I said “yes.” Now what?

“You’re going to be terrific, but I’m really sad to see you go,” said my boss when I told him that, after 20 years together, I am moving on to a new job.  I have a similar feeling about this enormous step, but I would add another emotion – absolute terror.

Fear of the unknown

I am sick to my stomach when I think about the reality of my decision. I have not had a structured, full-time position since before my oldest son was born almost 12 years ago. In order to be available to my kids, I have instead cobbled together a variety of jobs, shuttling from one place to another, or working from home when my kids needed me to be here.

Of course this ability to multi-task and the projects I’ve taken on are the very things that led me to this position, but still? I can’t know what this job will be like until I actually do it. I have built an entire life around being the person who “knows” things. I don’t like this “not knowing” feeling.


Old habits die hard

I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve grown up at my current company. I started filing ads there back when I was in high school. Although I moved around a great deal while there, the company has the real feel of a security blanket. My bosses have known me through boyfriends, marriage and three children. I have been with them through expansion & contraction – some really good times, and some not-so-good times. As my boss put it, “Alena is deep in the DNA of this place.”

I have created a complex job that almost defies a standard description and have really enjoyed the sense that I would not easily be replaced. I love being in a place where longevity alone provides me with a constant big-picture view. I have familiarity and history at my new job, but not that deep sense of intimacy.

I will be letting go of the security blanket I’ve come to depend on. That is both sad and scary.


A bird in hand vs. two in the bush

A few weeks back, my Monday Quote dealt with the courage to say “yes.” While this job was far from a reality at the time I wrote that post, I had a sense that changes were in store for me. I seemed to have multiple opportunities knocking at once, from social media sources, writing connections and even within my own company. What I didn’t write about then, but what I understand now, is that in saying “yes” to this opportunity, I am saying “no” to others.

I can’t help but ask myself if I made the right choice.


The things that keep me up at night

Are my sons ready for this? Will I like the job? Will I like my co-workers? Will they like me? Am I ready for this? How will I figure everything out? What will I wear?

For the immediate future, there are more questions than answers. Of course that makes me uncomfortable.


The bottom line

As I went through the interview process, I tried to understand the demands, the culture, the compensation, and growth potential that accompany this new opportunity. Every part of me felt at home during the interviews. If I can ignore my own insecurities and fears, I know that I am well qualified for this position.

During my final interview I said that I was more convinced than ever that this job has Alena written all over it.

Now I just have a few weeks to convince Alena to never let my fears get the best of me.

26 thoughts on “I said “yes.” Now what?

  1. Congratulations on this new venture. Being brave doesn’t mean you aren’t scared. It means you can, and do, move forward in spite of that fear.


    • I will ALWAYS be following in your gigantic footprints, but thank you. I couldn’t never be the person I am without you and, believe me, I know you are waiting with a great big safetly net if I fall.


  2. I’m so excited for you! Best of luck! I loved your quote about saying yes. And your realization that fear was blocking you is huge, and a sign of the many amazing things you have yet to share with the world. I can’t wait to read about your next chapter! 🙂


  3. Alena, one of the things I love most about you is your ability to face challenges, tackle them and own the results. You will soon be the “knower of things” at your new job and yes, your co-workers will like you! Best of luck and I can’t wait to hear about everything!


  4. As my dear departed father used to say, it’s good to have a “healthy respect” for some things. Things like big dogs with powerful jaws, power saws and even new jobs. What he meant by “healthy respect” is a little fear. Not the overwhelming stop you dead in your tracks fear, but the good gentle kind of fear that comes just after the initial excitement has just warn off. It keeps a person honest with themselves.

    I had a “what did I get myself into” moment just after starting here at the venerable Parent. The reality is that the job found me. Tag you’re it. This gig found you. Time to find out the real reason why.

    Best of luck and all the happiness in the world to you and yours Alena, you will be greatly missed, Miss CP DNA!


  5. In my personal experience, I have found that when I am most terrified of a “new adventure” I learn new things about myself, rediscover what I am truly made of and grow as an individual. The unknown can be daunting for sure, but I find the outcome to be very worthwhile! You got this…I promise!


    • Thank you so much for your confidence Liz. Thank you for taking the time to share with me.
      I am ready to discover and grow. It’s time. I have already learned so much through sharing this journey. I am confident there are good days ahead.


  6. Here’s what I really love about you: You know what you know and you know what you don’t know. And, if you don’t know, you figure out the answer pretty darn quick. You ask the right questions and connect with the right people–it is one of the key reasons why you have created a job that “almost defies a standard description” and it is one of the key reasons why you are going to be so amazing at your new job.

    I am so very happy for you!!


    • “Know what I don’t know.” Hah. That’s exactly what’s bothering me right now — I don’t even know what I don’t know. But of course I will learn. You have been an amazing source of support these past few months, opening my eyes to possibilities I didn’t believe existed. Thank you for that.


    • Thank you Joan. And, don’t worry, I plan on keeping this blog active. I won’t have as many Chicago Parent stories to share, but I’ll probably have more reflections on how to keep life in balance. Oh, and books, I still plan to read those.


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