Last year, the client I had been working for as a contractor decided to go with another company for their outsourced work.
I was really burned out and disappointed. Not just because this thing I was working on for 12 years was falling apart, but also the way it was happening, the effect it had on everyone, and that no matter what I did- I all I could do was watch it all get worse. I witnessed my parents getting divorced. And it stays with you. You start to get a little gun-shy about wanting to stay in a room where relationships are falling apart.
The obvious answer is, of course, to leave that room. Fleetwood Mac continued to operate ten years after Rumours happened by avoiding each other as much as possible; separate buses, solo albums, remote recording. But because this was all happening within my workspace, there was no other place for me to go. On reflection, maybe I should have had a rider.
The working environment had become rather toxic- but as long the trains were running on time, the remaining management felt the time and effort to invest to rectify the employee morale issues with any remaining team members could be better spent by the incoming provider-should they decide to keep anyone.
So to me, this felt like as a good time as any to make a break from my employer and maybe find something with a better working environment and at least a passing concern for my well being. This was also the advice I was getting from all corners; the situation is making you miserable, and if the situation is not going to be fixed you should get out of it before it gets worse.
So I made preparations to get out- I made sure I had enough living expenses to be out of work for a while. As part of that planning, I had also decided I needed some time to morn my old job. So within my savings, I created a pocket of ‘not even worrying about it’ time- so I could let this chunk of my life go and move on to the next thing. I was really lucky that I had built up enough savings and investments to be able to do that. And then, once those preparations were made- I did it as softly as I could. But, to everyone’s relief, I got out.
And-right on plan- I took an honest vacation. I went to a few cons without having to bookend it between work crisies. I took my first airplane trip when I went to Chicago. I went to the Blackhawks season opener at United Center. I ate really good donuts. it was great.
And then, in the spirit of self care, I scheduled all the doctor’s appointments I had been letting go because I had been unable to take the time off. I had been sick quite a lot in the last year, and wanted to make sure it was nothing serious. They did find a few minor things- all of which were completely treatable, but required additional doctor’s visits (and two more months of being sick) to right the ship and get everything under control.
Job searching requires you to be the best version of yourself all of the time, so that you can then present that best version of yourself to employers- so that they, in turn, will decide you are the missing element they are looking for and will gladly pay you the above minimum wage rate you (and your creditors) are asking for.
Your confidence in yourself needs to be high, meanwhile you are constantly dealing with rejection. It requires a lot of energy. And it was something I couldn’t really do while I was getting used to a medication routine. All of which meant I wasn’t fully into the next job search until January, which was a little later than I had planned.
And it’s where I’m stuck at now. The Job Search. Where everyone is judging you primarily based on how well they like your summation of yourself. And when I say ‘everyone’, I really mean the automated screeners that are initially judging you. Then, assuming make the screener cut- real live people get to judge you. Maybe. And all that judging and not judging takes time.
The savings dwindle down, and your checkbook becomes a ticking clock. It’s pretty stressful, and emotionally draining- thank you for asking. And I’m lucky I could work up the financial cushion and have the spouse-provided health care to be able to deal with all of this, because approaching this not only ill, but unable to pay bills through the process would have been much worse.
However, I am getting rather close to the point where something needs to happen. BUT I don’t want to be stuck having to pick the lesser of some evils, because that feels like failure. I’ve seen people enjoy their jobs-even be happy in them. And I want that. I feel like, after everything, I deserve that. I’m just afraid I’m not going to be able to hold out for the right thing to come along.
So, that’s where I’m at right now. Better, but stressed out. So kind of the usual?