Help please!

Friday, September 25, 2009 by Audrey
Okay, internet friends. I need some advice. If everything goes as I would like it to (i.e., I get the job as a school library technician I have applied for), I will be quitting my job in the next two or three weeks.

But! Here's the thing. I have never quit a job before for a reason that wasn't "I'm going back to Provo for school" or "I'm leaving Provo for the summer". I do not want to let my boss guilt trip me into staying on as an employee, because I am bored 75% of the time (notice, I am blogging at work. I finished my work at 11:30 this morning, but must stay here until 3:45. My files are organized, my emails are organized, I have cleaned my desk, cleaned the work kitchen, and am in the process of creating cheat sheets to my job for whoever takes over. I am BORED.) and because my job has become too easy and I am underemployed. But my boss thinks I am indispensable, because I'm so efficient and organized. She thinks the sky will fall in if I ever leave. Which it won't, but she can be very convincing.

I don't want to be convinced, this time, like I was convinced to stay in the marching band for 2 more years in high school because I didn't want to disappoint anyone (darn you, Mr. MacPherson! I didn't have time to practice the piano, what with marching band and drama club and shows. I could have used that time to actually get prepared for college auditions!).

So, here's my request. Give me some personal stories, please. Why have you quit other jobs you've held to move on to others? How do you know a job isn't right for you? How has the new job worked out--has it, in fact, been better, or is it worse? Give me some reassurance that quitting will be the right thing.
Posted in | 3 Comments »


trishtator said...

Hi Audrey!

I've had this experience. About 2 years ago, I decided to quit the job I was at. And like you, it wasn't for the "I'm moving/getting married/leaving for India" kind of reason, which is much easier. It was just because I had a new job that I felt my some of my goals. In the same town. My current job at the time felt very similar about me - the whole "sky will fall in" business and that I was indispensible. It was a really hard decision. I prayed about it a lot, and went to the temple to decide. In some way, I came to know it was right (although there was no one clear experience that convinced me.)

So, I accepted the new position in about October, but planned to leave my old job at the end of the year (because that's when the new job could be started). I kept it quiet that I was leaving until I had 2 weeks. I told the people in my department, who know that I was "goal oriented," and they were excited for me, not mad.

The overall boss was kind of a different story. To my knowledge, I was the only person to leave the company, without my own hard feelings, because I was "pursuing goals" but still living in the same town. Other people had left for grad school, but moved far away. I told him when I would be leaving, and he basically wouldn't talk to me or let me explain. When I would see him in the stairwell (he was also LDS, as were nearly all the people at the company), he would ask if I had "prayed again over my bad decision" [meaning my choice to leave.] I told him I could explain my reasons, but he refused to hear. I never got a chance to explain to him personally, because he didn't want to talk about it. He was convinced I was mad at him/the company.

A few months after starting my new job, my old work had a public presentation at the public library here, and I wanted to attend it. It was a movie that one of the employees had made about some travels and doing things to forward the company's goals. {it sounds corny, but it wasn't). My other old work friends knew I would be coming, but when I showed up in the auditorium, my old head boss was really surprised to see me. He thought that it was some sort of reconciliation, and totally embraced me for it. He thought I had 'forgiven' him. Lame, but he just made an assumption, and wouldn't let me explain it to him. So, now even though I haven't seen him again, we are "on good terms" in some sense that if I saw him again, we would talk. I have to say it made me feel weird/sad inside that he thought I was mad, and wouldn't let me explain. I'm so glad I went to that presentation, even just for him to feel reconciled.

As for starting the new job, it's been with mixed results. I've been here almost 2 years, and I did know it was right (in the spiritual sense). More than anything, I have learned and pushed myself and taken challenges. What surprised me is that I wasn't "the smartest person here" like I had sort of felt at my last job. That also means that I have felt some feelings of inadequacy, rejection, guilt (for big but innocent mess-ups), but I have learned so much.

I say - if you are moving on with the goals you have for your life, most adult colleagues will respect that. I think if my head boss had let me explain, he would have "approved" and been happy for me. THat doesn't mean that 2 weeks wasn't really hard for me, because I was getting pestered by people to not leave. Several people tried to dissuade, but just restate "this is the decision that's best for me." It will also make them feel better if you offer yourself to them for questions after you start the new gig ("you can call me anytime, if you need to know how I did -- or ---.")

I say - go for it, girl! You can do it. That security can be really comfortable, but it can also be stifling. I would say I'm fairly adventurous, but I think you will find yourself refreshed and a more balanced person after you make a change like that. Less bored, maybe?

Good luck! Shoot me an email if you want to talk more about it or something.

Joshua Tolley said...

Give 'em two weeks' notice. If they're jerks about it, make it one week's notice. If they're still jerks about it, spend the last week on vacation.

Casey said...

Audrey, good luck! This is exciting. :)

I left my last job for a job in the same town (where I currently am) because I was totally "underemployed" and didn't see good future career prospects with the company or the line of work I was in. I passed up a pretty hefty raise (even over what my current job pays) simply because the position wasn't in line with my long-term goals or interests. I think that's probably pretty parallel to your situation: no one is going to blame you for wanting to leave your "Pam from The Office" phase behind you, so going forward, it should be easy to justify. Dealing with the boss could be more difficult. When I left my job, all my friends and closer associates were very happy for me; the company president was disappointed that I left, and that was difficult because when I gave my two weeks' notice, upper management stopped coming to me for help, so I felt like a lame duck. I think the best way to handle it is just to be very cordial and highlight the good things you have gotten from your experience in your position, even if on the whole you hated it. I loved the people, hated the work, but wrote a farewell note to the company announcing my departure that still mentioned that I'd miss them, they could get in touch with me here, I'm so glad I worked with them for the past year, yada yada.

You'll be fine. And good luck! Hope CA is still treating you well. It's been a long time since I saw you. :)