Life after BlackBerry

I've decided to leave my job at RIM and become a full-time, stay-at-home dad to my two young children, Ryan and Megan.

It's a life-changing decision, and people react predictably to this news. If they have children of their own, they are generally very supportive. They say something along the lines of "You're doing a wonderful thing! They're only this age once, and they grow up so fast. It's great that you can take this time to do it."

On the other hand, those who do not have children of their own invariably ask, "What are you going to do with all your free time?" I forgive them the absurdity of this question, because they clearly have no idea what it's like to be around two very busy little kids all day long. They go non-stop, and they don't take breaks. The concept of free time went out the window a long time ago. But thanks for asking.

Leaving work wasn't easy. I started working at RIM in 1996, before there was even a BlackBerry. As an electrical engineering student, I was intrigued by the idea of wireless data communication, which was still in its infancy. I knew that RIM was on the verge of something big, and I wanted to be part of it. The entire company consisted of about 50 people when I joined. Today, it has grown to more than 7,000 employees, including some of the best and brightest minds in the field. The company measures annual sales in the billions of dollars, and has made BlackBerry a recognizable brand name around the world. By any measure, RIM is a huge success story.

I have had an amazing time at RIM. I truly enjoyed working with the people and technology that make the company great. It was a difficult decision to give that up and spend every day raising my kids, who are too young to understand or appreciate the value of what I am doing for them, and who often behave in a thoroughly unpredictable and irrational manner. It isn't the fun and games some people think it is. There are tantrums and unreasonable requests, and a good night's sleep is a thing of the past. It makes me cranky sometimes. But parenting is all about challenges and sacrifices, and this the life I have chosen for myself.

So tomorrow morning, and every day after that, instead of throwing my laptop bag over my shoulder and heading into work, I'll be at home, changing poopy diapers and teaching the ABC's. Of course I'll miss going into work. But I also know that if I went, I would be missing something even better.

Update (May 17, 2010): As much as I've enjoyed being at home, raising my kids and having the time to pursue the hobbies and interests that I have always enjoyed, I also miss BlackBerry and the intellectual stimulation that comes with changing how the world communicates. A lot. I've returned to a new role at RIM and looking for balance in all areas of my life. Let the good times roll.

Comments

markoos said…
wow mate. that's massive. good luck and i wish you well. i can sorta empathize about the lifestyle change (though i gave up full-time work to study), it's gonna be great.

i look forward to the interesting blog posts.
Deb said…
That is so cool. I expect lots of picture posts, which by the way have been lacking, considering the addition of the new kid.

You and markoos both are brave souls.
Laura said…
Huge news - congrats! I look forward to more adventures of Sassan the super-dad :)

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