A week ago I celebrated 18 years in the technology trade. That’s just under half my life. It was the start of what would become a career working with the latest tools and technology, a career that would take me all over the world and eventually to a small extent claim my health. It was also the start of a love-hate affair with traffic police up and down the country. I hate them catching me for speeding and they love to give me a fine and at least 3 points on my licence! There have been some great times and some great places I have been thrown into situations I never before thought would happen to me. For a quick synopsis read being in the middle of hotel fires, terrorist alerts and a few other things. I have had clients go bankrupt and probably seen more than I should. There have been great times too I have worked with some absolute morons and a larger number of absolutely amazing people and I have made a large number of enduring friendships throughout my time in the trade. I have worked everywhere from front line support through to consultancy on some fairly big name projects and also my own investments in the dot com sector and The Investment Network. In 18 years I have seen the trade change a lot and the way that clients and customers are treated change a lot too. I wont name the individuals or organisations involved but when an IT Sales Director told me recently that ” I’m just going to tell the customer to f**k off nicely.” I knew that things had changed too much. Last year I encountered health problems with my hearing that prevented me from flying frequently and running around Europe treating British Airways like most people treat a bus service is no longer possible (my record is 190 flights in one year!). I tried to pick up the flying again this year but after only 16 flights the health issues came back. At least my luggage will no longer get lost! Extended hotel stays have also taken their toll and whilst I must proffer thanks to Accor Hotels and Hilton Hotels for their amazing customer service spending over 2500 nights in hotels has taken its toll too. On the subject of travel I will apologise now to Hertz for pranging some of their lovely hire cars 🙂 So why am I telling you all of this? Well after some very careful thinking I have decided to plan my phased retirement from the consultancy side of the trade and intend to retire and change career by September 2016 at the latest when I will celebrate 21 years in the trade. I will probably continue at The Investment Network as this side of my work does give me some pleasure and a bit of a buzz but I will be looking for other interests outside of technology and IT. Aside of this I am actively in the market for new business and career opportunities. I am not 100 % sure which direction this will go in yet. So its onwards and upwards and yes I shall still be consulting for while yet. I shall be posting more about this new phase in my life here so please keep popping back to keep up to date!