If you haven't yet, I encourage you to read Part 1 first.
To pick up where I left off, in late 2013, things were okay. I was in a role I'd been doing for about 18 months, and I was mentally ready to move on. It's fascinating to consider the kind of advice you get about career trajectory and considerations for how to make a change. It was an integral part of the culture at my company that you could change roles after you'd put in your 18 months. It was seen as an advantageous part of corporate life. Once you got experience doing something, you could jump to something else. Presumably, this keeps the "doers" engaged by not keeping them in the same ol' routine, and it keeps the ambitious types in learning mode; they can increase their knowledge about the company by taking on different areas of the business over time in order to maximize their ability to take on more and larger responsibility.
In hindsight, I recognize that for me, this was a trap. A false narrative of variety and opportunity that was designed to keep me inside the gilded cage. Of course at the time, I only vaguely suspected in some dark corner of my mind that this was the case, and so onward I went, seeking my next adventure. I had stayed in close touch with a high level executive that I respected (and still do) very much and who had always been a champion of mine. He had an opportunity for me, and I made my decision based on my excitement to work for him specifically rather than the role in particular. So away I went.
As much as I loved working for my mentor, the role was not enough to truly keep me busy and engaged. It had extremely high visibility; I was managing a partnership with a high profile client in which we had made an investment. I wanted SO much to love it. I had hoped this would be the thing and that the feeling inside me, the constant restlessness and yearning for something that mattered, would settle and I'd be able to breathe a sigh of relief and know I had made the right choice.
That didn't happen.
It wasn't long before the familiar longing for something more, something better, overtook me yet again. I was frustrated and increasingly anxious that something must be wrong with me. Did I have some fundamental inability to be happy? What the hell was going on? I had this amazing role in with a visible project, working for the person I most respected, with people I enjoyed working with, making a very respectable 6-figure income and yet...nothing. Not good enough. I had an honest conversation with my mentor about 18 months into my role about moving on yet again. I just knew I needed to find that one elusive opportunity that would bring sense and order back into my work life. He was supportive but said he wanted to work with me to ensure that the thing I moved on to was the right opportunity.
After several months of putting out feelers and connecting with my network, the kind of opportunity I had ALWAYS wanted was offered to me. My literal holy grail of corporate career opportunities. The job I had been working toward all along. I had finally arrived.
That's when the shit really hit the fan.
Part 3 coming soon...