I did something completely out of character last week. After over twenty years in one place, I quit my job. Are you freaking out on my behalf? I'm certainly freaking out about it. It's a big, huge step, this quitting of a job. A job is a relationship, and here I am breaking up. One can only put up with so many times of leaving the seat up, of dirty socks on the floor, and empty milk cartons left in the fridge. It was time to clear out the mess.
Women tend to nest in their jobs. We bring in family pictures, lamps, favorite paintings, pillows, and other comfort items to home up the place. We make friends with our co-workers, since we are going to be seeing them almost as often as our own families. We create our area, our safe zone, and then we venture out to check out the rest of the company we will be keeping. In my case, that would be principals, counselors, and teachers, among others. I've met many exciting, smart, and interesting people over the years. People who were excited about working with kids, people who treasured each step that each student made toward grasping a concept. I've worked with many dedicated parents, parents who were very interested in helping their children and working with the school. We all did a lot of great things. Working with those people, and the students, made working a joy, not a job. My nest was feathered nicely next to a sunny window. Life was good.
Over the past few years, however, the job stopped being fun. It stopped being interesting. No matter what I did, it was never enough. If I did what I was supposed to do, more work was piled on. If I didn't do what I was supposed to do because I had too much, I was chastised, told to work harder, or written up. My nest became black with anger and other negative emotions. It wasn't even really worth it to make friends with new coworkers, because they left as soon as they realized what a hostile environment they were in. I'm sure that my situation isn't that much different from many other women out there, who felt stuck like me. Since I was being treated so poorly, I started feeling less than. It seemed as though I had left a part of my self-confidence on a park bench next to a sleeping hobo, and I had no idea where to find him. I knew that if I didn't change something, I would become completely burnt out.
The song goes, "If you're tired of the same old story, turn some pages." I decided to change the book completely. I applied to work in another district, and they were gracious enough to offer me a job last week. I tendered my resignation the same day I accepted my new job.
Am I scared? Hell yes. I will have a whole lot of new things to learn, new policies and procedures, new faces, new names. But I will learn. I am older, but I'm not an idiot. I am not less than, I am more than enough. As for my self-confidence, it's amazing what a new job can do for a person's self-image. I feel as though I've been away from myself for too long. It's good to be back.