Share Tweet Share Leaving work and moving on is difficult. Timing is always talked about but is there ever a right or wrong time to make a decision? I don’t think there is. Opportunities however are not timeless; they come….they go. You have to decide when to take the opportunities you are presented with and when to not. You’re essentially playing Russian roulette with a fully loaded gun. Those who have read this blog from the beginning will realise that it grew purely due to an opportunity I was fortunate to receive; the opportunity to work from home for a Global organisation in AsiaRooms. I hadn’t once considered leaving AsiaRooms. A company who provided me such a fantastic platform and a management/team I am proud to work with. Those who have followed the development of our community or worked with me will know this. Not just this but the life the company has allowed me to create by giving me the work flexibility I strongly believe in has helped mould me into the person I am today. Opportunity comes knocking: Something which really struck a chord with me was a conversation with my Grandfather in law around his career aspirations and the life he built for himself. He’s a brilliant man who made an honest living as a printer. He has a life he should be proud of and has raised a truly incredible family. His passion however was art. At the time this was not seen as a sustainable career, unfashionable almost and he was persuaded to venture into a career as a printer. He now paints for a hobby but his one regret in life was not taking the opportunity to paint for a living when he had chance. This conversation inspired me. Taking your chances: Some time ago I received an email from an old organisation I supported as an account manager in an agency. Since we last spoke they had gone through two agencies, numerous Google issues and were keen to connect with me again. A face they knew and trusted. I always stress the importance of building business relationships and this was a prime example of why it’s imperative. Fast forward 10 months of consultancy and the business is a position to move to the next level and they want me to come along with them. I was offered the chance to join the business as Head of Online marketing; a step up from my current position and an opportunity to build my own team and develop myself as an online marketer as opposed to the pigeon holing of the SEO industry. It was an opportunity I had to take. Next Level: We in business always talk about stepping up to the next level when in reality the next level changes as you develop. My career to date has always swayed towards in house. I’ve worked agency, medium sized business and FTS250 international business; it was time to step into the small business environment. I had also never managed, recruited, strategized or headed up a department. It was a challenge I wanted to take and for me felt like the ‘next level’. Lastly I had shown in all roles that I had an eye for online marketing and not just the search industry. This gave me the chance to spread my wings and expand my knowledge further across more varied distinctions. Reading John Doherty’s leaving post around the changes in ‘marketing’ and not having the passion for SEO anymore reaffirmed my own thoughts and sentiments as to why I felt the move was necessary. Sometimes you have to look longer term. I don’t like to coin the phrase ‘5 year plan’ but in some instances you need to look at where you want to be in 5 years and not just where you are now. Finding the balance: When it comes to work/life integration in the past 6 months I’ve probably been the biggest hypocrite online. Working full time, consulting 20+ hours a month, running Generation Y, planning/organising a wedding, getting married, exercising daily, writing a chapter in a book to name a few. It’s clear I haven’t been practicing what I preach. It’s not easy to relax when you work online. There’s always something you could be doing and if you’re not doing it somebody else more than likely is. But at the same time I am conscious of burning myself out and my three week honeymoon touring the East Coast of the US enforced this. It’s time to find that balance. I’m not one who is obsessed with work but I am somebody who wants to be successful. But for me success on a professional level is redundant if you haven’t managed to be successful in other areas. Family life, health & knowledge growth are all as important for me as becoming a success within work. Without success at all these things my achievements on a professional level are pointless. With the wedding now past and paid for it was time to find that balance. Gone are my clients on a consultancy level and it’s time to find a more defined balance in my professional endeavors. Adopting the 80/20 rule I will be focusing on personal development and channeling energy into areas which I think will benefit me greater long term. John again cites some reasons as to why he’s stopped freelancing which are similar to my own. I see long term opportunities in other areas of my life or work; ones which consulting cannot help grow. My focus will be re channeled to my new role and developing as an individually both professionally and personally. Working from home? Most people associate this blog with ‘working from home’ when in reality I believe in balance/lifestyle and creating such in a career environment. My work from home ride however is still in motion; well in some capacity. I will be officially working from home twice a week and will spend three days in the office. Again I wanted to find the balance between becoming efficient at my new role and living the lifestyle I believe in. My new organisation was obviously happy to support me in this. ‘But I thought you loved working from home?’ Well I do and I genuinely believe more businesses should support flexibility but this also has to work both ways and a hybrid of both works best for developing businesses. I’m excited to be going back to the office but at the same time I’m ecstatic to be working with a company who supports flexibility in an employee. By having the blog and driving the right perception of home workers I was able to secure this for my future employment. If a company backs you and your ability then they should be aligned with your beliefs. A company and an employee who are not aligned are a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. Special Thanks: I want to set out some special thanks as I think these people deserve a mention J Firstly I want to thank my wife for listening to me, my moaning, my 101 ideas and for her awesomeness. I’d be a far lesser man without her that’s for sure. My friends and family for supporting me while I made the transition to working from home permanently. The Asiarooms team of Ben, Milda, Wan Phing & Arman for making it an absolute pleasure building the community hub. A special thanks to Ben for fighting for my ‘remote’ opportunity and giving me the platform to run with my career aspirations. None would be possible without him. My good friend Ian Nuttall for his constant support on Gmail. An absolute legend of a man and somebody you will learn a lot from. Paddy Moogan for his immense advice on whether to make the job move, Pawel Grabowski for getting my ‘shit’ and offering me advice and feedback constantly and finally Frank Paul for giving me the nudge to buy this domain name and backing this project. Lastly I’d like to thank the guys at my new role (You know who you are) for initially reaching out to me and giving me such a privileged opportunity. Furthermore I’d like to thank you for wanting to help me with my career and entrusting me in growing your business. Opportunities come and go and there’s no right or wrong time to take them. Life is like a game of chess and it’s all about your next move. I think this is checkmate for me.