I quit my job.
This was a big thing for me. I’ve been with my employer for over eight years. There has been so much that is positive that has happened over that time for me there: I’ve learned a lot and built confidence; I’ve explored leadership, which was an unexpected treat; I’ve developed relationships with so many wonderful and talented people; and I’ve spent the past five years under a great mentor and role model of a boss whose lessons and example I will always remember.
But there was also a lot that was draining me. I’ll not go into details – there were big reasons and small reasons, although they probably all stem from a common management philosophy – but in the end, I burnt out. The feelings of that burnout – they were brutal feelings: exhaustion, anxiety, anger, despair, defeatedness, bitterness, and finally, as some horrible kind of coping mechanism, apathy.
These feelings aren’t me. (Ok – except maybe anxiety. That one might be a little bit me.) And having them take over, I wasn’t me. I was a twitchy, touchy, somewhat depressed insomniac mess. This hurt me and it hurt my family.
And a couple of weeks ago, I finally realized it wasn’t worth it. They pay me to do work. Tearing down my mental health and sense of self was never part of the contract. So I gave my notice. Without another job in the pipeline. With a mortgage and a kid. Scary, on so many levels.
But absolutely right. Within an hour, I felt lighter. And within a week, all those feelings just started to settle down. I’m not angry anymore. I’m a little sad that it had to go this way, and I feel a lot of compassion for the people who I am leaving behind because I know that they are struggling with the same things I was.
I’m also nervous because of course I am. I’ve been with these people for almost a decade. Change is scary: the devil you know and all that. And then, of course, money. I do need to work. As of next Thursday, I am unemployed, which is terrifying. Obviously, finding a job before I left would have been the more practical choice.
But I’m going to be ok. We have some savings. I’m employable. And honestly, I’m pretty excited to see where I’ll end up next. This is my life and I just took it back.