Congrats on your retirement! Really?

Shortly after posting my decision to leave Upic in April, I attended the national United Way conference in Dallas.  At that point, the focus was on reassuring everyone that the organization so many trust for cloud services and application expertise was strong and growing.  (And believe me, the best is yet to come–you will be amazed what Upic reveals in a few months).

What I did not anticipate was how many people would greet me with a version of “congrats on your retirement”.  My first reaction was, wow–do I look THAT old?  Quickly followed by: they must really think I’ve socked away lots of cash to retire at my age.

Upon reflection, I realize the question was very natural.  Normally, when announcing your departure the focus is on the new pathway, the new opportunity.  My career at Upic has been anything but normal and the same is true for this transition period.

As background, the Upic board and I began this dialogue in June 2014.  By that time, I had been working at Upic for 14 years–exactly 2x my tenure at any other position during my career.  I had an intuitive sense that United Way was facing a new season of challenge/opportunity.  And I felt “called” to leverage my experiences both inside United Ways and in co-founding Upic for a greater good.  Most career coaches advise against having these kinds of discussions without a clear exit strategy.  To their credit, our Board has been wonderful to work with as I explored several options.

Last February, it was clear I had to take a “leap of faith”.  I didn’t think of it as a leap as much as I think of it of a series of actions, one building upon the other.  Was it scary?  Saying the words “it’s time” and not knowing what the reaction would be–yes.  But, I had faith–an absolute trust in my Father who has cared and provided for me all of my life.  And the more I trust Him and trust others, the more amazing the journey has become.

I wanted to give Upic’s board plenty of time to find the next leader as I narrowed down my launch options my new start-up company.  And thankfully, we have a great process in place where I can help Upic pivot into an exciting new future as I build my own as well.

So, which path to take?  Stayed tuned for more on that question.