Nothing quite like a notification from WordPress telling me that I have posted all of 1 post in all of 2015 to inspire me to do better than last year. In fact, by the time that this post gets published, I will already have matched my output from last year!
Much have happened in the past couple of months, and in 2015 overall. The biggest changes are definitely the fact that I had a kid (baby boy named Matthew 峻麒 Chai) and leaving my consulting life behind (hopefully for good this time) and joining Twitch.
While I think each one may warrant a long post on its own, these two things are very related and I feel that it would not do one topic justice without talking about the other, so let’s discuss them together.
As many people told me, having a baby is a game changer. It was, indeed, a game changer – a life changer, even. The moment I had him in my arms for the first time, I looked at Vicki and we were both like, holy crap, we made him. Gone are the days where we can do whatever we want, whenever we want. Our schedules now revolves around the baby, and this was true when Matthew is born and is still true now that he’s almost 9 month old. (Although I would have to say that the schedule now is much more regular than say, a few months ago)
One wise man who entered fatherhood not long before me told me, when I asked for his advice, that there is no such thing as quality of time, especially with a young baby, and that you get quality from the quantity of time spent. No truer words have been spoken. (and Glenn, if you’re reading this, you should one day show LG the e-mail you wrote me, he will really appreciate it)
The first month flew by, and soon enough I was back at work, resuming my weekly flying routine that is my consulting gig. Fortunately for Vicki and I, her parents came over to help her during this period of time, and we were able to manage with their support through much of last year. However, I still missed Matthew every time I left home and despite all of the technology available for facetime, etc., it just wasn’t the same as holding him in my arms and watching him react, and playing together.
As Matthew grew older and became more interactive, it was even more evident that I needed to spend more time with him. Some weeks when I came back, he’d take a second before recognizing who I was, and that was not what I wanted, at all. I knew something had to give, so that I can spend more time with this little guy.
I initially started my search internally for a study in the bay area, so that I can be home every night and see Matthew. I soon realized that the possibility of this were highly unlikely given the fact that 1) I have focused most of my work within Operations, and there was very little local Bay Area Ops related work and 2) The core network I have established as a result of the Ops related work tended to be in the Midwest and Northeast, and I had no local support network. Plus, even when staffed on a local study, there are no guarantees that I would be home for dinner anyhow. As such, I started looking for external opportunities within the Bay Area, and contacted many of my former classmates/colleagues who are in those companies.
After e-mails/phone calls with numerous folks, I narrowed down to a short list of about 5 companies, and initiated interview processes with all of them. Twitch was the first company to complete all of the interview processes, and made an offer. I was quite happy with the offer, plus the location was in downtown SF so I didn’t have to relocate or have a long extended commute down to South Bay, and here I am.
It was actually the only company where I didn’t have any existing contacts working in, and is perhaps the most non-traditional of the exit paths coming out of McKinsey. I actually just saw the posting on LinkedIn and wrote the cover letter in 10 minutes and submitted it in. Funny how things just works out like that.
I’m quite excited by the change: it allows me to spend time with my family, and provides a regular schedule without the constant anxiety of what I need to focus/work on next. It also allows me to combine my passion for gaming with work, something that is rare and was the driving factor behind me choosing this offer over other opportunities.
Out of habit, I checked my e-mails this past Sunday night, and no work e-mails! Gone are the days of Sunday night anxiety, gone are the days of prettying up pages that no one will see (though I will miss VGI…), and hello to gaming lounges, start up perks and kick ass gaming rigs, I mean, work computers!
Hello again 2016! It’s gonna be a great year!