For seven years I worked at a company that was very good to me. They kept me on when financially they should have laid me off. They encouraged (and paid for) me to learn new skills. They highly valued my abilities and told me so frequently.
Even when I spent 1 ½ years thinking that every day was going to be pink slip day, I couldn’t bring myself to create a resume: Somehow that felt disloyal.
Once I realized I wanted a career change and started preparing myself for it, writing that resume and looking for a new challenge no longer felt wrong. I wasn’t jumping ship and running away – mentally I had made the transition into a new field, where they couldn’t give me that experience.
An opportunity of a lifetime came up recently. It looked as if the position description was written based on my strengths. Although it was a blind ad, I Googled the company description and figured out who it was. I then addressed my cover letter to their president. It turns out, I was the only one to take that step.
At my interview, I immediately felt at home. All the things they were asking for I had either done or done something very similar. The president, who would be my boss, was blunt, much in the same way Kurt is, and I love working in situations where I know exactly where I stand. That interview ended with the scheduling of my second interview, which further cemented in my mind that this is the perfect-for-me job.
The offer came a week after my first interview, and I said yes. There was much happy dancing. I knew it was the right decision when the only thing I was anxious about was telling my employer that I was leaving. I can’t get over how great that conversation went. His response on my breaking the news: “Good for you, bad for us. While I am saddened by your decision, I understand it.”
I spent three weeks getting things as ready as I could for my replacement, writing “how to” guides, ensuring 100% of what was in our paper files had been scanned and electronically filed, and polishing off all those last minute projects that kept popping up.
I’ve now been in my new role for a week. I hadn’t had the new job learning curve in a LONG time, and I’ve been unexpectedly overwhelmed. Once I was finally able to tackle a couple of projects that I knew how to do, I felt better. My new co-workers have been wonderful – lifting my spirits on days when I wondered if I would ever be able to keep up. Some fabulous opportunities have already presented themselves, and I know I’ll eventually be able to do great work for a fabulous cause. I just wish it would happen a little faster … like yesterday!
Has anyone else ever felt guilty about the thought of leaving an employer? or Have you found your perfect-for-you (at the moment at least) job?