On Changing Careers

Eleven years ago today, I started my first job in IT (although it was still called MIS back then). It was a career change away from the medical profession (I was a really bored medical secretary who had applied to med school), and it led me a very long way. I moved from there to my first law firm, and then became IT Director of two different Boston law firms.

By the time this post publishes today, I’ll be several hours into my first day as an Inbound Marketing Consultant at HubSpot. Eleven years after entering IT, I am making another career change.

Some of you knew this change was coming, some didn’t. I figured I’d take advantage of this “announcement” post to answer some questions that I’ve been asked recently:

Why the change?
Well, you know the saying that some folks climb all the way to the top of the ladder only to find that it’s leaning against the wrong building? Yeah, that’s me. I wasn’t happy doing what I was doing and cared more about a lot of the peripheral job functions (okay, well, leading geeks and budgeting weren’t truly peripheral…) than I cared about the plumbing aspects of the job.

But weren’t you really active in the legal IT community?
Yup. And leaving ILTA was incredibly difficult. However, in many ways, ILTA and my role as Social Networking Coordinator for the ILTA ’09 Conference precipitated this change. I realized that I adored what I was doing in marketing and social networking, and I decided to follow my heart.

What’s going to happen to this blog?
Leadership is still incredibly important to me, and I expect that I will still blog on the topic. I also expect that I will become a “geek in transition” and will blog about what I’m learning at my new job. I’m going to blog on what interests me, and we’ll all just see where it goes. I definitely appreciate those of you who have been reading since I started blogging in early ’08, but I understand that you’ll stop if I bore you. I hope to not be boring, but such is life, eh?

This should be an interesting ride.

13 thoughts on “On Changing Careers

  1. Great post. I have very recently made the same decision. You couldn't have said it better, the ladder really is leaning against the wrong building. After 17 years in legal IT, the last 11 at the director level), I'm done. People are telling me I'm crazy and the money can't compare in any other industry. They get even more confused when I tell them it's not about the money anymore.I am still at the firm, but trying to figure out how to best make the next move. I feel as though I have already turned a major corner.It feels great already.Good luck to you. I look forward to future posts.

  2. Congrats Jenn and good luck. It's a loss to ILTA to not have you coordinating the social networking activities for conference next year. It was great to meet you this year though, and I look forward to future conversations. Glad to hear you are following your interests though, I often wonder how I can escape some of the peculiarities of law firm IT life. Good luck, and have fun!!!

  3. Congratulations and best wishes. It was an honor and a pleasure to have once had the opportunity to be on a panel with you. I will continue to follow your thoughtful posts here and on Twitter. P.S.: Hate to break this to you, but I'm pretty sure HubSpot has lawyers and law firms among its clients.

  4. ILTA is losing out, but it's great that you're doing what makes you happy. Hope I can connect with you the next time I'm in Boston!

  5. Welcome Jenn! Before coming to HubSpot I had a very technical IT background but moved into the web and marketing and haven't looked back! I look forward to getting to know you and working together.

  6. Congratulations! I'll follow the move with interest here and on twitter.I think there will be more and more of this over the next year. A hard recession like this will have made a lot of people think whether their ladder is in the right place.

  7. Wow; thanks to everyone for all the well-wishes and welcomes.Anonymous, I'd love for you to contact me so we can chat about our parallel experiences. You can find me at jennsteele at gmail dot com.

  8. Say it isn't so! I thought I had found my smart mouthed equal in ILTA only to lose her just as quick. Best of luck to you, Jenn. Don't be a stranger and thanks for everything you have done. I look forward to following your future blogs and seeing where this takes you. More importantly, I regret not having future ILTA conferences to talk to your better half.Cheers, Drew

  9. Congratulations Jenn! One of the things I respect most about you is that you give your all to what you are doing and follow your passions. Just one question though – will you still be writing the "Dear Vendor" column now that you are one of us? I really did enjoy that.

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