Last month I left my job. A job that I have been at for over three years. A job that for the most part I loved. There are a number of reasons why I left but I guess the main one is that I was angry.
I was incredibly dedicated to my job, I ran my own department, pushed and pushed to build a great team and to make it a great place for my team to work. Perhaps I was a little too dedicated, I spent the majority of my life at that place, even doing work or dropping by on my days off. And all this on less pay than my fellow managers.
I knew I should leave for a long time, friends and family members kept questioning why I remained when I kept coming out with crazy after crazy story and complaint after complaint. But it’s hard to leave somewhere you’re so comfortable, I worked with all my friends, I knew the job inside out and I was proud of what I had managed to achieve with my team.
So what made me finally take the leap? Well two things happened. Firstly, as you well know, I took some time off to go travelling and having some time completely away from the place, and the stress, gave me some perspective. This job was not my life. I could survive away from it and what’s more I was healthier and happier away from it. When I returned I found my team in a mess, three people had left whilst I’d been away and another handed his notice to me on the day of my return. I was flooded with complaints from my server team and the mood was thoroughly downbeat. I’m not sure whether my time away had opened my eyes wider to the problems or whether things had gotten worse whilst I was gone, either way it was not a pleasant atmosphere to step back into, especially not when suffering severe jetlag.
This brings me to secondly, a week after returning, a meeting was called during which the general manager and the operations manager of the company (aka the big boss) informed us we were all bad at our jobs, were all replaceable and that we clearly didn’t care. Having put so much of myself into this job, I was beyond furious to be told that I did not care and that I was not valued.
For me it was the final straw, I finally realised that I had too much self respect to stay in a place where I was not respected or appreciated. I’m a grown up I don’t need someone to hold me by the hand or pat me on the back every time I do my job correctly. But I do need to know that I have the support of my superiors, that they will come to me directly if there are issues with my performance, and that they will be upfront and honest with me. I have always been open to constructive criticism, am always willing to learn and grow, that is after all what life is, one big learning curve.
I was angry and I was upset. So I took the first job that got me out of there as quickly as physically possible, and within six days of the meeting from hell I had handed in my notice, within two weeks I was gone. It wasn’t the smartest career move. I took a step back and a slight pay cut and for the first few weeks I seriously questioned whether I had done the right thing. Acting out of anger is never the best course. Perhaps I could have handled the situation better, thought it through a little more but I didn’t I ran and I jumped and it turns out it was the best thing I could have done.
Because what I did was cut the cord and I got freedom, and although my current job isn’t the end goal, it got me out of what was to be a honest a bad situation. I feel happier, lighter, less pressured, I haven’t cried over work for well over a month now and I have the time and energy to indulge in interests that are not work related in any way!
I learnt a lot from my old job, despite all the stress and troubles it was a wonderful three years and I came away with so much more knowledge, experience and some really great friends. There is no doubt that the job shaped me into the person I am. But the biggest thing I left with was to value myself. Because no amount of money or job title is worth sacrificing your happiness.