This hits rather close to home, except that I, at the same age, made a decision to stick around, despite how much I felt it was the wrong thing to do, even if my decision to stay was grounded in all the right reasons.
But his overall sense about the fact that you don't need people policing you when the office culture does a remarkable job of policing itself, to its own intellectual and public detriment, was something I spent a lot of time watching and railing against.
It is no small irony that the thing I am probably most proud of, from the perspective of my former career, is the same thing that did me in. People, especially those in a media-like atmosphere, love to talk about change, but when confronted with something that is truly outside their scope, something where they cannot control the middlebrow message that sounds good (to both their bosses as well as the public) but literally means nothing, innovation gets thrown out the window and is replaced with fear.
Getting out of an environment where people change their minds completely because someone above them told them to change it has been, to say the least, very good for me. That being said, years of being in that environment have taken their toll on my own thinking about the world and my own goals and desires.
This isn't to say that I wish that, at 24, I hadn't decided to try my hand at the civil service, but rather that, at 37, I can still accomplish all those things I had wanted to back then, perhaps even more successfully, given the benefit of hindsight and experience. But the attitudes that surrounded me for years have had an insidious way of stifling my own thoughts for a long time now, and maybe beginning to talk about it will be a way to move past that.