After many months of soul searching and battling with my inner sensibilist I finally decided that I definately wanted to change direction and do ceramics full time- hooray. Then I had to actually tell the world- scary. I made a bargain with myself that as soon as i had actually found a studio i could leave my job. I found a studio 2-3 months ago, but wont be moving in for another month. That gave me a timescale for leaving my job.
I have been working at a great museum, the team are lovely and I didnt want to make things difficult so i decided to stay until the end of the Olympics. The service is in the process of being rescturctured and my job will definately be going, and i have known this for some time. It’s one of the things that encouraged me to take stock of what my real purpose in life is. It’s also been extremely stressful and difficult to deal with as the timescale and outcomes have been very uncertain and as a manager i didnt feel it was appropriate to show my distress at the situation too openly when the team (i felt) needed me to hold it and the team together. So, challenging times. Plus there was the redundancy payment to consider. I’ve been working in local govt for 14 years, so it’s potentially a decent chunk of money. I dithered a lot about the sensible thing being to stay and get hte payout versus the humane thing of not going through the torture and getting on with what i really want to do.
In the end i told my boss that i was planning to leave. He was surprised and finally actually said that he had had me in mind for a new more senior management post, which was nice to hear – though it would have been nicer 6 months ago. He also explained all the many ins and outs of the redundancy process and tried to encourage me to stay on either in one of hte new jobs or at least until he could could get someone else in and we had done a handover. I dont like letting people down so that was all a bit discombobulating and i didnt feel able to resign in that meeting after all.
I went home and thought about it all: i would have to attend go through the formal consultation process and then an interview with people i knew for a job i didnt want and fail to get it, and then go into a pool and resist the council would try to shuffle me sideways into other jobs for another 3 months and only then actually be able to leave with the money – and only get hte additional bonus if they decide i have played nicely… It was all too much and too wierd and nasty and far far to long. So i decided to just resign and walk away from it all. Fortunately I have enough savings that this is possible.
I knew exactly what i wanted to do, but had struggled a lot with convincing myself that i was allowed to allow myself to do it. That didnt make actually doing the resignation any easier. Plus i felt a terrible unidentified fear about telling people at work 1 that i was leaving and 2 why. In the end i resigned by email at 5 to 5 on friday afternoon and then went on leave for a week. It meant i didnt have to face the fear too much or get talked out of it again, and it was a big relief. But it was also rather unreal.
I realised afterwards that i was scared that the team would feel i was betraying them, or that they would take my departure from the museum world as some sort of criticism of them for staying in it. It helped to identify the fear, and i pursuaded myself that they wouldnt really respond like that if i told them the truth.
When i go back from my holiday i had a long letter from my boss basically not accepting my resignation, re-explaining all the options to me, encouraging me to reconsider and asking for a meeting. When i got back to work it turned out he was off sick for days. That was horrible, i knew i was leaving, and soon, but no-one else did so i had to go on pretendeding that everything was normal as i didnt feel i could tell anyone else until the formalities were sorted.
Eventually on the thursday he came back in and we could meet. I finally met with him and explained why i was leaving, why i was doing it now, and why i didnt want to stay and get hte money. He finally accepted my resignation after i re-confirmed it all in writing.
Finally i was free to tell the team. Except that none of htem were in the office. They were in other buildings and working from home and ill and on leave. I was bursting with news and wanted to tell them asap. So instead of telling htem all together as planned, i ended up telling each of them that was in individually. Actually this was good, they were all really lovely in the way they responded and i got to spend the whole afternoon having nice 1:1 discussions with people about the value of doing what you really wanted to in life and the excitement and when they could come and visit, and could see that they were genuinely pleased for me, even inspired – and realise again what lovely people i have been working with.
At hte end of the day i got home and finally felt that it was actually real, i was able to celebrate with one of my housemates and an impromptu bottle of cava. Finally the feelings of fear and dread were swapped for relief and excitement for hte future. A big day!