Here’s a picture from my first week at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. In 2012, I started as an intern. When I left, I ran a sizable piece of the US business driving the most complex markets. I earned a reputation for working in challenging environments turning “deserts into gardens”; and being a gregarious nerd, who always had deep questions.
Here is an entry from that first week at LVMH in 2012:
“I started the week with tutorials in business intelligence. I definitely think I will get the hang of this after a few tries generating my own reports. On my first day, I came to work at around 730am or so, but there was no one to let me in the office. I did some walking and then came back at around 8am. I love NY so much. I feel so comfortable that it’s weird. A guy from Facilities let me in the building when he came in. I was sitting outside the main entrance reading one of the NY metro. People here seem very hospitable.”
It’s been a little over five months since I quit working for LVMH. I learned so many valuable lessons there and generated a lot of value. However, I can’t overstate how great life became once I had the courage (and financial cushion) to quit. Realizing when it’s time to move on is a hard thing for a lot of professionals – especially when financial security, lifestyle and status are considered. Luckily for me, lifestyle and status have never been internal drivers for me.
For years, I focused on developing financial security and looking around corners for situations that would let me continue carving my own path. The catalyst for my decision to quit arrived when I prioritized self actualization over pursuing power and influence. There is an immense freedom (and hefty responsibility) in being able to choose where you work, who you work with/for, and what you do.
What was even harder for me, was finding the space to be vulnerable enough to review what had happened over the past seven years; accept my mistakes; and be thankful for the people and circumstances that led me to quit a job I loved. The best advice I can give is keep a diary. It comes in handy when you need the introspection and safe space to #RedesignYourLife. It helps you understand your strengths and challenges -especially when working in startups.