Last day at work

For the few people who don’t know already (it’s amazing how fast news spread in human communities!), yesterday I left my company of six years.

You may remember how some time ago I was musing on the benefits of going to work each day if it were your last day. I was wrong. Do not go to work each day as it were your last day, or you won’t get any work done. Believe me.

So many people stopped by to say good-bye, called, or sent an email, it was almost overwhelming. It was amazingly sweet, too. It made me feel sad for all the contacts I didn’t make, the opportunities to connect I missed, the admiration and appreciation I didn’t share. And it made me realize how much I’m going to miss you all (well, except one or two people). Really.

The big surprise was the strong reaction I got from women. It was much more than the sadness of losing a colleague; it was as a part of them was leaving with me. I never made a mystery of my discomfort with some of the explicit and implicit rules that regulate corporate life. I think my women friends were sad because they felt support and recognition from my willingness to admit that from time to time we all feel out of place and find ourselves forced to chose between our soul—or our “humanity” as somebody yesterday put it—and our career. And this is true even for the strongest and most assertive of us. I so regret I never created a forum for women to talk about working in a corporation and how to support each other in this environment. But perhaps somebody can still do it.

(And again, it was not only women. One male colleague stopped me in the hallway to tell me how he found the courage to try something he really cared about from one of my posts, and he was so happy he did, even if it did not end up being a complete success. At least, he will not have the regret of not even trying.)

So, what’s next? At the end of October I’m starting my new job in a large technology company specialized in search engines that has just acquired a popular video site. Among the many cards and artifacts I received today, the “I can’t believe this” prize goes to this picture from Matt:

Antonella and the best search engine in the world!

Thank you all. I’m not going to move too far away and you know where to find me…

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9 thoughts on “Last day at work

  1. A super-hearty congratulations to you! I applaud anyone who breaks away from a job, corporate or not. I think there is something way better to do each day than a job.

  2. I heard last night that your last day was yesterday! I’m so excited for you. I tried to call you, but couldn’t get through. I need to know more details! It’s just all so exciting!

    Congrats. You deserve this so much!

  3. This is so cool. I am totaly psyched for you.

    Now I can say I have a contact at Google. That is so sweet.

    I hate to see anyone shackled to a job that keeps them restrained and confined and I have always had the sense that you felt that way at VGI.

    One note – I am sure that women experience the oppression of corporate life in a different way than men do. That being siad I can atest to the fact that those of us that are male and allow themselves to have an emotional life feel much like you do.

    I wish you all the best in your new path.

  4. I can only add my Congratulations Antonella. It’s a busy and exciting time for you….a new beginning. I can’t tell you how happy I am for you…this is what you needed. Even though you may miss many you worked with, I know it’s the best for you personally. It was time. Just like I felt when I left my corporate job…and when Jory decided to go out on her own. I’m sending you good luck hugs; though I don’t think you’ll need them. Cheers!

    P.S. BTW…Jory was a beautiful bride last Saturday!

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