“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.