It was back in 2001 that I first dropped an email to the Guardian, pitching a story about a teenager who detailed her struggle with cancer online - and turned out to be a fake.
Today, nearly nine years later (and almost eight of them on staff), I have been made redundant along with a number of my colleagues as part of a voluntary programme.
For many people, redundancy is an unexpected shock that leaves them devastated and reeling. For me, it’s entirely different: I volunteered. We’ve been undergoing voluntary redundancies for the past year and I’m part of the latest round of people to take the jump.
I’m young, I’ve got bags of experience, a small number of commitments and I’m itching to try new things. This is a chance to do something new. The entrepreneurial zeal here in San Francisco is infectious, and perhaps I can soak some of it up and use it to my benefit. I am ready for fresh challenges.
That’s not to say I won’t miss my job, or the tremendous people I worked with over the years. Being at the Guardian has been, by and large, one of the greatest privileges of my life. I was just 23 when I joined - and as wet behind the ears as you’d expect - but a succession of superb mentors have given me the chance to harness my passion and enthusiasm to do some great things.
I’ve had enormous amounts of fun travelling all over the world, moving continents, launching successful products in print and online, working with some amazing contributors, interviewing some of the world’s biggest names and so much more. I’ve become a better writer, a better reporter, a better thinker and a better person as a result, and I can’t thank them enough.
But all things must come to an end.
So what happens now?
The short answer is that I don’t know.
I don’t actually stop being a staff member at the Guardian until the end of March, so the next couple of months are going to involve a lot of thinking and planning and talking. Will we stay in San Francisco? We certainly love living here, and I don’t want to leave. But the right opportunity needs to come up - something that means I can apply the range of skills I’ve got in an exciting way.
But what I do know is that today, the world looks like a bigger place: I have all sorts of ideas about the things I can do, whether it’s continuing as a writer and journalist or finding ways to apply the things I’ve learned in new contexts.
I am ready for fresh challenges. I am ready for new adventures.
In the meantime, if you have ideas about things I can do for you, then I want to talk. You can always email me at email@example.com.
• Here’s my LinkedIn profile.
• Download my resume/CV as a PDF.
• And if you want to see some of my best writing, then you can either look at my Guardian profile page, or look at this page of some of my favourite stories.