Changing sides, then turning on my back I stare at the ceiling. Eyes bugged open. What is it about quitting my job that scares me so much? And why can’t I fall asleep?
I realize this isn’t working and I get up. Standing in front of the window of my living room I look outside. No wind or clouds, but a bright moon lighting up the sky. The dark but shimmering streets facing my home are empty. Everyone’s in bed probably, snoring their way to morning coffee and afterwards, morning meetings. I better get back to bed too..
Back in bed I flip over my blanket to get under the cool side. When I think about it, I can’t deny I feel as if I’m about to take the first exit on a highway where ‘everyone else’ is speeding towards ‘success’. Am I heading for a detour or for worse?
To ease my mind I grab pen and paper and write down “Why I should stay in my current job” and then get to the following list:
- I feel loyalty towards my boss and colleagues;
- Those days we were driving the process to its optimal outcome. That time we prepped the minister together, that really was a lot of fun at times too;
- Quitting leads to financial insecurity;
- There’s still so much to learn in my current job. Staying is a good investment. An investment that’s simply part of the game;
- I’ve already invested so much time and energy to get here in the first place;
- It’s my first real job. I should stay here for at least three years, otherwise new employers might think I give up too soon;
- I don’t have a new job Honestly, I don’t even know what I want exactly!
- If I stay, I’ll have the chance to live abroad and represent my country. I’ll even be able to buy myself a nice car and drive around with a prestigious ‘CD’ license plate (short for corps diplomatique);
- Working at a corporate or in my case the government is the best way to build a career when you’re ambitious. Because that’s how it’s done, right?
AND YET I’M NOT REASSURED
So many reasons to stay. But which of the reasons above stand the test when looked at from a position of strength? How do I look back the moment I’ve changed course and found myself another job?
I’ve thoroughly thought through all of the legitimate points and in the end they don’t convince me. Staying on my highway isn’t inherently bad for me, but there is another way too (like creative entrepreneurship). A better way for me. And even though getting there might involve a U-turn, it’s not a detour, certainly not a dead end.
Tomorrow I’ll resign (-:
*07:00 PM – one month later*
The next morning, after a sleepless night, I talked to my boss (fortunately he took it well), and I took the first exit (be it in three months time). I’m exploring new options now, feeling cheerful and full of energy. For a start, I’ve found writing this blog really enjoyable and it is generating all sorts of unexpected new leads already.
So, looking back I still feel I made the right decision and I haven’t felt regret despite the initial fear.
Sometimes, the water isn’t as cold as it seems to be!