On Saturday, my wife and I went to see Guster live at New York City’s Beacon Theater. Long a musical influence in our lives, and a band we’ve been a bunch of times live, the performance seemed to mark a somewhat symbolic moment in my recent life.
At the concession stand before the show started, my wife bought a button that just said “Look Alive” on it – the name of Guster’s latest album, natch, and the lead track from the record, but also an awesome concept to consider.
Being unemployed for the longest time in my life (and yes, I realize I’m extremely lucky in the short duration of this), was a lesson in trying to “look alive” when you’re left in a sea of self-doubt, confusion and frustration. No one wants to hear how hard it is to be jobless, the pain you feel to be missing a big part of your creative passion; your desire to make, and help, and do, and think productively, and of course, the nagging fear that you, you know, won’t be able to pay the rent eventually. Unemployment is a sea of redundancy, monotony, moments of massive disappointment and, then, occasionally some hope.
Anyway, the show was fantastic and by the time we were outside after it was over, it was March 17th, three months to the day when I learned the job I took a big risk on, had blown up in my face. (N.B. I think me and startups are going to be on a long-term kind of break). And the good vibes from the warm music marked a chance to put it all behind.
And that was made possible by the fact that my unemployment journey had come to an end the day before when I had received a verbal offer, and after signing the offer letter this morning, I’m excited to start the next chapter of my career.
I am excited to be joining the Intuit team as a Principal Product Manager for their Social and Community Products, working remotely in the New York City area, but with some travel to the Bay Area and other sites out west. You’re probably familiar with Intuit’s suite of financial services products, and their passion for putting the customer first fits nicely with my passion for helping people get the help they need.
I will start the role next week, and I am thankful to the Intuit team (Mark Obee, Jason Todd, and Sheila Toner) for their patience, expediency, forthrightness and respect during the interview process. I’m excited to get started and make some new friends, reconnect with some old ones, and help a bunch of people to be their best selves.
I also wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has reached out with their thoughts, kind words, job offers, listings, hi-fives and hugs. They meant the world to me, and I am eternally grateful.
I’d like to especially my wife Jacque for sticking by me and working through a lot of tough days when the phone didn’t ring, and 20 years of work seemed not to amount to much. It’s amazing to have your best friend and your teammate there to talk sense into you when things don’t make sense and to “look alive” and past all of this to the future.
And for those who are going through this unemployment struggle – I am here for you to help however I can. You’re not alone. Everything will be ok – even when it doesn’t seem like it will be.
Cheers to what’s next.