the past two weeks have brought the promise of some big changes that will finally start tomorrow. two weeks ago, after much consternation, a lot of crying, and a lot of missed sleep, i informed my work that i would be stepping down from my position to a lower position. while i immediately felt relief from what had become a near constant state of anxiety and stress due to an extreme degree of job dissatisfaction, i still had to spend the past two weeks in my position until the end of the pay period before i could transition to a new role and new location.
i stepped away from a job with a lot of responsibilities to a position that is almost half the hours, half the pay, and none of the responsibility. i am back to being the low man on the totem pole which, for right now, is ok with me.
making the ultimate decision to step down left with me with a doubts and fears about myself. there are hundreds of other people where i work who have the same job i just gave up, a management role, and who do it for months, years, without incurring nearly the same amount of stress and anxiety that i felt doing my job. (obviously i cannot know this for sure). every time we would get together for our district-wide meetings, i couldn’t believe that these people with the same job as myself, my peers, could be so upbeat about their jobs, could be thinking of new ideas to propel business forward, could be talking about all the various tasks they were taking on in their locations.
stepping down felt like a failure, because i am the only one who has done it. other people in my position have left the company to work for different companies, probably with similar roles and responsibilities. but i’m still here, just not where i was. i felt like a failure because it made me think that i couldn’t hack it, that i couldn’t perform my job at an acceptable level, that i was a pretender and had never deserved to be promoted. i felt like i wasn’t up to the task of being managerial and taking on so many responsibilities. i felt dumb, stupid, lazy.
(as jess lively would say, this was my ego talking.)
for a long time now, i have known that i am not passionate about the work i am doing. i have seen the place that i work as just a job and nothing more. when i am uninterested and uninspired, i lose my drive. i need to be challenged; i need to be motivated. i am challenged and motivated by passion and by interest. part of my job was to develop and inspire the people who were under me, and i was repeatedly told that part of my manager’s job was to develop and inspire me. the second part never came to fruition, and that proved to be a deal breaker for me in the end.
i need to find a job that i am genuinely interested in, a job that motivates me, a job that is a career. i have some other requirements as well. i would like to split my work time between independent projects and group collaborations, to have my own desk, to be able to wear my hair down and dress more professionally, to have a more regular and set schedule. mostly i want a job that keeps me engaged. unfortunately, it took me way too long to realize that i had outgrown my current position and that it was time to move on to bigger and better paths that are more suited to my talents and abilities.
i have come to believe that stepping down from my position does not constitute failure. it does not mean that i am not a leader that i cannot be an effective leader or that i do not posses the qualities of a good leader. it just means that in that position, with that company, it was not the right fit for me. by taking a step back i am able to re-evaluate without completely losing financial stability. i have also found a path i want to pursue, and i am planning on returning to school to get a certificate for my new choice.
i look forward to the peace that i will be afforded starting tomorrow, the unburdening of my responsibilities. i get to focus on what is definitely the best part about where i work, and i don’t have to take any baggage with me when i leave for the day. i get to focus more on myself, on my future career, on my hobbies, my friends, my boyfriend. i get to focus more on developing myself as a writer. i feel a wave of calmness wash over me when i think about the coming weeks and months. i feel myself saying that even though the immediate future will be hard, it will be ok.