Saying Farewell To My 9-5 – A Love Letter


I have to apologize in advance for the longer than usual blog post, but today is one of the most exciting and important days of my life.  

It’s a day that marks the end of a relationship I’ve been in for four-and-a-half years; a relationship that I’ve cherished, that took me by surprise and lasted longer than I ever thought it would, that taught me about myself and selflessly put me in a position to take a big scary leap toward my dreams, even though it knew that that would mean the end of itself.

I know this all sounds rather poetic and I’m tempted to continue on like this for a thousand words, but most of you are probably pretty confused right now thinking, “This isn’t his writing style at all.  You don’t sound like this, Dave.  Who is this?!  WHO KIDNAPPED YOU?!?!”  And… well… you’re right.

So let’s start over


I’ve spent the last four-and-a-half years loving my job at CEB/Gartner, learning a lot, meeting the most interesting and intelligent people, and making lifelong friends; but all the while, in the back of my head, a little voice was counting down the seconds until I could make something like this happen.  (Can you imagine if that was literal?  Like four years ago this little voice was just constantly going ‘one-billion-three-hundred-million-four-thousand-and-seven seconds… one-billion-three-hundred-million-four-you-get-the-point).  Back to the point, though… For every professional triumph in the office I was left thinking about the book I should be working on.  For every work trip I took I knew I could be using that time editing.  For every late night in the office (my CEB friends are probably reading this thinking, “He literally never stayed in the office late”) – for every “late night” in the office, I knew I could have written a blog post or connected with other writers.  For every work party or happy hour I knew… well, actually, there’s no replacing those.  For every happy hour I would probably have been at another happy hour, so that’s that.

But here we are, and everything is about to change.

Let’s get back to the love story, though, right?  Because unfortunately this is the end of my love story with my current job, and the beginning of a new and different, yet old and familiar, love story with my writing.  I’ve always known, since my first few months on the job, that the company I had the privilege to work for was perfect, but not necessarily for me.  Like a teenager trying to soften the blow dealt by a breakup, I’ll say (100% truthfully) that I’ll always cherish the time we had together.  If I could go back in time and start writing immediately, I don’t think I would.  I think I would go back to CEB and work there all over again.  I enjoyed it that much, learned that much, care about the friends I’ve made there that much.

Writing, though… writing is the girl that got away.  The girl who was effortlessly right for me, but moved to a different city for a while.  Writing is the girl I gave it a go with a few times, too many times, and tried to stay with long distance.  But it was always too tough.  Then she became the girl I hadn’t spoken to in a while because I wanted to give my current relationship a chance.  But when the time finally came and we had the opportunity to be together again, I knew what I had to do.  Because as it turns out I’m free, now, and we’re both moving to the same city (read: my tiny writing office in my apartment).  We can finally be together.

Please excuse me, but for my own personal safety I’m going to take a moment to have a brief predictive argument with my girlfriend:

  • Her: OMG I can’t believe you said that on your blog!  Who is she?
  • Me: Who is who?
  • Her: The other girl in the love story.
  • Me: It was a metaphor.
  • Her: Metaphor?  That is such a stupid name.  She sounds hideous.
  • Me: I thought you were an English major?
  • Her: Oh, so this is my fault now?!?!

**Ahem** Sara, I love you.  This was a metaphor.  It was a terrible idea.  Please don’t be mad at me for too long.  Side note: I think it might actually be an allegory and not a metaphor, but even my English teacher mother doesn’t know for sure so THANKS FOR NOTHING MOM.

Anyway, what does all this actually mean? (Me leaving my job, not my fake-soon-to-be-real argument with my girlfriend)

It means that I wouldn’t change the time I had at CEB for the world.  It means there’s probably going to be a sales executive working at a consulting firm as a main character in one of my future books (thanks for the material).  It means I couldn’t have asked for a better four-and-a-half years.  But what I’ll be doing for the next… well, hopefully ever… is writing.  I’ve saved, and finagled, and planned, and now is the time to give it a go.  I’ll be finishing and editing the projects I love and publishing them, in whatever way I have to, whether it’s traditional or self.  I’ll be writing more short stories and posting them here.  I’ll be hanging out here a lot more in general.

It means that I’ve wanted this since I wrote my first (god awful) novel at the age of sixteen.  It means that I’ve never been this excited or anxious in my entire life.  It means that I can’t wait for what comes next.

But first things first: 

Dear CEB/Gartner,

I’m sadder than I thought I’d be now that I have to say goodbye, but it’s that time.  Maybe I’ll see you again in the future.  

Take care of yourself.  

Thank you for everything.



P.S. Thank you to everyone who reached out to me over the last 6 months since I essentially disappeared, it means a lot!  It’s been a whirlwind planning for this next step.  Can’t wait to reconnect with you.

P.P.S.  I know you don’t have to leave your job to successfully write – even some already successful authors keep full-time jobs.  This is just something I personally wanted to do because I felt that I had a lot to offer if I could focus on writing 24/7.  So why not give it a try?

P.P.P.S.  To all of my CEB/Gartner friends, if you don’t know how to contact me and want to send a message or get in touch, just use the ‘Contact’ section up top.  It goes directly to me and we can exchange email addresses or phone numbers or just reconnect.  Miss you guys already!

23 comments on “Saying Farewell To My 9-5 – A Love Letter”

  1. Good for you!It was so nice to see your face pop up in my in-basket. I’ll be so happy to follow you on this new journey. BTW: I moved, so I’ve been fairly quiet on WP, too. Change is good!

  2. I can relate to this. I still remember my last day on the job before I quit, married my late husband, and became a full-time writer. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.

  3. Good luck with your new girl! I started 2019 on the same journey. I initially wrote that as sane. So not sane, but exciting and frustrating but beautiful 🙂 “Come fly with me, let’s fly, let’s fly away…” Tap-tap-tap.

  4. Huge congratulations!! I’m super excited for you. I took a similar step a couple years back, although on a temporary basis (career break), to finish a novel I’d had living in my head for so long I could no longer ignore it. It had to be written. I sincerely hope this step works out for you as well – if not better – than it has for me. Go for it dude!

  5. My highest respect for your decision, one I could never do. I wish you all the best in the world for what comes next, and the best of luck for your now “new” career. Can’t wait to read more of your talented soul!

  6. Dave,
    My first reaction is, “Congratulations! That’s amazing! You’re living the dream!”
    But then my next reaction is, “Wait a minute… Four and a half years? You only worked 4.5 years in the real world and now you’re a full-time writer??!! Get your ass back to work, young man! That’s not fair at all!!!”
    But congrats anyway. 😉
    J. D. Brink
    (42-year-old still working his ass off at a day job while trying to get an audience for his writing)

    1. Haha yes, you’re absolutely right. 4.5 years is not long at all, and who knows how long it’ll be until I’m back if I end up having to go!!

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