It’s been a while, but I think that I’ll be blogging my thoughts more frequently in the coming weeks. I’m certainly going to have more time.
I’m currently in the twilight of my current employment. Actually that’s a slight misnomer, if the life of a job is a day I’m actually sitting in a late night dinner sipping coffee and watching the waitress put the chairs on the tables. The clock reads 11.50pm.
I’ve been with my outgoing employer for 4.5 years, and that seems a more than reasonable time to move on to try something knew. While I’ve had a couple of different roles within the organisation during this time, I will confess that my heart’s gone out of the whole experience now. Which is why I’ve taken this decision to jump, eyes open, with both feet.
People have been asking me for weeks (months!) how much longer I have to go. What’s been interesting is some of the people speaking to me have been folks I’ve barely exchanged a few words with in my time here; more’s the pity. Does seem a shame that I’ve come to know some of my co-workers here all the better for the fact that I’m leaving. Maybe it’s an element of catharsis for them; maybe they long to leave themselves but whatever reasons they can’t. And thus they can experience through my departure on my own terms, feet first, a measure of that satisfaction they crave themselves.
Or perhaps they’re just passing the time of day. Could just as easily be that.
(The waitress just stared wiping the counter down. Long, methodical strokes. Like she’s trying to tell me something)
There are some odd feelings about this whole process. 3 months notice period is just far, far too long a time. It’s one of the reasons I’ve had to quit my role on my terms rather than stay on longer and see what pans out from our grand reorganisation. There are certainly some green shoots I’m leaving behind rather than scorched earth, and while it might not have been quite my cup of tea doubtless I would have swiftly found my feet and made the most of it. But on past experiences I’d decided to get while the getting was still good.
But having made the decision, gone through the interview with the boss following my resignation, I was just ready to get on with the rest of my life. Now in the twilight days I’m really more than ready to depart. Although I will, it is true to say, miss more than a few people I currently see on a daily basis. I’m not one of those people who leave an organisation and then keeps popping my head around the door every few weeks. Where I am now there seems to be a lot of people who do that, and I confess it always makes me a little uncomfortable. Move on people, that phase of life is done, embrace the new, the unknown, the scary.
Ah, that might be why they do seek the comfort of the familiar. I suspect I might pop back once, maybe at most twice, but chances are for 90% of the folks I’ve worked alongside this coming week will be the last time I’ll ever see them.
(The waitress is looking pointedly at her own watch now, and across to me, I think maybe she wants me to pack up and go home. Sorry love, two more days of this to go; or 10 minutes your time before my bus comes.)
There are the scary feelings about what I’ll do next, and if I’ll ever work in the same kind of environment again. Actually, scratch that – I never want to work in exactly the same sort of environment again, that would rather defeat one of the major reasons for making the clean break. But in terms of what I do next, I hope it’s challenging, engaging, stimulating and above all different. I’m not someone who relishes the routine, the mundane, the prescriptive – I’m ready for those fresh verdant fields that I’m sure must be just over the next hillside.
Which explains why I end up walking a bit too far cross-country at weekends. I always want to know what’s just over the next hill. Yoda would tell me, I’d make a terrible Jedi.
I am though looking forward to rediscovering the delights of my own house. Of not having to rush meal preparation. To working on the various building and renovation projects. I’ve a number of courses I’m looking at to acquire some more practical skills too, butchery, DIY, more project management.
Stop sniggering at the back, project management is practical!
I had given some thought to moving into consultancy or taking on some short term contract work, but I confess to date these have been little more than speculative thoughts. I hope I’ll have time to explore some of these options, as I’ve now accumulated a lot of experience and knowledge that I’m sure some organisation somewhere will value. Or maybe I’m fooling myself, I’m really not so sure – my CV looks impressive but there are moments when I question if it’s really me that’s accomplished all that. Oh dear, self-doubt – that’ll never doo in the twilight café!
I think what I’m most sorry to leave behind is the running of organisations like FIL and UKCoRR. I love working with dedicated professional people on the national stage. I’ve always been one of life’s perennial organisers and committee people throughout my life, so perhaps that’s why I took to these roles like a duck to water. That and the chance to work with the fabulous people who run them too. Of my experiences with the Organisation That Shall Not Be Named I’ll draw a discrete veil over; I try not to let that one sour my outlook.
And so as the waitress slouches past with her broom, bashing deliverability now on the legs of my stool I better take the hint and wrap this up. After all there are just a few minutes left before this job-café closes for good.