Quitting – It’s Been Emotional!

Thanks for the Memories card with colorful background with defoc

Earlier this year I shared a blog by Amy Morin Read Here, called “5 Times Mentally Strong people give themselves permission to quit”. When posting I wrote “Good article to remind us that quitting can be ok for the right reasons. Use your energy and time wisely to get the most from the effort we put into the stuff we do.”

Now to be honest, I shared the blog without ever having quit! Therefore, I was assuming you need to be 5 times mentally as strong, but I’d never experienced it. I always write my own blogs from personal experience so have obviously never written a blog about quitting. As I’ve always said, I’m a bit of a late bloomer and I don’t actually think I’ve ever been mentally strong enough to quit, I always seem to hang around until I out stay my welcome!

For the first time in my career, I resigned from my current position a few weeks back, I quit, and it was one of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make. I’ve not had many employers in my 30 year career, having been with one company for 17 years and another for 8 years. When I have left a company it’s basically cos they kick me out, redundant being the official term. Now when you’re made redundant, in my experience anyway, your emotions follow the change curve, a model that was originally created by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in 1969 to illustrate how people deal with the news that they have a terminal illness. Obviously I’m not comparing a redundancy to a life threatening event, but the curve is now accepted as a model that we use for any crisis individuals go through. In my experience it is very accurate, with the timeline dependent upon previous experience and how much of a shock the news may have come to you.

However in the past few weeks, after I quit, when I’m actually in control of the process and driving the decision, my emotions have followed a totally different pattern to that of the change curve.

To give you some context, I really liked my current role and company. In fact I loved what I did. Like all companies, not everything was perfect but I had a reasonable boss who had supported me to do my own thing with my office and team to build a successful business in my region. I’ve written numerous blogs documenting what we did and the fun we’ve had building a successful high performing team. Great stuff like hug spots, Lego, pictorial business plans and juggling balls to name a few. Read Here

I put everything I had and know into my role, the team and the office to bring about the huge change that was needed to achieve the success we accomplished, both financially and culturally. It’s been hard work but very rewarding and a huge amount of fun. I was able to bring in a lot of people to the business, people I’d previously worked with and admired. To be honest it’s like coming in and working with your mates every day, the spirit and camaraderie is very special. So I can honestly say with my hand on my heart that to resign was a really tough decision to make.

Sometimes though an opportunity comes along that is just too good to be true. A role that seems like it’s made for you. One that ticks all the boxes of being different, a challenge, a bit scary, fun and downright exciting. Such a role has been offered to me and after lots of discussions, deliberating and thinking plus a lot of soul searching that leaving my team was the right thing to do, I decided to take it.

So I quit. But I believe I’ve quit for the right reasons. As much as it sounds selfish, I quit for me. I quit to pursue a career that I never thought I would ever have the chance to do. I quit to travel more. I quit to broaden my network. I quit to test my resolve. I quit to put myself out of my comfort zone. I quit to join a company with a fascinating vision. A vision which excited every bone in my body, because if we do this right we will be doing something very special in our industry and beyond. I quit because I have a chance to continue to leave a positive legacy through my career.

But with quitting comes emotion, and the biggest emotion I feel right now, with one week left before I leave, is guilt. I feel guilty for leaving my team. I feel guilty for not fulfilling some of the goals I wanted to achieve. I also feel sad, sad to leave an amazing office that I helped build, sad to leave an amazing group of friends and colleagues who I can honestly say it has been an honour to work with. I feel doubt. I’ve questioned that I’m making the right decision to leave a great job and move onto another great opportunity, doubt is niggling away at me as to whether it’s the right decision! I feel pride. Proud to have helped build and work with such an amazing team of people, proud of a kick arse culture we nurtured and proud to hopefully leave an imprint and legacy on the business. Finally, in quiet moments, I feel excited. Excited for what’s to come, for the opportunity I have been given and excited of what I’m going to achieve with another great team and company. And excited about all the new fascinating people I am going to meet.

I don’t know if there is a change curve for quitting, maybe these emotions I’m experiencing are it, but if you know of an example, I’m all ears so please enlighten me. What I do know, is that you do have to be at least 5 times stronger to quit for the right reasons, Amy Morin was right, especially when what you already have is so great. So if you are thinking of quitting for the right reasons, take the leap, have faith in your decision, be true to yourself, take the opportunity and chase your dreams.

On a final note I would like to say Merry Christmas to everyone who follows me and reads my blogs. You all inspire me to keep thinking and writing, so thank you. See you next year.

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