Yesterday was my last day at the job I’ve had for five years.
It was a scary thing, making the decision to turn in my notice two weeks ago. But it was a decision that had to be made. It was one that my fiance and I had discussed for months, one that I’d fretted about and fussed over.
An important thing I’ve learned over the last year or so is that when a job makes you feel like mine did — irritable, depressed, spending all weekend dreading coming into work on Monday — it’s not worth it. I tortured myself with that job for months, years. I never wanted to become a “subject matter expert” in the type of work I did, and as soon as I was considered that no one would ask anyone else questions or give them issues to solve. While the workload grew at an insane rate, no new employees were hired on to handle it — until it had gotten so completely out of control that there was little hope of us getting ourselves back above water. I grew stressed, got constant tension headaches, cried at work and at home multiple times a week, and felt depressed — literally depressed — every single day I had to be in that office.
And I’ve learned when it gets to that point, it’s time to walk away.
I loved the people I worked with. My coworkers themselves were awesome and funny and good people. I enjoyed the times I got to spend with those people outside of the office, and also the conversations we had during those rare moments. I felt guilty turning in my notice, because I knew that my leaving was only going to put the rest of the team further under — but I had to do it.
And you know what? About an hour after I turned my notice in, once the panic about taking that step had subsided, the weight lifted off my chest, I felt light and happy again for the first time in months. And in that moment, I knew I had made the right choice.
I’m lucky to have a fiance who is so supportive, who encouraged me to look after my health rather than sticking with a job that made me feel so hopeless and stuck.
Now it’s on to new dreams and new paths. I’m going to focus on my writing — something I’ve wanted to be able to make a career out of for most of my life. And, at least in the situation I was in at my now-previous job, that wasn’t something I was able to really do.
So have courage and take the leap. It’s scary, but you’ll know when it’s right.