When I graduated from college with a degree in Anthropology and unbelievable burnout (working almost-full-time during school was no joke), I knew I'd be putting my grad school goals on hold for a bit to figure out my direction. I quickly pivoted into a creative passion career, digging my roots into Atlanta's craft community and spreading the gospel of craft through my writing with Handmade Charlotte. The tech industry entered my sights after a few years, with roles focused on team development which as been unbelievably rewarding. Thinking of next steps always brought my mind to heading to an organization fully embedded in tech, as my current role still sits within an education company first.
I'm filled with excitement, anxiety, all the things as I embark on a slight pivot into a tech company in two weeks to lead their internal culture development, brand awareness, and team retention. It's a dream role created for me, an opportunity for me to stretch my creativity muscle in a new environment with really exciting challenges.
During an interview with the CEO of this new team (I'll share details soon once the transition is over!), he asked in reference to my goals on this team, "what if it's hard?". I felt like a glutton for punishment admitting there was instant excitement at the thought of that. Every time I've thought about future-goals, I struggle to pinpoint what feels like the right role title/path for me to follow. All that ever comes to mind is: I want to be creative, I want the opportunity to be my weird self, and I want to be solving serious problems, constantly. I can't do auto-pilot, we'll call it an attention deficit, maybe. Or maybe it's ambition, but that ambition needs to be grounded in passion for what I'm doing. I always say people are my jam, and I credit my studies in Anthropology for fueling that. I feel like I need to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming that I get to do this professionally, that people are willing to recognize what I bring to the table and give me the runway to do great things.
It's funny how I'm always looking for a new challenge, but change is particularly draining for me. Leaving The Iron Yard is a deeply emotional change for me, because joining a team that grew from 8 when I arrived to 150+ team members as I depart, I've grown so much over the last two and a half years. I've had a couple of incredible mentors here, that pushed me to challenge myself and explore what it meant to be a leader and challenge-seeker. The Iron Yard will be fine without me because it's an incredibly passionate team that is doing amazing work for the community(ies) but there will be some transition time for me to sift through my mixed emotions leaving this team. I'm not one to make decisions lightly so I know this is right, but change is challenging. Luckily I love a good challenge ;-)