Thursday, August 11, 2016

Things I Didn't Expect About Quitting a Job

For the first time in my life I quit my job. I've had a few jobs since I turned working age but most of them had an end date in sight: retail for the holiday season, summer student positions, an internship, contracts positions.

I had been at my job for almost two years and it was time to move on. My hours had been cut and I was forced to work two jobs to get full time hours. I was working an afternoon shift that left never seeing the family I live with, yet alone having the opportunity for a social life. I was barely getting paid more than minimum wage. I was generally unhappy with my job tasks and had reached the point that I was unchallenged and no longer had anything new to learn. This job took a huge toll on my mental health and after consulting a few people I trusted deeply, I knew it was time to leave. Upon hearing this, my second job offered me full time hours and I accepted. I liked the environment, I was still learning, and I was being paid a more livable wage.

I took the plunge on a Tuesday afternoon, right as my shift began, and walked into my boss's office to tell her I would be leaving in two weeks. I wish I had known what would happen after that. Maybe my delivery would have been different, or at least I would have been prepared, but I want to share what I learned in the short time that followed my resignation.

1) Your boss might not take it well. 
To be fair, my boss and I were fairly close. I confided in my boss many personal things and we had a personal relationship outside of the office, but we were not friends prior to me taking the job. When I told her I was leaving she accused me of betraying her, using her to get my second job (when she cut my hours she led me to the second one), told me I had no morals, respect, or consideration for other people. She even asked me if it was because I was closer to the girl I work with at the second job. She took it extremely personally and let the line between personal and professional blur.

2) You might cry (but probably not, I'm just very sensitive and emotive). 
I prepared myself and ran through potential dialogue in my head but nothing compared to the attack on my character I endured. I was able to quit and lay out my reasons without a tear, but being accused of being someone I knew I wasn't really hurt me.

3) Telling people you work with that you're leaving is weird. 
After the encounter with my boss I told very few people. I told my closest co-worker, and someone else in the building that I had talked to about how unhappy I was with my job. From there I let my boss break the news to most people the way she wanted. I was no longer going to be working there so if she wanted to tarnish my name there was no point in fighting it.

4) Do not wait until the last day to clean out your desk. 
 After hearing how my boss handled my resignation, someone half-joked I should have my lunch-bag ready to go. I took this advice seriously and cleaned out my desk. I took my snack-stash home and cleaned up my files and computer to make sure I wouldn't leave anything personal behind. I was fairly safe but on my second last day, as I had literally one minute left to my shift, my boss told me I didn't have to come in the following day because she had my shift covered. While she didn't say it, I felt it was implied to not come in versus the "didn't have to."

As much as this experience downright sucked I feel that in just two weeks I have grown to be a stronger person. If/when the situation arises for me to move onto the next big thing, nothing will compare to what I went through. But if it does, I know who I am, what I stand for, and that is enough.

Have you had any horror experiences quitting a job? 
What is your stance on personal relationships in the workplace? 

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