Confessions of a Great Resigner (The Great Resignation - Part 2)
In part 1 of this series (https://www.withleadership.co/post/the-great-resignation-lack-of-leadership-part-1), we talked about one reason fueling The Great Resignation being leadership refusing to take stock of innovations caused by Covid-19 and incorporating appropriate levels of flexibility.
For those of you who follow WITH LEADERSHIP, you recognize it has been four months since part 1. It is definitely time for a part 2.
The main reason part 2 hasn’t been posted is because what was prepared was not what needed to be shared.
A lot has happened in the last four months.
My world now has a different perspective.
In truth, since part 1, I have joined the ranks of the millions who have submitted a resignation letter.
I’m a “Great Resigner” - and it is confession time.
Deciding to leave a job - especially one that has been an integral part of my daily life for many years - is highly emotional and challenging. Some may make the decision lightly, but I could not.
My primary reason for resigning? Working a full-time job that required my best energy, while not providing enough benefit in return, did not align with my priorities.
Before March of 2020, I believed the hustle and bustle of early mornings, late evenings, traffic-filled commutes, and seeing my family for a few hours a day was the best life available.
Then COVID-19 hit. The hustle and bustle slowed WAY down. The early mornings were now filled with activities to ground and grow myself. The commute consisted of turning on my computer; no more battling 30-45 minutes of Southern California traffic. Lunches were spent with my most favorite people in the world, and often involved picnics in the backyard. The evenings were no longer late, as my commute was over when my office door closed behind me.
I began to feel more aligned.
Then life began to pick back up. I felt the angst increase. I no longer felt aligned as I spent less and less time with my family.
Did I enjoy my job? Yes. Did it allow me to be the person I know I wanted to be and my family needed me to be? No.
This cognitive dissonance brought hours and days of turmoil. I gained what I call the “Decision-15” as I ate my way through the emotional roller coaster of recognizing this was the best choice.
The power of stasis is captivating, yet even the fear of change could not assuage the knowledge I needed to make a change.
I planned and shaped the decision with my husband, put important steps in place (like looking hard at finances and making informed decisions), and submitted my resignation letter.
Submitting a resignation letter is hard. It requires vulnerability and courage.
I’m not going to pretend the emotions end when the letter has been slid across the table and the announcement made that you’re leaving. In fact, in some ways, they intensify.
Now others have the opportunity to weigh in on what used to be private emotions. They can give faces of disapproval and confusion over leaving something that has defined me for decades; they can fret over the imagined difficulty ahead of life without a full-time job; they can share smiles of pride over what they agree is the best choice; they can be indifferent and offer nothing, which stings in its own right.
In short, the emotions that were previously internal and only shared with my husband are now out for the world to categorize and judge, welcomed or not.
My tissue box took up permanent residence on my desk. Every day was intense, as I wound down from what I’d known and ramped up for the unknown.
I am now officially no longer employed by an external organization in a full-time capacity.
And I have to tell you, as much as I am scared for the unknown, I’m excited for the possibilities.
And, most importantly, I am aligned with my priorities.
For the record, I am keenly aware that my ability to leave a full-time job is not an option for many. For the sole breadwinner, The Great Resignation may look quite different. The issue is, for many, it must be different to create alignment and reduce dissonance.
As a participant in The Great Resignation, I can attest that the movement of people between and out of organizations speaks to courage in choosing hard change to align values and behaviors.
The Great Resignation is a pressure release catalyst to align priorities with reality.
What used to be is no longer enough.
I am actively cheering for those who do the work of self-awareness, seek to understand priorities, make hard decisions, and have the courage to follow through.
This is “Great Resigner” number 87,359,988 - over and out until next time.
Now onto being WITH.