A New Beginning

The only way to walk on water is to step out of the boat – and focus on Jesus.

I’ve made it official last week on my LinkedIn profile. It’s been interesting to see the different comments I got after my LinkedIn status change. But what’s really exciting is the journey and the story behind it.

I have worked for Pythian since November 2008 – started out as a SQL Server DBA until eventually moving on to become one of their senior principal consultants. They were responsible for helping me and my family migrate from Singapore to Canada. I have had the privilege of working with the smartest and brightest data professionals in my entire career, exposed to some of the most challenging and complex environments and worked on different projects not directly related to SQL Server – Hadoop, SharePoint, System Center, Citrix and VMWare to name a few. I can say that I have been on stable ground in my employment since the day I joined. So, you might ask, “Why leave, then?

I had difficulty finding the right words to explain the real reason why. Probably because throughout my and my family’s life journey, we’ve pursued things that are very hard to explain, things that don’t make a lot of sense. Like moving the entire family with two toddlers from Singapore to Canada with less than US$3,000 on hand in the middle of a global economic crisis. Or giving away my training registration when I myself don’t have the resources for travel and accommodation. It took me some time to craft a departure email that I sent out to the whole company. Here’s a snippet from that email.

You might be wondering why I’ve decided to move on after being with Pythian for this long, the fact that I have a stable career with the company and a lot of room for technical growth. To be perfectly honest, it’s very hard to explain because the reasons are neither practical nor logical but rather spiritual. In the business world, the word “spiritual” is hardly ever mentioned and, therefore, seems illogical. But whether you believe it or not, my and my entire family’s life journey have been dictated by our faith – from how it took 9 years to set up our very first Christmas tree to how I got to where I am right now. Our entire life’s story has been marked by miracles after miracles of things that cannot be explained (I’ll be more than happy to share those with you if you’re interested.) But only when we stepped out in faith and took big risks did we see the unexplainable happen. And, so leaving Pythian is simply an expression of that faith.

I’ll be the first to admit that taking risks – whether big or small – is scary. Heck, I am scared as I step out of my comfort zone. But I guess I’ve trained myself to exercise my faith and rely on God despite having to deal with the unknown. Experience tells me that the best is yet to come. I just need to be ready when that happens.

So, what have I been doing just a week after leaving Pythian? I’ve put on the hat of an entrepreneur and started my own business. This isn’t the first time I’m doing this, having had two failed start ups under my belt. I wished the first two succeeded so I can brag about them but the experiences I’ve learned from starting and running businesses have helped me become a better consultant and service professional. Paul Vallee (Twitter | LinkedIn), executive chairman and CEO of Pythian, once commented to me that I am a teacher. Indeed, I love to teach and educate others. I love to empower and help others become better at what they do. I believe that is my ultimate purpose and that is what I’ll be pursuing in this new chapter in my career. I’ll be focusing more on training and education, creating and delivering content – both technical and non-technical – to help technology professionals grow in their career. That doesn’t mean I won’t be doing consulting work anymore. It just means that I’ll be doing more of what I really love to do.

What about you? Have you been waiting to pursue something that will force you out of your comfort zone? I’d like to hear from you.

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6 thoughts on “A New Beginning

  1. I completely understand, I’ve been through the same situation, turning down work that did not match what my faith teaches only to get a better job. You have the skills to backup what you’re doing, and you are one of the best teachers I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and learning from in my entire life (that’s huge because I’ve had some freaking amazing teachers). There is more to life than the paycheck, and the economy, and the businesses that are out there in the world. It’s refreshing to hear that other people are listening to something so lost and tarnished in this material world we live in; faith. Good luck, God bless, keep in touch… and of course Kick some butt!!! Figuratively 🙂

    • Thank you, sir. Coming from you, that means a lot to me.

      Faith and love are two things that are so uncommon in business enterprises nowadays. We’ve simply lost track of the real reason why businesses exist: to be of service to others while themselves benefiting in the process. I’ve been an advocate of bringing faith and love in the corporate world ever since I got introduced to Tim Sanders’ book Love Is The Killer App

      http://www.amazon.com/Love-Is-Killer-App-Influence-ebook/dp/B000Q9F140

      I certainly look forward to having future conversations with you.

    • No, sir, I won’t. And I would seriously take that as a compliment. Coming from you, that means a lot. You know that I’m one of your fans. So, thanks.

  2. Congratulations on your new beginning!!! You have that talent of sharing your knowledge and i see that this is a brave move for you. I am one of those DBAs who benefitted from your learning videos and articles.

    I wish you more power and good luck on your new endeavour.

    • Maraming salamat, Carla. And you do know that you are making the Filipino people proud by what you are doing in the SQL Server community. Keep up the good work!