Monday, October 07, 2013

the one where I quit my (seemingly) great job and start something new

Lately, my favorite routine is coming home from work and baking while I listen to Welcome to Night Vale. It's not something I planned. I don't do it every day, or even every week. Just whenever I feel like it.

It's new. I like it.

***

About a month ago, I left my old job. The next day, I went to Myrtle Beach with Joe's family, and, when I got back, I started a new job. So. You know. Things have been a bit crazy around here. My new job is completely different from anything I've done in the past. There's office work, sure, but I have a much more active role in daily goings on at the company. I love it, of course, but it's taken some getting used to. My schedule is completely different, so my body is tired and my brain is confused. But it's been perfect, really. Exactly what I needed.

The job I used to have wasn't terrible or anything, but I couldn't wait to leave it. I worked for an arts non-profit, located downtown, and I worked in a beautiful building with great people. But I didn't get to do any of the fun stuff. I didn't get to interact with the public when they came to shows, see how excited they were. I didn't get to talk up any of the upcoming shows, unless I happened to be at a career fair, because I was in HR.

HR never really gets to do any of the fun stuff. HR is behind the scenes, which I actually prefer, but sometimes you just want to DO, you know? Don't get me wrong, it's important to have an HR department. (Just trust me on this, naysayers.) But I didn't want to be part of it anymore.

***

I went to the annual SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management) conference back in June. It's the largest HR conference IN THE WORLD, boasting something like 28,000 attendees, and all of them were extremely passionate about HR.

All except me, it seemed.

Every morning, there was a keynote speaker. The first day it was Hilary Clinton, the one speaker I was actually excited about, but we missed it because our flight got in too late. The second day was Blake Mycoskie, the creator of TOMS shoes. The last speaker was Mark Kelly, with a special appearance by Gabby Giffords (and holy shit was that something).

It was the third day, the day of some speaker I don't even remember, that I had a bit of a breakdown. An existential crisis, if you will. I got up at one point to use the bathroom and, rather than try and find my seat again in the cavernous auditorium, I sat on the floor in the back, leaned against the wall, and tried to pay attention.

It was then, in the midst of thousands of people clapping for "strategic thinking," and "game-changers" and [insert other annoying buzzwords here] that I thought, "What the hell am I doing here?" How could all of these people bring themselves to care about this shit, let alone at 8:30 in the morning?

But I sat there, almost in tears, wondering how in the world I'd ended up in this place, and sent desperate texts to Joe.

Yes, you could say I was being a bit overdramatic.

***

This epiphany or whatever you want to call it made me start to think about what I wanted. And then later, on the way home, there was an incident, one in which my boss said some, just, unbelievably rude and crazy things to me (this was not outside the norm of her behavior), that just about broke me (straw, camel's back, all that). I fumed the entire way home and practically ran out of the airport once we landed. I went into work the next day ready to turn in my notice. It was crazy, and irresponsible, and obviously I didn't do it, but I really, really wanted to. I've never come close to doing anything so irresponsible.

Instead, I started applying for jobs. Which is as equally frustrating and soul-crushing as is going to a job day after day that you hate. I found myself applying for HR jobs, because that's what I'm qualified for, with a sense of resignation. I wondered why I would want to leave a company I liked just to work another HR job. I wondered what the other options were.

***

Lo! But behold, a shining light in the distance, brought to me by the magic of social media! Someone on Facebook posted a job for an Adoption Counselor at a nearby animal shelter. This person would get to work with animals and make sure they found good homes. Puppies! Kittens! YOU GUYS.

"Shit," I thought. "I'd better apply for this."

So I did. And I interviewed. And I got it.

It's part-time. It doesn't pay as well as my old job. But I love going into work. I love it. I don't come home hating myself and the world. I don't cringe every time I open my work email or get a text from my new boss. No one snaps at me or assumes I'm an idiot or micromanages everything I do. People trust me. It's magical! I'm happier (ask Joe), so much happier that I can't believe I wasted so much time being unhappy in my old job.

SPEAKING of Joe, this is really all thanks to him. I was unsure about taking this job, being part-time and less pay, but he was adamant. He pushed me, in a kind way, into being brave and trying something new. This is what he does. That's why he's the best. 

