In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “If You Leave.” Life is a series of beginnings and endings. We leave one job to start another; we quit cities, countries, or continents for a fresh start; we leave lovers and begin new relationships. What was the last thing you contemplated leaving? What were the pros and cons? Have you made up your mind? What will you choose?
The most recent decision I made about “leaving” was taking a new job in Austin, TX and giving notice to my current job 40 minutes north of Austin. Deciding to leave a job is something that I have done before, and I left for a better opportunity. I had been a residential case manager for chronically mentally ill adults for three and a half years. I left to become a Juvenile Case Manager with better pay and a chance to build on my experience, and to overcome my burnout. I am leaving my current job working with chronically mentally and medically ill adults to again work with juveniles. I will receive better pay and benefits with new opportunities for training and growth but I am starting over again, and I will be fighting morning traffic. I However, will have three day weekends to recover from my long days! I am happy to be joining a successful, already established program after working with back-to-back new programs, especially one that still has bugs to work out.
I am making a few trade-offs because I miss doing the kind of work I did for seven years. It gave me daily opportunities to help youth and families and give back to the community. I was a positive adult in the lives of many young people, many of whom came from single parent families, low-economic status, and negative brushes with authority. The work was not easy but I liked being able to listen to them, talk with them, and help them set goals while learning from their mistakes. I welcome the daily opportunities to do this again. I know that the new job and my former youth job will be different in many ways but I am hoping to be inspired again. I considered the commute, leaving the team short-handed and how important a pay increase is. There is no room for advancement and only small incremental raises, and no longer felt that my current job and I are the best fit for each other. I hope the best for the team I am leaving and I am grateful to have gotten a job after moving to a new place two years ago, but… it’s time to move on, just as it was time to move to a new place and a new life.
I believe that you sometimes need to make a change, or many changes, to be happy, to feel inspired, or to be appreciated. There are times when you do what you can until you can do what you really want to do. I think that you have to realize that life goes on with or without you, whether at work, at school, or in your community, and that everyone leaves to start over at some point. Maybe it’s your turn today, and tomorrow will be theirs. It is hard to feel like you are leaving people behind, but you have to do what you feel is best!
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