Two weeks ago, after 13 years of working for the same company (full-time), through three corporate mergers and four major reorganizations, I tendered my resignation. I made an appointment with my boss, walked into his office on a Tuesday afternoon and handed him what might be the easiest letter I’ve ever written.
The letter was easy because the decision was hard. I’ve been thinking about this move for a long time now. My job, although a creative in-house position, just hasn’t been offering me the growth and development I’ve needed. I made the critical mistake of taking a job that offered reasonable pay, the veil of assumed stability, and a benefits package without considering the negative impact of working for an organization, long term, that I really “wasn’t that into”.
I phrase my feelings in the parlance of modern dating because really, your job is a relationship. It’s a relationship you spend a large chunk of your weekly waking hours in. Some of us see our office/cubicle walls far more hour per day than we see our own families. If you take on a client or a job that you really don’t feel that great about, and stay in that “relationship” despite your negative feelings, you work suffers. Even worse, the negativity bleeds over into your personal life and ultimately makes you a miserable person.
I was that miserable person.
So, what’s my plan? I’m going to freelance full-time for now. I have been doing freelance design and illustration on a part-time basis for more than a decade and I’ve been carefully putting in place the foundation of my business for five years.
I don’t have it all figured out. (Who does?) I’m not going to lie to you. But I have faith that it will all work out.
The day I resigned, an afternoon summer storm blew through while I was driving with my daughter. I was still feeling the surreal sensation of taking the giant leap and submitting my letter to my boss. I was talking on the phone to someone about the unfolding events that led to my choice and how I arrived at it and how I feel about it. The entire time, this storm was raging and I was pushing through slowly in my little silver bug.
When I got to my destination, completed my business there and came out, my daughter turned a corner and exclaimed, “Look Mom, an enormous rainbow!” I turned the corner and beheld the image you see above. I can’t tell you the sense of reassurance it gave me. I knew then, everything I had agonized about, worried, feared and doubted, was going to be alright.
“Someday we’ll find it, the Rainbow Connection, the lovers, the dreamers and me.”
If you grew up in the 70s and 80s, you’ll remember that song, sung by Jim Henson’s unforgettable green frog, Kermit. I never got it…until now. I have seen my rainbow.