I don't know where this new path will lead. Maybe I'll work with animals forever in some way. Maybe this is just a thing I'll do for a while. Maybe (HOPEFULLY) I'll use more of my free time to write and be able to make that into something. WHO KNOWS. I don't. And for a person who plans EVERYTHING, including their own free time, that is a pretty big fucking deal.

27 comments:

  1. Wow! Good for you, Jennie! I'm glad you're doing something you really enjoy now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! It's been really fun so far.

      Delete
  2. You truly are an inspiration. Thanks. There is no reason to stay in a job you hate. Please remind me I said that in a few weeks. You figured out what you didn't want to do and opened yourself up to other possibilities. There is nothing irresponsible about that. We all have the right to be happy. I'm glad you are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you considering a move, Rick? (Like a writing move? Hint hint...hee.)

      Delete
  3. What a super, amazing, awesome, big fucking deal! I think that's wonderful, that you've found a place that makes you happy and a job that makes you smile. And that you have Joe to help you get there and enjoy it! (Just as a long, rambly aside: As one of the last single people in my social circle, I'm always impressed by the relationships that make it, and curious as to why;what makes the couples that seem happiest, happy? Having a partner who pushes you to do scary things in the most supportive way possible seems like one of those essential elements, even if you kind of wish they'd shut their trap. So I'm glad you've both got that, and I hope you recognized how lucky you are. End philosophical rant. Recommence joyous celebration re: new job) May this job give you all the happy puppy/kitten thoughts you require and plenty of rambly writing time of your own!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!

      You know, even though I'm married, I still wonder what it is that keeps some people together. I think it's one of those mysterious things maybe we're not meant to completely understand? But I do think that forcing the other person to be brave or do something that's going to be good for them is part of it. (Joe is much better at this than I am, because I just get mean and bossy and "why won't you just do what I say already?")

      Delete
    2. I'm pretty heavily medicated, too, so that helps.

      Delete
  4. Huzzah! I'm so happy you landed someplace you're excited about and glad that you had Joe to help nudge you in into taking the leap. I'm a firm believer that it's totally okay, even if you're good at something, to accept that it's time to move on and find something new to be excited about, to learn and to grow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you thank you! I really appreciate this because I know there are people who just did not understand why I'd leave my secure job to take something completely different. But, you know, I've spent my entire life doing things the way I was "supposed" to and it hasn't really led to the results I was hoping for. So here's hoping trying something new does!

      Delete
  5. So happy for you!! I bet the best part was turning in your notice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No lie, it did feel REALLY good.

      Delete
  6. [This is GOOD]

    So, so, so fucking great! Keep dreaming dreams of the life you wish to live until those dreams become your reality, says I.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like your idea! Thank you for always being so positive. :)

      Delete
  7. Huzzah! I'm so incredibly psyched for you, Jennie. A job you're excited about going to daily is the best sort of job. And the only sort of job, really, in the grand scheme of things. Life's just too damn short for unhappy workplaces, under-appreciation, and micro-managing. Too. Damn. Short. Here's to tiny animals and big, BIG hearts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! also for your overwhelming positivity, always always.

      Delete
  8. This is pretty fabulous. I'm very happy for you. Plus, kitties! And puppies!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SERIOUSLY PUPPIES AND KITTIES! (Also thank you.)

      Delete
  9. This is pretty effing awesome. Soooo soo so psyched for you, Jennie. Here's to wherever it may lead, and doing things that make you happy. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Cheers, whoohoo!

      Delete
  10. Excellent! Here's to happiness - and puppies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Puppies are always awesome.

      Delete
  11. Yay! Jennie, this is awesome! Congrats! It's super inspiring to read too after several horrible weeks with my bitchy boss, and a ramp up in my job search. Speaking of which, I've had some inspiring ideas about writing lately, that I've actually been meaning to freaking email you about so that maybe we can finally have coffee or whatever and discuss our mutual writing futures. :) Soooo...I'll email you back (finally) tomorrow, I swear!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear about your boss. That is seriously the worst, and makes going in to work even harder. I await your email! :)

      Delete
  12. That's awesome, dude. You're my hero.

    Seriously. You are. I can't even imagine leaving the job I'm at right now, even though I don't really like it and I'm wasting my time and energy, because it's safe and secure and I like the people I work with.

    Also, puppies and kitties!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly, had it not been for that one thing, I never would have looked for another job.

      Delete