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Leaving the Corporate Nest

Over the past year and change, I have been asked frequently “how did you hook up with those guys.” Typically, the conversation becomes less about “those guys” and more about the scenario that made a 7-year code monkey, husband, and father of two choose to jump out of the comfort of corporate life.

As a newly married twenty-two year-old, I walked into a three-month corporate training program with no qualms. My computer science degree came with a matching dose of excitement for the craft. A gradual ease from the college experience to the work-a-day world was appreciated. Career and practical training came along for the ride and our 401(k) investment benefits and options were presented. As I started drawing paychecks larger than any I had ever seen before, a sense of safety wrapped around my psyche like a security blanket - one of those crocheted blankets with rather large holes in them leading to less-than-stellar warmth retention.

One kid (with another brewing), one mortgage, and several years of attending-pointless-meetings later, I decided the security provided by this environment was not all that important to me. In some ways it made my career less secure, often using the promise of future payoff to dull reality. It turned out the “safe” choice of corporate life was better described by the word “easy” - easy to explain to peers, to family, and to myself. I sought out other options, looking for an opportunity to maximize the happiness of my entire family.

In this ongoing series, I will share my analysis as I considered leaving the corporate nest twenty months ago. I am not a career adviser, or even a motivational speaker. I am sharing this story so others may take away a small bit to apply to analyzing their own career path.