Saturday, April 26, 2008

Why Scott Berkun left Microsoft (or general reflections about life and one's options)

The following text is sublime and I found it by accident trying to find the reason the Gentoo founder left Microsoft after only 9 months there. Rarely I found texts that were so similar to my own feelings and impressions.

Why I left Microsoft?, by Scott Berkun

Some quotes from this text:

From day one of kindergarten onward there was always a next step waiting. The choices were easy and safe: which classes, which activities, which universities. But an hour after my college graduation, sitting alone in an empty apartment on Beeler street in Pittsburgh, there were no more choices laid out for me. There was nothing. I confronted my future as a kind of void for the first time and was terrified. I’d never understood that emptiness, despite seeing its effect on older friends and my older brother. Until I was sitting alone surrounded by it, without the defense of a plan or a friend, I had no idea how frightening it was.

My comment: I had exactly the same thought when graduating. Everything was so simple, the next step was always there. And the frightening comes back all every time you start thinking that you may want to leave your current position and change your life. The future is a kind of void. You can create it, but it still scares.

I questioned what I was doing with my time on the planet. Dreams of my college years had been fulfilled, and if I didn’t make big changes soon, I knew I’d be repeating myself. There were other challenges I wanted, and I became terrified of spending my life like a sad, confused bird of prey, circling the same territory over and over again, never understanding why there was nothing new to find. I needed a new situation to jump into and despite what my manager’s and peers said, I knew I couldn’t do that while working in the same place. I had to move on. I was surprised to find that even though I was ten years older, my fears about the big unknowns were just as scary as before. But when I measured my fears about staying, I found they were stronger than those about leaving, so I left.

So I chose to leave Microsoft less for reasons of escaping a particular place or group of people, but more to seek out a new set of circumstances to live in.

My comment: That is exactly the reason that I left some of previous jobs or circumstances I was in and that could be the same reason I may leave Microsoft in the near future. I like to be an explorer and cannot simply accept a given position because it is convenient or because I am at a position many people dream about. The bright side of all of this is that, although you may get disappointed that things didn't work out as expected, you understand the downside (at least partially) of many possibilities in the life while exploring it.
Post a Comment