I quit my job today. And in 2 months, I will be officially unemployed.
It feels more than a little bit weird to say.
“I will soon be unemployed. I will have no job”
Since I finished high school and started university eight and a half years ago, I have been permanently employed. Every semester, and every summer, I worked. I started my first “grown-up” job two weeks after my last exam. For my next two job transitions, I had a new job lined up before I resigned. And in both cases, I only had three days between finishing one job and starting the next. Being unemployed has never really occurred to me. Until now.
After my waste of psych yesterday, today was the day to talk to my boss. The morning was nerve-wracking. My mind ran through all sorts of potential reactions and my responses. I rehearsed what I planned to say.
And I waited…
Then I had a meeting with my new sort-of-boss and a colleague. It was a great conversation. I realised some of the things I like about my role. And the nostalgia effect kicked in. Hard. I doubted myself. I doubted my resolve. I wondered if I could do it.
And I waited…
Then the time came, and I headed into the office for the big discussion. As soon as I sat down, my prepared
speech ideas disappeared from my mind. And I realised what I really needed to say:
“The reason I asked to catch up with you today was to let you know that I’ve realised that this is not the right thing for me right now. So I’ll be finishing up just before Christmas.”
He was amazing. Calmly responded with “I’m glad you’re doing what’s right for you.” Conveyed his appreciation of my work here, and started to discuss how we could manage moving it to someone else. Thanked me for giving him the extra notice. I didn’t need any of my responses to negative reactions. I could be honest and open.
I didn’t need to worry. I should have done it earlier.
So, the big question: How did I feel after the fact?
It’s cheesy, but I really did feel a weight lift from my shoulders. I felt a huge sense of relief. I had a smile on my face that I couldn’t wipe off. I felt a little ill (but I don’t think that was related to the work thing…) I told a few close friends and family, which gave me the confidence to tell some other key people at work.
Of course, I also felt some apprehension. It’s pretty scary to move out into the world with no concrete plan of what to do next. It’s strange to know that my next job is to figure me out, and figure out how to become the person I want to be.
But overall, it felt right. I felt energetic and excited and engaged. And that’s what tells me that this was a good decision. (I could be proved wrong in the future, but for now, I think it was good).
I still have two months of notice to work out. So it’s an unusual time for me. But also an exciting time. And I can’t wait to start on the next chapter and find my bliss, wherever the heck it is hiding.
Today’s a time to celebrate. So I propose a (virtual) toast: Here’s to new starts. Here’s to taking the plunge. Here’s to happy Sundays (and Mondays and everydays)!