Time to transition…

Today was my last day at work. I have been preparing for a week now, getting rid of old papers, neatening up my cubicle, and making sure I have all of my uniforms and other bits and pieces to return. It seems like I have been leaving for quite awhile but it’s really just two weeks since I gave my notice.

courtesy of palomaironique/Clip Art
Courtesy of palomaironique/Clip Art

I have been wearing “real” clothes for the past three days and mostly staying in the office to finish documentation and make a few notification phone calls. I was blown away by the kind words from clients, some of whom I have worked with for the better part of a year. One in particular called me today to talk one last time… she was my favorite, though you are never supposed to say that. She is a disabled women in her 60’s with a big smile and a warm spirit. She told me that I was a great worker and that people like me move up on move on within her company or get better positions elsewhere, and that employers expect that. Oddly enough, I was contact about the position I recently accepted with another agency but which I applied and interviewed for a few months ago. While I feel a bit sad that she will no longer be my client, I learned from her never give up attitude and feel better knowing that someone I helped is truly happy for me. We touched each others lives, and I will remember her always.

Courtesy of GDJ/Clip Art
Courtesy of GDJ/Clip Art

I feel like I am going in the right direction and I am happy to have tied up my loose ends in a professional manner. While I feel that my now former agency could do a few things different, I realize that there are things I could have done differently, too. I could have been a bit more willing to see others point of view, and I could have spoken up regarding issues with direct co-workers. I later found out that a specific person who was repeatedly bossy and rude to me was triangulating people in our program and was feeding information to the boss which made her look good and others, including me bad. This person was, ultimately a bully, and I was happy to gently mention the person (without the name but the boss will be able to figure it out) in an employment exit questionnaire. I feel good about how things were left with me, the management and everyone but the nameless person, who is on leave. I will reach out periodically, partially to keep in touch and partially because you never know when you need a contact, or a reference, or what life will throw your way. I am looking forward to my new job, which I start in a week and a half, and to my mini-break. NYC, here I come!

If you leave… I will be soon.

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. 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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