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June 30, 2012

Three Months in the Valley //

On March 26th I completed my first day as a Facebook employee. Personally and creatively, that day is a line in the sand and underscores exactly why Emily and I agreed to head off on such a grand adventure.

It reminded me that there are times when the best thing to do is to look ahead and not dwell too long on the past. To not forget how you got to where you are, but to press ahead, to pick a point somewhere off in the distance and head towards it.

As much as I’ve been cynical about social services in the past, getting to see behind the curtain at Facebook has altered my perspective and allowed me to see that there’s more to the company’s vision than just talk. Be open. Be bold. Build trust. Again, I see that point in the distance.

The warm and encouraging welcome I’ve received speaks to the quality and maturity of employees, and of the organization itself endeavoring to be transparent to all. It’s allowed me to comfortably find my rhythm, to carve a path, to have an impact, and to do meaningful work that I connect with.

Across the board, the Communications Design team is top notch. The level of insight, integrity, commitment, and carefully nurtured creativity each person contributes and that allows the team to succeed is impossible to ignore. That the same reaches out to every facet of the company — all the way to the top —makes it that much more impressive.

It’s those things that further highlight why this has been the right move. There’s a genuine effort to support one another, to allow people to move fast and iterate, but most importantly, to do things right. In my experience, that type of environment is rare.

That the organization has been equally patient and empathetic during such a long transitional period means a great deal. At this point there’s only a couple weeks before the movers show up, pack our stuff into a truck, and haul it out to California with my wife and kids not trailing far behind.

While I’ve been back to Toronto twice so far since March, being 3000+ miles away from family and close friends for four to five weeks at a time has been tough. For me, and I’m sure for them too. To say Emily has been a trooper wrangling the kids largely on her own doesn’t begin to express the effort she’s put in and sacrifices she’s made to make this work.

I could attribute how I’ve been affected by this to the change of scenery, the temperate climate, or having the unique opportunity to work alongside so many people at the peak of their careers, but whatever the case may be, the top is down, the sun is shining, the stereo is blasting, and as far as my eyes can see — the roads are clear ahead.

Except on the 101 where it’s bumper to bumper for miles.

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