I know I speak for many when I say that this year has demanded more flexibility than we were willing to give and took things we weren’t ready or willing to surrender.

For our family, kindergarten looked nothing like the magical, PBJ-covered experience we hoped to give our son and instead consisted of laptop-centric remote learning and mask-enforced, socially distanced everything. We mourned the loss of time with grandparents, spontaneous gatherings with friends, and a general sense of normalcy where libraries were open, trips to the grocery store were easy, and the airport did not resemble a scene from “Outbreak.”

by Matt Thomas

I spoke with a gentleman a few years back who was hoping to find a new opportunity in Colorado. He was a VP at a mid-market SaaS company on the east coast. He made good money and his career had progressed steadily upward. With strong income, a stable job, and an environment that seemed to value and celebrate his contributions to the company I asked him why he was looking for something new? He responded, “You know, on the surface I am living the American dream. I’ve received promotion after promotion at a reputable company. I’ve made lots of money and for the most part I’ve enjoyed my work. The truth is my marriage is falling apart and I don’t know my kids. It’s time for a fresh start.” After a few seconds of silence that seemed to last for an eternity I told him I’d see what I could do to help. As impressive as his resume and obvious talent were, I was most encouraged by his vulnerability and willingness to do whatever it took to right the ship. He went on to share that the executive he reported to was a hard driver, expecting each of his VPs to put in 80+ hours / week plus regular travel. He hadn’t made it home for dinner on a weeknight in two years.

In a few months we found him a job with a good company on the Front Range. It was a lateral move with little to no increase in compensation or responsibility. Not the kind of jump that VPs making six figures typically make.