I wrote my first business column for the Deseret News in March 2002, shortly after Salt Lake City hosted the Olympic Winter Games.
In the ensuing nine-plus years, I've used this space to opine on business issues, talk about money lessons learned by my children and family, answer readers' personal finance questions and, most recently, address the topic of work/life balance.
I've only missed a couple of weeks during that time. And while I'm not saying every column has been a gem, I have genuinely enjoyed writing about business and interacting with readers.
I've mentioned several times over the years that I'm not a big fan of change. And yet, this week, I'll make my biggest work-related change since I started at the Deseret News on Feb. 2, 1998.
This Friday, Sept. 2, will be my last day at the News. I'm leaving my job as managing editor of deseretnews.com to become managing editor of a Web team at another Salt Lake company. (Although I'm not severing ties completely — I'll continue to write this weekly column.)
I've held several positions at the DN since I started here — business reporter and editor, sports editor, assignment editor, assistant city editor, Web editor — but those changes were always within the same company.
I've been fortunate to make excellent friends at the News. Some left before me, voluntarily or in last year's layoffs. Others were here before I started and will remain here long after I leave. I'll miss them all.
But as much as I talk about disliking change, I confess I find myself very excited to try something new and to attempt to build a career outside of journalism.
Don't get me wrong: I'll always love newspapers and deadlines and big stories and ornery reporters and demanding editors. I imagine the first time some huge news breaks while I'm at my new job, I may even wish I was back in the newsroom, feeling the familiar rush that only comes when you're racing the clock, trying to deliver the most complete story to your readers as quickly as possible.
But I also know that, for me, it's time to move on.
I've read and written several times over the years about changes in the workplace. One common theme has been that, while people in the past expected to work for one company for their entire careers, such is not the case anymore. Rather, people should expect to change jobs several times.
I'm at that point.
I've been at the News for the majority of my professional life, and certainly far longer than I've worked anywhere else. I've learned every day during my time at the paper, both about journalism and about myself. On a personal level, I have no regrets.
Now I'm ready to learn from new people, in a new environment. I'm excited to face challenges I've never imagined and to do things I've never done. I expect to continue to grow, both professionally and personally, in ways that I could not if I stayed in journalism.
My wife tells me often that change is good. I must admit, with some hesitation, that she's probably correct — at least in this case.
But I also know that it's sometimes good for things to stay the same. For that reason, I'm glad the Deseret News is going to allow me to continue to write this column every week.
During the weeks and months to come, I'll share — in broad terms — some of my experiences as I move from one job to another and how that change affects my own work/life balance.
As I prepare to make this move, I'd also appreciate your thoughts on changing jobs. What advice would you give me as I leave the company I've known for 13-plus years and embark on this new adventure? What was most difficult for you when making a job change? What was easiest? What pitfalls may await me, and how can I avoid them?