From cubicle to “couch”

I’ve imagined this day a bunch of times and it usually involved a lot of fist-pumping and high-fiving. But today I’m feeling excitement as well as melancholy, with a good dose of end-of-the-year nostalgia. After eight and a half years of working for a large Canadian insurer, with the past year spent on maternity leave, I’m saying good-bye to the traditional 9-to-5, work-a-day world and hello to working 24/7 as an entrepreneur. I’ve already launched Cloak and Curio which has been an incredible learning experience over the past three months, and I’m now officially launching my primary business, Hot Quill Communications. The website is published, the social media channels are fired up (Twitter, Facebook), and I’m ready to work as a free agent – a communications manager and writer/editor for hire.

I’m trying not to let my nerves get the better of me, or deter me from my vision – I’m looking forward to the potential and opportunity to contribute to interesting work, and to meet even more clever and inspiring people. I’m also looking forward to continuing on this journey of exploring different aspects of communications and marketing to flex my experience and expertise. However, I’m keenly aware of what I’m giving up – being able to share ideas with smart people over my cubicle wall, chats in the hall between meetings, and getting to work with an incredible team who I learned so much from every day.

As I leave my old job, I’d like to take a moment to thank and recognize a few individuals and groups for their support in shaping my career and in helping me through the transition from old to new:

  • My husband, Steven, who continues to believe in me, and isn’t shy about giving me his honest, intelligent opinion. His Daddy skills are also off the charts, releasing me on many occasions to get a head-start on launching Hot Quill Communications.
  • My darling daughter, who teaches me to look at the world with bright eyes every day.
  • My adorable son, who shows me that learning is a daily discipline and that perseverance delivers results.
  • My parents, for always challenging me to do better.
  • Josh and Beth, for listening, encouraging and being excited for me.
  • Paul, my father-in-law, whose confidence in me has always made me feel better about myself.
  • Avon Giddings, who gave a young, “green” communications ingénue a chance, and who has continued to offer encouragement and advice that’s worth its weight in gold.
  • Debbie Gonsalves, the finest communicator I know and the reason I know anything at all about corporate communications.
  • Jacqueline O’Hara, a friend and colleague who has taught me a lot about grace under fire.
  • Rachel Chancellor, a marketing genius who was the first person to plant the seed in my mind years ago about building a communications business.
  • Brigitte Parent, one of the strongest, people-oriented leaders in the Canadian financial services industry from whom I learned to think more strategically and critically, and to shape my writing accordingly.
  • Dave Jones, for modeling how to balance challenging work and family life effectively, and for always making time for mentoring conversations when I was faced with career decisions.
  • Jeff James, someone who I respect greatly for his style of leadership and standard of excellence.
  • The Marcom team led by Mary DePaoli – a world-class group of people who continue to shine with their brilliance, creativity and commitment. Thanks to each and every one of you for your collaboration and support. I will miss working directly with you every day, and I hope we’ll keep in touch.
  • Jeff Chewka, who has taught me so much about video production and creating captivating, entertaining and impactful video messages.
  • My friend Kim, who feeds me when I get too busy and forget to eat, and who is an excellent sounding-board with great ideas.
  • My running girls – Alyssa, Kim, Rebecca and Martha – the reason I am even the least bit active, and whose company gives me perspective and helps me de-stress.
  • Jolene, the first person other than Steven to hear about Cloak and Curio, and whose insight and advice have been invaluable in launching both of my businesses.
  • Our Wellesley community, all our friends and neighbours who make this a wonderful place to live, work and raise our kids.
  • Last, but absolutely not least, our huge, wonderful, loving family of Jameses, Joneses, Grossmans, Schwarzes, Gnats and Barams for always being there for us. Much love ❤

It is with the encouragement of all of these people that I have felt confident enough to take this next step. So, thank you all!

If you’re reading this post and we’re not already in touch through social media, please do look me up. And, if you’d like to hear more about Hot Quill Communications, feel free to send me an email so we can chat further.

As we get ready to close out 2012 and look forward to 2013, my wish is that your New Year is full of health, happiness and rich experiences for you and your loved ones. Cheers!


  1. Jeff James says:

    Happy to have contributed in some small way Roshan. You’ll be fantastic in your new role as mompreneur so I look forward to following the next phase of your journey!

  2. Good luck Rosh!!

  3. Im excited for you Roshan ! Best of luck- I know you’ll do great 🙂

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