for another year while I also tried to do school full-time. It was a lot, and I didn’t always manage it well, but as a 19 year-old, at the start of my career, it was an incredible opportunity — one afforded me not through my own merit, but because of a mentor who believed in me and wanted to give me a shot. That same mentor has made appearances and provided guidance at a number of key points in my career, and among other goals, I’ve always tried to prove out his confidence in me.

That job led to another, a side step, and then another — this time in New York. That role led to Microsoft, which gave way to my current job in Seattle. Along the way I’ve met, and worked for and with some smart people, who shaped me, encouraged me and challenged me. I’ve also met some people who provided clear examples of what not to do. Hopefully I’ve learned from them too.

My most recent career chapter has been a hard one — but fruitful, in its own way. The Pacific Northwest is truly, truly wondrous. The mountains and lakes and forests are knee-weakeningly incredible. We’ve seen as much as we can, and still seen only a fraction. We’ve made some dear friends, met our financial goals, and learned a lot. We will miss this place, and we resolve to visit again. But this chapter has wrapped up nicely, and with no regrets.

In many ways, the next stop takes us back to the beginning. We get the chance to re-visit much of where we started from, but with hopefully more wisdom and experience to apply to it. Definitely, we’ll have a better appreciation for what it provides. Although we looked for roles in Ontario, none provided exactly the opportunity I was looking for, or met the needs we had for a re-location. Instead, assuming all goes well, we agreed to a move to a neighboring state: Ohio. And as for the job, I’ll be an Information Platform Lead at Rockwell Automation, working with not just that original mentor, but other colleagues from past steps in my career.

Coincidences are sometimes a God thing.
Coincidences with such amazing symmetry are almost always a God thing.

There’s this quote I love, I don’t even know who its from: “The most important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what you are, for what you might become.” In no less than 6 major changes in my career, I’ve taken that seriously — walking away from a good thing because the timing was right to become something else. Through all that, this is the thing I became: I am a husband and a part of a 2-person team that has tackled 15+ years of challenges and adventures without backing down even once, I am a dad who wants to give my 3 amazing kids the whole wide world, I am a Christ-follower with a passion to help His church reach the lost and hurting around the globe, and in my professional life, I help software teams figure out how to make products that meet real customer needs.

We’ll buy a house large enough for our kids to grow in, with a yard big enough for them to explore in, with a neighborhood we can invest in, and a church we can serve and fellowship in. We’ll eliminate the last of our debt (the mortgage), and use our new post as home base for many more years of exploration and adventure.

We’ll continue to “become”, but the “sacrificing” might just slow down a little.

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One thought on “The Most Important Thing is This

  1. love your example to be willing to keep going! We’ll be praying for a smooth transition and wonderful experiences ahead!

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