Most every job I have endeavored in was a temporary one. Whether it was a basketball contract in the winter or a waitressing gig in the summer both parties knew that our relationship with each other would come to an end.
It was always sad to leave each one but it was a built in decision that everyone was prepared for.
Now that I am in the real world and supposedly becoming an adult (I’m 28 it’s really about time) I am discovering that it’s not always that easy.
One week ago I gave my two weeks’ notice to one of my current employers. On paper this was a good-paying job, a great entry-level position, and set for long term stability. My boss had given me a chance to learn things that I knew nothing about and he really trusted me. Every day my confidence in the job grew as my knowledge expanded. I even began to think that I could take my career in this sort of direction.
So why the two weeks’?
Well, unfortunately, the office I worked in was a home office; my boss’ home office. I was privy to some private things that I didn’t want to be privy to. His company is his life and he wanted to make it mine. And I, being a very loyal, empathetic, hard-working woman, did everything I could to help him make his business successful because it was my job and because I knew I could do it.
But I didn’t want to. The job spilled outside my office hours and I realized it wasn’t for me. I am a professional woman and didn’t feel that a home office provided that professionalism that I find comfort in.
Regardless, I finally made the decision to part ways with this company and find a new path. The decision wasn’t easy but the hardest part was the worry before the words. It felt like a breakup.
I sought out help in how to do it and felt confident in what I’d say. K, my career mentor, gave me the acronym ‘RISE’ that helped me target my words and body language.
R: Relax, you know what to do.
I: Insulate yourself. Create a bubble around you in which only your words come out and any pleading or words to make you feel guilty can’t come in.
S: See the big picture. At the moment you are telling your boss your decision it’s difficult, but if you see the big picture of your life you’ll know it’s the right thing to do.
E: Empathize. Understand that it’s not an easy thing for your boss to hear and assure him that you really appreciated the time there.
Another thing K said that really helped was to just keep repeating yourself. If your boss wants to argue, just keep telling them what you came to say. Don’t let him make you think about anything else besides the fact that you are giving your professional two weeks’ notice and you need to know what you can do to help them move on without you.
I am currently in the middle of that, helping my boss find a good replacement and training them, so we can part ways smoothly. It’s not the most comfortable position, working with someone you are leaving, but it looks like this is how the job-world works.
The worrying was the hardest part but my boss’ initial reaction was a close second. As a part of “RISE” I had to understand where he was coming from and after a few days he commended me on my professionalism and said he knew I had a good heart and we both were able to wish each other well.
I have learned a lot in this year and a half back in America but there is one thing that keeps on revealing itself to me: there are many things I have been and can be successful in but one has to WANT to be successful in them as well or the motivation to do so will eventually die out.
Knowing this, realizing when that motivation starts to die down and it’s time to move on can be difficult, but in the end, in the big picture, it’s the right thing to do.