Now, when the pandemic is almost over, we’re starting to think about shaking things up. I made #TheBigShift in the middle of the pandemic when I got back to academia. Despite remote learning, I’m enjoying every single moment of teaching at the University of Alberta.

Was it a big shift? Oh yes. Was it the biggest shift in my life? Probably not! I had quite a few.

In 2012, I was a Chair of the Department of Computer Science in a small and lovely university in Russia. I felt amazing there, working with the best people. It was a great career. But it felt like there was SOMETHING out there that I was missing. Some perspective that I eagerly wanted to see but I couldn’t do it from the inside.

So I quit and went to Berkeley for a year to study marketing and run a business full-time. Was it a risk? You bet. To afford UC Berkeley tuition, I spent all savings that we had and took a loan on top of that.

Now, after a decade, do I miss the good ol’ days sometimes? Sure. Do I have any regrets though? Absolutely not. A whole new world of possibilities opened for me. That new perspective that had been hidden, started to appear.

Are you thinking about making #TheBigShift? Maybe it’s the right time. Life is full of opportunities. Explore them. Come sail away!