When I gave notice to my boss at the end of February, I had no idea that I would be ending my tenure at Pluralsight, in a similar way that I started, remotely and confined to my house.
Those that know me are very familiar with my story of starting as a Product Manager at Pluralsight. A week before my start date, I was scheduled to head into the office to meet some of my new teammates and on the way out of my house, I ended up falling down 6 stairs. In a split second, I fractured and tore a ligament in my ankle. Because of the injury, my first 2 months at the company were completely remote. Most days I was laying in bed with my computer for 12 hours at a time because I was juggling my new role in addition to finishing up my fully online masters program.
The transition to being fully remote inside of a new company while injured was pretty rough. It played on me mentally and emotionally, and often left me wondering if I was cut out for the job at all. But over time, I transitioned to a knee scooter, then crutches, and then walking. Just as I eased into creating a solid remote routine for myself, I was thrust into the office and working with the teammates I had become to know so well over webcam. The transition to working in the office was an experience in itself. I enjoyed my time with my teammates and getting to know them on a more personal level but as time went on, my daily commute was killing me. Commuting 4 hours per day for this introvert was not realistic, and I made the conscious decision to split my time to be 80% remote and 20% in the office.
As most peoples work lives do, my time at Pluralsight had many ups in downs. All things considered, I learned more than I could have ever possibly imagined during my time there. From working with data scientists, machine learning engineers, to curriculum and content teams. I learned what it meant to build data products at scale and I was able to do so with some of the most amazing people while doing it. What more could a girl ask for?
Despite it all, I made the difficult decision to take the next step in my career after encountering an unbelievable new opportunity. So with a bittersweet feeling, I gave notice to my boss 3 weeks ago and informed my teammates via Slack that I would be leaving. I created a plan that would even allow me 3 weeks off before starting my next role so that I would be able to travel during the time off in between. I planned to be in the office for my entire last week on the job just to make sure I could soak in as much facetime as possible with the teammates I had come to love so dearly.
But just as I was finishing up crafting a transition plan, it suddenly came crumbling down. During Tuesday of my last week, I was informed our office would be closing for the next 30 days due to the coronavirus outbreak. It slowly dawned on me that I would be finishing my tenure at the company the same way I started it; alone and in my apartment. (Thankfully this time I wouldn’t be injured!)
Much to my surprise, as much as remote work can sometimes feel lonely, my last few days were anything but that. I did knowledge sharing, gave presentations, and prepared resources for the team to use after I was gone. During my last day, my teammates and I moved our scheduled goodbye lunch to be fully remote over zoom. We all grabbed our lunches and spent our time laughing and enjoying our time together. I still dont think the team realized how much this time together meant to me. When I finally logged off, there was no fanfare just a simple “see you later” and closing of the laptop. Since leaving, I find myself wondering when my coworkers return to the office, if they’ll miss my physical presence. Does everyone I worked with during my time there even know that I left? It felt so weird just simply logging off and having an entire experience just end.
Fast forward to a week later and I find myself in an interesting situation. I voluntarily left my position during what is turning out to be one of the most altering time periods for todays workers. The economy is already seeing the effects of the coronavirus as are many of todays industries. Everything from restaurants, movie theaters, and schools are closed. Shelter in places are being announced and thousands of workers are being laid off. As I was writing this, I got a call from my very own father who informed me that he’s been laid off for the foreseeable future.
There is so much unknown. And I find myself wondering if i’m going to get a call in the next week telling me that the amazing opportunity I signed up for will be rescinded due to everything going on. There truly is no way to know what is going to happen over the coming weeks. And in reality, there is truly no way to ever know what is going to happen. Some moments I find myself anxiety ridden, worrying about what the future will bring. The next moment, I find myself feeling grounded and stable. Just as I did with my ankle injury, I’m using this time to embrace what has presented itself as a learning opportunity. All we can ever do is live for each and every moment were given.
Stay safe out there everyone!