I have been trying to write this post since May 31. I have written it nine different times in my mind and never put it on paper. This because it is so difficult to express, it is so hard to explain, it is so emotional that I still haven’t come to grips with it. Yet it is easy to say – I left the job I loved and devoted my all to. I resigned from the company I believed in, and that I thought I was going to grow and retire at. Why? This is the difficult part! Why so difficult? Because of my dream, because of the people and above all because of what Dr. Marla Gottschalk calls Psychological Contract.
In 2011 I was hired onto a completely new field, for a company I knew nothing about or working with people completely different than I. After initial clashes, great friendships were made. A mentorship developed and a new career began. I loved it and still love it!
But after two years the career path remained undefined, the compensation below expectations, and the amount of work continuously increasing. But the engagement remain the same. The effort to leave people better than I found them was much higher than making money or growing in my career.
So what made me leave? One thing – my potential. I got so comfortable that I stopped developing my skills, I got so busy I couldn’t even study for a certification exam. But my friends could always see my potential and they kept pushing, but my friends don’t pay my bills!!!
I decided I was going to make my employer see more of my potential, they said they did, but it took long for them to demonstrate it, and after much pushing and practically begging I was given a choice: start a new position, but continue also performing the duties of the previous, and get a reasonable pay raise. Why not accept it?
Because of that breached psychological contract . How difficult! The awesome work atmosphere. The enjoyment of ones duty. The flexibility. The family oriented and so understanding team. Would I be able to find it again? Was I ungrateful for all they did for me? Was I weak? Was I a quitter?
So many things went through my mind but three things stuck out:
1. I never started a project I didn’t have in mind to finish. The new position was interesting. But if I continued to struggle I would have to continue searching for jobs, once one found I would leave. I did not want to start a project I wasn’t going to complete.
2. Did I really think I could grow in that company? How long would that growth take? I kept seeing my co-workers and i wasn’t impress! if you did not make part of operations you were screwed! puff to HR becoming a strategic partner, pretty on paper, tougher to become action. HR = support services. would I be able to move from support services? Would I be properly compensated?
3. Were my skills fully utilized? Was I fulfilling my purpose on earth?
At peace but fearful, sad but hopeful I left after crying for many days. Often I think about going back, simply for two things – my projects have been completely stopped, this hurts me so much. And there I had the comfort of a regular paycheck, insurance and great leadership. But when I think about going back an old co-worker quits, another complains, another is fired and slowly I am reminded of why I left.
It hasn’t been easy at all, I still want to run and ask my mentor questions and opinions, I still want to help “my guys” as I used to call them. I want to feel the comradery and work together towards a purpose, core values and goals I strongly believed in.
But I left, and I must turn the page for a next chapter.