Nothing Like a New Challenge

Today a co-worker and I had lunch with someone that offered me anopportunity that I haven't had in quite a while: basically a new job.My day job acquired another company recently and this new group hassome support positions open. The products this division supports is abit different than my current area of expertise. No big deal, I canalways learn new products. What they need is someone who has a generalunderstanding of networking, which I definitely have. A co-worker ofmine also has this expertise and is in the process of transitioninginto this group.

Transitioning within a large company givesyou a lot of the benefits of getting a new job without a lot of thedownsides, namely the loss of seniority and redoing your entier benefitpackage. It's also good for the new group because you are basically aknown quantity and they don't have to go through as much red tape toget you. It's a win-win.

This manager I had lunch with wasparticularly gung-ho. "When can you start?" he asks us. This co-workerof mine will probably transition in a month or so. The project I amcurrently on is winding down, but probably won't wind down until theend of June at the earliest. There is no way I could transition beforethat. I have to get some people in a different office up to speed totransition my work to them—something that already in the pipelineanyway, but it takes time.

I was feeling a bit rushed intomaking a decision about this. I could totally sense the urgency in thismanager. I have to say, he was extremely high energy, clearly knew themarket, and would be a great person to work for. I know that I have alittle bit of time to think about it, so I'm not going to make any rashdecisions. But it looks like a great opportunity that, unlike mycurrent project, appears to have some life to it. And I got scared fora little bit and even a little excited.

I think I nowunderstand what it is that I've been missing for a while: a newchallenge to conquer. A new product. A new situation. New people towork with. New customers. New situations. For too long now I haveexperienced "too much" of the same. The same customers. The sameproblems. I'm just bored. I think it's the reason I lost my desire towork with Check Point FireWall-1 (though, ironically, I installed ittoday for the first time in two years).

I suddenly understandwhy a friend of mine is big into working in small startups and thenleaving after they reach a certain point in their evolution. Iunderstand why people change job every few years. I understand whypeople are serial entrepreneurs. The thought of a new challenge mustenergize them.

I remember some of my "new challenges" and how itgave me some extra energy. I remember when I first started at my dayjob in 1999. I knew I had a bit to learn, but I was also good at what Idid and I had something to prove—that I could be effective workingseveral hundred miles away. I remember in 2003 when I was given anopportunity to try something new with Knowledge Management. I didn'tknow how over my head I was going to get when I started, but I embracedit and took it on as a new challenge. I ultimately ended up backsupporting products again a little over a year later, which itself wasa new challenge due to the fact it was a different product. Each one ofthose changes was an infusion of energy.

I think I understandwhy I like new gadgets: they too can be a new challenge. Unfortunatelytheir challenge is short-lived since they tend not to be too hard tofigure out and decide if I want to integrate it into my daily life ornot.

Bottom line: my day job needs a new challenge. Fortunately, I see it on the horizon.