I left Shopify ✌🏼 here's why and what's next
That was me in December — just 15 minutes before I met with my amazing lead at Shopify to tell her I was putting in my 2 weeks notice.
To get here, we have to go back a few months. Actually, we should go to the beginning, back in 2015 when I joined Shopify.
Starting in support, shortly after moving over to partnerships, where I fell in love. I got to work closely and build relationships with amazing agencies around the world. I got to help plan and attend events like Shopify Unite and Pursuit, I got to run global award campaigns and large scale meetup programs, where I fell even deeper into the intricate web of talented developers, marketers and people working in the Shopify ecosystem.
I learned quickly that great people tend to gravitate towards the Shopify product—merchants, partners, and the like, I discovered there was so much opportunity around me.
I was fortunate enough to not just find mentors, but make friendships that will last beyond a lifetime both within Shopify and in the partner community.
Fast forward to 2020—closing the offices, cancelling events, and months of trying to keep the magic of work alive while we push to a digital by design model.
Shopify prepared us all to thrive on change, and while so much of the world was changing around me, I figured it was time to start thinking about what change I could control in my life.
"What would you do if you didn't work at Shopify?"
A friend asked me over a virtual coffee chat. I had never asked myself that before. I thought about it, I said I would give myself the time and space to pause, reflect, maybe start my own business.
A month later, I got a call from some dear friends, talking to me about an amazing company they were starting, and how they had a position open that may be of interest to me.
If I'm being honest, my gut instinct at first was to say no. I found myself in a fight or flight mode, and I was ready to run away from anything that felt like an uncertain and drastic change in my life.
And then I had to catch myself, and ask why I would say no to an opportunity that would only encourage me to grow, so I:
- I booked time with my therapist.
- I booked time with my coach.
- I built a mood board.
- I talked with friends.
- I talked with my partner.
Here's what they had to say, in no particular order:
- "If it terrifies you to your core, it's probably the right move."
- Caitlin, you're a god damn cheetah.
- Acknowledge that I am progressing from a socialized mind to a self-authorized mind. A worker ant to a tiger.
Then I had to ask myself—can I continue to progress towards my self-authorized mind while staying at Shopify?
I sat with this question. I thought about it for weeks. To the point that my friends called me back asking for an update. That same morning, I had erased everything on my whiteboard, and wrote:
What brought me to this decision, ultimately, was that I knew I could continue my career development while staying at Shopify, but I would learn more and work in the very ecosystem I had fallen in love with to build something from the ground up. And that excited me to the point that I can't talk about it without smiling and glowing ✨
I was ready for my next adventure.
Of course, the questions and concerns from family members came up when I shared the news:
- "Why would you leave Shopify, they've been so good to you."
- "Are you leaving because they're forcing you back to the office?"
- "Have you told your employer you're unhappy? You don't want to blindside them."
And I have an answer for every one of them, but that's for a whole other blog post I'm sure.
For now, I have done all of the reflecting I needed to do, I am ready to start a new year in this new chapter. Thank you, Shopify, for giving me everything I need to embark on this new adventure, I feel prepared for whatever comes next because of the gifts you've given me over these almost 7 years.
I am so grateful for everyone who sent their well-wishes, for all the notes, kind words, gifts and love. I am writing this with a true emotional hangover today 🍷
Farewell, Shopify. Hello, Govalo.