I’ve just a week left to go before I leave my job of nearly 15 years. How do I feel? Terrified.
The emotional turmoil of whether or not to choose redundancy over a post at the organisation that was unlikely to suit me or my family commitments was agonising.
The response from friends was overwhelming: leave and leave now.
Even from those who were choosing to stay there. When I asked why they were not choosing to take their own advice, the responses were mixed and not always in tune with the words they had spoken to me.
Fear seemed to be a major factor: fear of the unknown, fear that they wouldn’t get another job. These are understandable – and I had the same feelings.
They loved their job. Same here: I wouldn’t have spent almost 15 years in the same place if I didn’t connect with what I did.
I’m not criticising my friends for choosing their route and staying: I’d have done the same if I’d have assurances from management about the jobs I could have done, the hours and (crucially) the shifts I would have been expected to work.
No assurances were forthcoming. At the last minute (just minutes before the deadline), I ticked the box that was to change me life and took the document to work.
I took the plunge and am going. Next week.
I’ve cleared most of my desk and but still need to leave forwarding emails to contacts.
I’ve read counselling notes (largely ineffective), tried to keep motivated at work (extremely difficult), done the grieving (that surprised me more than anything), been angry (even though I “chose” to go).
Now I’m in the final stages.
But then what?
Change is a difficult concept for me. I can embrace some changes easily and readily and others leave me dumbstruck.
I can’t rationalise why I feel so confused. Am I afraid to admit that I might define myself by what I do, rather than who I am?
When meeting someone new and I’m asked about me, I don’t tell them about bringing up my children, my voluntary work or my life. I tell them that I’m a journalist. That is my status, but is that me, the person?
While it’s true that I am a journalist, I am much more than that. I’ve just got to learn to remember that after next week.