Last week, I posted that I have sold my interest in Bright Yellow Jacket, a company that I have been a partner and designer at for the last four years. I’m going to attempt to put into words why on earth I did this.
There are many reasons, large and small, that factored into this decision, but two stand out as the drivers. The first is a desire and need for work/life balance.
I have been a business owner for over 8 years, now! It’s been incredibly challenging and rewarding. It’s equal parts grit, determination, fear and celebration. My business partner and I have worked hard to build enduring relationships with our clients that provide the challenges and accomplishments that make our work worth it. But as any small business owner will tell you, it is taxing. You’re always working. When you’re not working at the office, you’re working at home (or on vacation). When you’re not actually working, you’re thinking about it. And when you’re not thinking about it, you’re pretending you’re not thinking about it. It can be a strain on your family, friendships, health and marriage.
More importantly, for me, I feel like I am constantly choosing between work or something else—the something else being a house project, time with my daughter, a date with my wife and the like. I’m at a point in my life where I want to choose these other things without there necessarily being financial consequences. I want to have balance between my life at work and my life at home.
But to make sure I’m clear, I know there is no holy grail here.* I’m not looking for an easy job, or a cush lifestyle. I want a job that has a few more boundaries. I tend to be obsessed with doing some well or not at all. Thus, when my livelihood depended on it, I threw everything into it. I need to pursue a career that allows me to go full force, but yet has some structure to the hours and responsibilities.
The second reason is a bit more complicated to explain but has everything to do with where I’m hoping to land. It’s hard to leave something that is growing and vibrant. It’s hard to leave a partnership that is strong and honest. It would be easier if the company or the relationship was sinking. But they’re not. Ultimately my heart yearns for more, for something different. I’m ready to lead. I’m ready to be lead. I’m ready to be a part of a team.
so what am I looking for?
Someone asked if I could put my desired new job in 140 characters or less. It’s vague, yet accurate:
I want to learn, to lead, to work on strategy and to create within the context of a creative environment and team. I like brands.
But to be more specific, here are a few job positions that fall in line with what I’m looking for:
- Director of Brand Marketing or Director of Brand Strategy where I am defining, building and implementing brand strategy and its communication across all mediums. This tends to be an internal position within a larger entity where I can use my strengths in strategy, leadership, analytical thinking and creative experience. My experience in both digital and print mediums provides a strong skill set for a variety of companies.
- Creative Director where I am leading a team of creatives to build enduring brands and marketing communications for clients ranging from local to global. Often this is a position within a creative firm, but could also be within a larger entity. This position would be very similar to what I’ve been doing utilizing my skill set of creative direction, leadership, budget and project management.
- Director of Marketing where I am managing a companies brand, message and communication strategies. This position would afford me the opportunity to work with creative teams managing goals, budgets and projects. I would be working to position and advance a company through communications.
Currently, I’m looking in the Charlotte market, but know that my search may take me beyond to DC, Vancouver or who knows. If you have any recommendations or referrals for a job similar to what’s listed above, please let me know. Thanks for reading.
*note: I also believe that because of what happened in the Garden of Eden, that work will always cause problems and this "balance" will always be out of whack. However, I’m still going to fight for it.