I am not, by nature, a sharer. This is a strange fact for a person writing a blog but it is true about me nonetheless. By now, if you’ve read my first post or the background information, you know that I lost my job. This is the thing about me people want to know the most about – and so I will oblige.
I had a job. It was a pretty good job – it was in my intended post-graduation field. It paid a living wage. It had a lot of what I was looking for at the time – autonomy, small staff, connection to the public, an opportunity to take ideas and run with them. I was pretty happy, all things considered.
Jobs change, over time, as do people. The hours get longer, the projects get harder, the budgets shrink, the demands increase, and suddenly, the ideal job becomes less and less ideal. As I became more frustrated, my performance suffered. Because my performance suffered, the work environment got more frustrating. Insert vicious circle here.
Then, the day comes. If you have ever been fired from or quit a job before, you know what the day is. You go into a meeting with your boss [and possibly human resources, if you have that sort of thing], you say what you have to say, they say what they need to say, and you walk out of that meeting and go home for good. It’s a jarring experience.
In my circumstance, the parting was mutual but it didn’t make it any easier. I still had to listen as my employer noted the reasons why they felt like it was time for me to go. I had to vocalize my unhappiness, something I rarely do to authority figures. You have to look at your final paycheck and confront the financial realities of what just happened.
One of my readers asked what I did when I left the building. It was honestly a blur. I was dog-sitting for close friends and remember taking the two larger dogs on a walk and crying. I prefer to cry in solitude, if at all. I called my best friend/roommate to inform her that drinking would be necessary. I spent a couple days wallowing, going to happy hour at 3:30 pm and using the dogs as an excuse to avoid sunlight before then. I waited an entire week before I told my parents.
A few days after that, I hit the job search. I polished my resume. I started to telling people, many of whom knew me solely through my professional affiliation, that I had broken off on my own. I developed a new, non-working routine. It took me about two weeks to realize that I was happier than I had been in a year.
Leaving a job is never easy – especially if you don’t have another one waiting for you. For me, though, it was the right thing to do and whenever I start to doubt that [like when my parents ask me how the hunt is going or when I realize my bar fund is dangerously low], I just remember how I felt this time last year and I feel much better.
Want to share a job-leaving experience? Email postcollegiateblog [at] gmail [dotcom] with how it went and you coped!