One year ago today, I wrote this blog here: After some 2 months of pondering and then waiting, I was formally offered voluntary redundancy.
The decision of putting myself forward in the first place was a very intense process, but once I had made up my mind, I could not wait to go and was, in fact, terrified of being refused.
After 11 years` service, I was granted voluntary redundancy on 3 December 2015, and I left on the 9th – clutching the last belongings I hadn`t taken home yet, I walked into the unknown, partly sad, but above all, I remember feeling an incredible sense of relief. I felt like a beautiful butterfly who had finally managed to crack its caterpillar skin and was now spreading its wings to fly into freedom.
A year later, I`m gratefully looking back on all the beautiful things which came with something that so many would be terrified of:
I left on a Wednesday. I got offered a new job the Monday after, and it was part time. While not being out of work, I slept in every day with my newly retired husband, watched our kittens growing up, spent more time with friends, got long overdue home projects done, fully enjoyed the very brief Scottish summer…
… and started to study towards a Degree in Business Management. Absolutely love it!! It`s interesting, I learn a lot and passed my first module with distinction. I`m currently studying statistics and accounts, which will both be adding to my CV. I also formed a lovely friendship with a fellow student.
I learnt lessons about work friendships – a few surprises about who did and who did not keep in touch. One particular person was a beautiful surprise, and another an especially bitter disappointment, but also an eye opener about what our relationship was really all about.
I re-thought the meaning and spending of money. I never bought so few clothes in a single year, and I don`t miss them at all.
There was a lot of emphasis on how you look and what you wore in my old work. Now, with most of my colleagues wearing shrubs, superficialities like that don`t matter.
I could reinvent myself in other ways, too. For example, I no longer befriend current work colleagues on Facebook and no longer have certain problems which others keep offloading about.
I love working in a care home. Among other things, it makes me even more appreciating of and grateful for my husband`s and family`s excellent state of health.
It however quickly became clear that this job was not especially fulfilling. Here, I started properly looking for a job and was overwhelmed by all the things that were available to me. I was with my last employer for 11 years, and at times thinking I wasn`t capable of anything else. Just looking proved otherwise.
In September, I took the fantastic job I’m in now. It`s exactly what I was wanting from the start. I love the environment (another care home :-)), the challenges and achievements, I have good managers and supportive colleagues… Can`t help thinking why I haven`t left my old job sooner, but aware I was just too comfy and needed pushed.
Every now and then, I hear stories of my old work. It`s becoming increasingly intolerable, and many more people left, even though they stopped paying the package.
While between jobs, I went to Israel. Yes, really. I`ve been wanting to go there since such a long time, but I`m confident I still wouldn`t have gone otherwise. It was as incredible as I imagined, and I have, of course, been blogging about this fantastic experience separately.
My priorities shifted. I no longer give work so much headspace and importance. I don’t think I`ll ever hesitate again to leave a job I dislike, and I got to know myself better – I had, for example, planned to go to the gym more while working less, but I didn`t, and I finally concluded that I don`t really like exercising, and lack of time was just an excuse.
I feel I grew up a lot (at least on the outside).
More headspace for other, mainly creative, things.
I remember wondering last year where would I be in a year`s time. Just by leaving my work, I have moved on so much in many, many areas of my life, and I`m aware that that`s a privilege of (relative) financial freedom. If I hadn`t been there for so long, I would have had a much lesser package. And would I have gone?
Today is “in a year`s time”, and I`m grateful for everything, almost including the things which made me consider leaving in the first place.
THANK YOU 🙂