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Sometimes life and job pivot in a snap.
Even when you feel you know a change is coming, when it finally happens, it can feel like a smack in the face.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I’ve been working quite a bit lately, 40-50 hours most weeks since the spring (and sadly summer is the best time to be outside at home in my climate).
I’ve alluded to it a bit as well, but, I really wasn’t happy with my main employment. I was ready for that job pivot.
That’s part of the reason this blog started! I was beginning to feel the effects of burnout. I was tired of getting emails and calls when I was supposed to be off work (and thinking about work all the time). I felt like as a working mom, there just wasn’t enough time in my days.
I’ve weighed a lot of non-monetary costs in deciding if I should stay on working my main job, or call it quits. So far, it was barely on the side of stay on.
I’ve been obsessively tracking net worth and running early retirement simulations these last few months using Personal Capital (a sure sign I’m not happy at work).
There’s been some serious thought on this almost monthly for the last year.
As of this spring, it seemed to me that things were unlikely to change, and I decided it was time to beef up the emergency fund and savings. I hadn’t really put my mind to ending my main employment, but the thought was there. My plan had really been something like, hold out for a few more years, and then be totally set to go down to per diem only employment (ditching the main job).
Professional circles are small, so though I really wish I could go into all the details, I feel it’s best not to do so.
I had made my dissatisfaction with management clear shortly after taking over the position. There really wasn’t much choice- I was the newest hire and part time, and if I didn’t do it, there may not have been hours for me if they had to hire externally to fill the position.
They told me they were looking for someone who they could take on without displacing anyone, but due to locale etc., they were simply not finding anyone.
Suffice it to say by early summer, I gave my employer an ultimatum.
Things must improve or I will leave.
In my line of work, and the position, as a manager, I am personally and legally responsible for most anything that goes on, even when I am not there. I was no longer willing to assume that risk and stress when it was clear that the level of change that I needed to see happen was not going to take place.
Then, things were quiet for a few months. Suddenly, higher management informed me that they had finally found someone to work my location (at even fewer hours than I was working), but that meant there wasn’t a spot for me there anymore. And, there wasn’t currently a stable spot for me anywhere within a few hours distance either. So effectively, I was out of a job.
They’d finally found a way to fulfill my request after my … thorough… communication and subtle ultimatum. They told me I had scared them and they couldn’t afford to have someone quit. I’m still employed (if I want), technically, if and when hours become available.
So, they called my bluff.
I let them know I wasn’t happy and wasn’t willing to continue assuming the risk. Luckily, I had the foresight to predict that something would be happening. For that reason, I had been working extra and inquiring with my back up job about a more stable situation for months. (Read more on this guest post about how I leverage and have backup plans in place).
The frustrating part of this is that it wasn’t completely on my terms. I would have preferred to make the decision and given notice… but, when?
My flaw is being too transparent.
I should not have been so clear to them that I had a backup plan and I was willing to use it. I consider my integrity to be a strong suit. And even this this didn’t play out exactly how I planned, they still told me they would recommend me for any job. They just couldn’t stand for me to quit without them having a backup plan.
Is this good or bad?
In the end, good, I think. Someone finally pulled the trigger and made a decision I had been mulling over for months. Who knows how long it would have taken for me finally decide.
I’m not one to give up, so even though it was quite clear to me that things were not improving it felt like a failure on my end if I were to quit, even if it wasn’t under my control.
I’ve got my backup plans in place. I’ve got money saved. I already have enough work to meet the minimum needs of my family. Life is good.
The stress of that job has rolled of me amazingly quick. I’m sleeping better. I’ve been getting more things done around the house.