Our career break came with a happy ending

Our career break came with a happy ending

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Today is the end of an era.  The dawn of a new age.  The chocolate of a new chip.

Today was Jen’s first day at work.

It’s been awhile since our last update, so I’ll take a step back…

Jen’s first day at work:  How did we get here?

As previously mentioned, Jen started looking for a real job once we got here to Seattle.  This went well.

She interviewed with 3 companies and got 3 very compelling offers before deciding to halt the process with a few other companies to accept what seems like a perfect-fit opportunity.  I won’t say the name of her new employer (yes, you know of them), but I will say that it seems like a great role for her, the company itself has an awesome culture and it’s the kind of company/job that she can get excited about going to work to in the morning.

As you know, our biggest goal on post-career break re-entry has been to design our new lives with an emphasis on balance.  Long nights at work or working at home on our laptops are a thing of the past for us–especially since Daphne (our new puppy) is now the boss of us (completely and totally) and she would not approve of us working late (and would punish us severely).  In truth, she disapproves of anything other than 100% of our attention being focused on her 24 hours a day – now that I think of it, I guess she is kind of like a consulting project in that way… except much cuter.

Daphne yellow lab puppy asleep image

Reminds me of late nights in conference rooms (except replace the bone with a laptop)

Anyway… so, it’s too soon to tell how Jen’s job will work out, but we take it as a good sign that she was the last person in the office today at 5:20pm.  Yes, I said  5:20 pm.  And, they even pay her!

So, it turns out that you really can go take 6 months off to travel around the world with no negative impact whatsoever on your career – actually, I’d say the career break had a hugely positive impact in differentiating her in the recruiting process.  Equally surprising, you can apparently also find awesome jobs that pay well, are exciting and challenging and offer real-deal work/life balance.  Who knew?

What about me?

I’m currently working on no less than 8 different entrepreneurial projects and advising on a few others.  I’ve started writing code again… pretty crazy, but really fun – so rewarding to actually make something real again after such a long time.  More details to come in the future on what these projects actually are, but suffice to say, I’m having a blast.

Also, as of today, I am now a stay-at-home puppy dad.  Daphne is great.  She will be even greater when she is a little lower maintenance :)

What about Daphne?

She’s awesome.  Sometimes we want to kill her, but mostly she’s awesome.  In the last 3 weeks she has gone from 15 to 23 pounds (>50% increase!!!).  There are still some potty training challenges, but for the most part she’s got a handle on it.  We actually were able to apply our consulting skills to this problem and created a pretty fancy and super useful spreadsheet model to track her ‘schedule’ – stay tuned for a future post where we’ll share it in addition to some other thoughts we have on puppy parenting.

Daphne yellow lab puppy image

"it's a good thing I'm cute!"

She loves to play with her cousin Murphy (my sister’s dog).  And, even though he is more than twice her size, she can take him down (sometimes):

In Summary…

This is the (happy) end of our career break and the beginning of the next phase of our lives.  Life is great.  We are living pretty much exactly the lives that we had wanted and it is spectacular.  We highly recommend it.

If any of you are out there wishing you could take an extended career break but are concerned about what will happen after, our advice is to just go for it.  Who knows, things could turn out even better than you could imagine.

p.s. Now that Jen is at work, I will have more time to do some blogging, so stay tuned!

Please leave a comment, it will make us feel special!

  • Blaire November 16, 2010 at 4:17 am

    I’m so happy for you guys! Go Jen and Ryan!!!

  • Sherry Ott November 16, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    What a great ending! I’m so happy to have people write about how positive a career break can be for your career. AND – I look forward to all of your projects you’ll be working on. Plus…who doesn’t love a post with a puppy in it?!

  • Kyrsten November 16, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    you guys rock! seriously such a great experience and really happy that you have been able to transform to “normal” balanced lives from what life used to be… that’s simply awesome!

  • Angela Petitt November 17, 2010 at 1:46 am

    Great ending to a great career break! I know many people are inspired by your journey. Thanks for sharing your lives with us!

  • Craig December 17, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Congrats to Jen and good luck with your various projects – I wish you ever success. My wife and I have just arrived in BsAs following our cargo voyage from London – a truly memorable experience and following the open seas now very happy in the hustle and bustle of BsAs!

    Thank for the tip re Andrea and her rental business, we booked blind and we’re very happy with our appt which is in the Palermeo Hollywood district, much cooler area than our own in London.

    Just need to speak with Vamos re one of there courses…

    Hasta Pronto!

    • ryan December 21, 2010 at 6:46 pm

      Thanks Craig! Congrats on making it down to BA, glad you had a good apartment renting experience with Andrea.

      We look forward to following your adventures on your blog!


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