Friday, January 10, 2014

a new start

I am leaving my new job to go back to my old one.  Today is my last day.  Right now I feel a little numb, yesterday i was more excited, tomorrow, I’m not sure what I will be?  I’m happy and sad at the same time. 

A year ago, I applied to work in a similar job that I had for the state, only it was for the federal government.  The package they offered me was amazing.  Something I just couldn’t refuse.  12.25% COLA on top of the salary.  This position doesn’t come around often—the incumbant had retired after 30 years.  The sick/vacation wasn’t as good as the state, but in three years it would be.  And most importantly at the time—they picked me.  They chose me!  And they seemed really happy about their choice.  My awful divorce was finally over, I was in a new relationship—in fact the day I interviewed for this job, I found out the judge had ruled in our favor and we had “won” our custody battle...all the signs pointed to me accepting this job.

And yet...doubt did rear it’s little head.  The day they offered me the job, I remember thinking wow! They picked me! And then immediately, no, I can’t accept the job.  I have to stay where I am.  My staff is great, there are challenges, but we worked through them.  My boss was so supportive and understanding during my terrible divorce.  How could I leave?  So I hung up the phone, and then spent the rest of the week end convincing myself that I had to accept it.  So I did.

Cut to about 6 months after I started, I wasn’t so sure I had made the right decision.  I had taken the sage advice of a former mentor—expect the first two months of any job to be complete and utter hell, then breathe a sigh of relief if it isn’t.  And it wasn’t like it was utter hell here, clearly, but there were lots of red flags, lots of little hints and sighs of things that might not be so great.  I did travel for work and that was amazing in it of itself, but the day in and day out experiences, I wasn’t so sure.  Experiences that even when addressed and confronted and work through...well, still it didn’t seem to be things that I could work out by myself.  I might be able to address them, but...for the next 10-15 years, would this really be okay?  Then the government shutdown happened.  Then, talk of looming budget cuts happened.

I had a heart-to-heart talk with my mentor at my former job and she advised me with this:  at our age, we are too old to go into a work place every day and feel miserable.  Or to feel like we aren’t having an impact.  Where would could I go and have the greater impact?  And if it’s back at the state, why not call my old boss and see if the position had been filled?

So I did...and thing led to another and another...and an amazing job offer/package was given to me, which I accepted.  Yes there was a little hesitation, mostly out of guilt for ‘leaving in the lurch’ what I had started.  But at the end of the day, I know this is the right thing to do.  My old job was not perfect, it also had/has its challenges, but—i do feel like i had a bigger impact in the day-to-day with my colleagues and peers and staff who worked for me.  I wonder if maybe I was meant to leave, only to come back.  To learn the lessons that I learned here to bring them back to me.  To have been able to appreciate what I had, to also rise to a challenge of giving back and focus on coming out of my shell even more.  So here’s to hoping for a joyful and prosperous new year.

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