10 years ago today, my family and I drove across the border, leaving our life in Canada 🇨🇦 behind and embarking on a new adventure: working and living in the 🇺🇸United States of America. It’s gone by so quickly, my brain can’t quite grasp it’s been a full decade of my life. It was such a scary 😱 decision at the time — leaving behind our friends and family, moving to a place where we knew no one, and where we’d be starting over from scratch. Keep in mind that neither my wife nor I moved away from home to go to college: our entire world was in our hometown of Calgary.
So much has happened in the past 10 years! Some of the highlights that come to mind, more or less in order, are:
- Getting to work at HTC and having my first real corporate job (before that it was just vendor contracts with some big companies, never full time employment). Special thanks goes to John Starkweather for trusting that some guy from Canada was the right person for the job (even when the job ended up being a different sort of animal). Thanks also to Jason Gordon for his wise words as I was thinking through the big decision to move.
- Being able to build a new home with space for people to come visit.
- Having the joy of creating HTC elevate, traveling the world and meeting some truly fantastic HTC fans. That community program and the people in it hold a special place in my ❤️. #IBleedGreen
- Working with some truly fantastic people at HTC, some of whom are still my friends to this day.
- The birth of my daughter Alanna, who’s a real spitfire and destined for great things!
- Learning the valuable lesson that green card sponsorship should have been part of my HTC hiring contract. 🤷♂️
- Getting the opportunity to work for John Starkweather again, taking a contractor role with K-Force to work for AT&T and get my green card (and so did my wife and son).
- Learning that I could step up into big roles and take on leadership where there was a gap; that being the one who says “Yes, I’ll help” is a great way to learn and grow.
- Using my role at AT&T to move through a variety of experience-expanding roles such as learning Adobe Experience Manager and other tools.
- Discovering a great school for Logan that grew into a career path for my wife and a great school fit for my daughter.
- Experiencing the totally new scenario of having to earn a job interview, and failing to get the role; reinforcing the importance of interview preparation and confidence in telling my story to an employer.
- Watching my son grow from a little guy who fit in my arms to a kind-hearted, creatively brilliant kid who’s getting taller by the day!
- Once again learning that truth in the maxim of “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”; leveraging my network and past recruiter contacts to open the door to a role at AWS that was absolutely perfect for me. I had to work very hard to get through that open door mind you…
- Being reminded that relationships matter; building and maintaining a professional network is critical to continued success.
Looking back on the past 10 years, I feel a tremendous sense of gratitude for the blessing that have been showered upon my family and I. I’m so glad that every other door in Canada was closed to me, and that Ashely and I had the courage to leap through the open door that led us to this life. Here’s to the next 10 years!