Friday, December 18, 2015

Quit My Job

Well, a lot has happened since my last post in April. I took that walk on the beach to heart! I got fed up with my own complaining and complacency. I realized that God wasn't going to hand me a new life on a platter - I needed to take steps to get out of my rut. So, I flipped open my calendar, picked a random day in November, and wrote "Quit My Job."

The beast in my life was my job. I got to the point where I dreaded mornings. I didn't want to face the same challenges I had been facing for the last 15 years. The company I worked for had no resemblance to the company I started with over a decade earlier. The mismanagement at the top was wrecking havoc on my ability to make a living. I was stressed to the point of being riddled with anxiety. My kids were getting my worst instead of my best. My husband got the worst of the worst of me. I was always crying about my job or angry about it. I was a mess.

So, three simple words - "Quit My Job" - began to make things unfold for me. I updated my resume and researched job sites and watched the days tick by. In August, I applied for a promotion with the company I was employed. Almost immediately after that, I was contacted my a recruiter about a position open in a different segment of the educational publishing industry.

I  blew off the recruiter. I had my plan. I was going to get promoted. I was going to make a change but stay with the security of the same company. A change - but not a scary leap of faith.

The recruiter was relentless though. After weeks of wearing me down I finally agreed to interview with the new company's Vice President of Sales. My thought was that I would get this shelved and done so I could pursue my own plan. My own plan had me interviewing with people I knew and feverishly working on an eight-page project that I would present to the hiring committee in the weeks to come.

The day came for me to meet with the VP. I was no slouch. Even though I expected to be unimpressed, I dressed nice and arrived early. As soon as I arrived at the hotel lobby the VP text messaged me that he could meet me as soon as I arrived. He had a no-show and was free. So, I walked up to the meeting room and meet the man that would unhinge my perfectly plotted plan.

My interview lasted over two hours. The Human Resource Director arrived late but by the time she arrived I was committed to getting this position. I was excited! I didn't realized there were jobs out there like this! I felt good as we shook hands good-bye. Before I left, I hesitated. I said, "Just to be completely square with you. I have applied for a promotion with the company I work for. I will be meeting with them in Cincinnati soon for the final interview." The Human Resource Director let me know they would not make a final decision on next steps for at least a week so we'd have to see how the timing worked out.

I continued to prep for my promotion interview while hoping for a call to come through from the new company. And then it happened. I had a WebEx interview with the company owner. It was dreadful. She was late, the connection was bad, it ended abruptly. Then the line went dead. I heard no more from the VP. I reached out to him, reminding him of my approaching meeting in Cincinnati, and received no response. I was sure that WebEx had sealed my fate.

I went forward with Cincinnati. I caught a 6am flight and arrived in the late afternoon. I was presenting at 9am the next day. I had my resume in hand. I had created a Padlet Board - which is a totally cool online posting tool. I posted all relevant documents and my sweet project for the committee to have before the interview.

At 8:45am the next morning, I walked into the hotel conference room, ready to seal the deal on my new position. We began at promptly 9am with my presentation. As I presented, something happened. I looked around the table and thought, "I don't want to work with you people." I honestly had a growing pit in my stomach like I was about to make a huge mistake. After my presentation, I pulled out my wonder project expecting to be asked questions about my reasoning, my ideas, my plans. They asked not one thing about the eight pages I had labored over. The eight pages reviewed by my manager, my previous manager, my colleague with a similar role as this promotion. They asked me flimsy, situational questions. Then, at 9:45am they shut it down. The next candidate was on her way in. I was deflated. I had flown across the country for a 45 minute conversation?

I slumped up to my room with a whole day ahead of me until my flight left. I called my husband and told him the story and then I sat, in a stupor, in a stodgy chair in my room. My phone rang and caller ID showed the name of the VP I had long since dismissed.


"Hey Jen! Are you in Cincinnati?"


"Did you present? Do you have a offer from them?"

"I did present. I don't have an offer. I feel confident I will get one though."

"Well, how do you feel about it? Do you think it's a position you want?"

I was confused by his questioning but answered, "Actually, I know it is a position I don't want. I honestly am not sure what I am going to do."

"Well, if you are open to it, I would like to extend an offer to you."

"What? Are you serious?"

"Yes. I am quite serious. I wanted you to go through the process with your company so you would never have regrets or questions if you decided to leave. I knew it was a risk - I could lose you, but I wanted you to be sure."

And, that is how I came to work for a stand-up guy at an awesome company. I resigned from my my old company before the could offer me the promotion or deny it to me. I left in October. Unfortunately, my stand-up boss left the new company in November. It is OK though. I am here and I am paving a new way. I may not stay here, but I am growing here. My life is better. My future is brighter. I am not afraid anymore.

I read that mother hawks make their nest so comfortable for their newly hatched babies. They find cotton and string and make a cozy little home. As the babies grow, the mother hawks starts to remove the comforts. She takes away the soft cotton and the soon the growing babies are on hard uncomfortable sticks. The nest becomes something they want to leave.

I feel that way about my old company. I wanted to leave but I was terrified. Yet, it became so uncomfortable it was unbearable. It got to the point where, even looking at a future there, made me uncomfortable. It took a lot to get me to move. Had I not gone to Cincinnati, I might have ultimately stayed even if I received an offer from the new company. It was safe. It was the known. I believe God orchestrated the events with the players he did to clearly show me what I needed to do..."Quit My Job."

It hasn't been easier starting a new career after 15 years in my comfort zone. But it is exciting. My mood is lighter. My kids get the best of me again. "Quit My Job" was my admission to the problem area in my life. Once I accepted that as true, everything started to evolve. I am exceedingly thankful! I did indeed "Quit My Job" and it was one of the best things to ever happen to me!