Author Topic: Feeling sad and doing it anyway  (Read 3748 times)

Miss Piggybank

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Feeling sad and doing it anyway
« on: December 18, 2018, 05:33:08 PM »
Hi folks,

I just gave notice at my job. I'm the ED of a small nonprofit. I really do love the organization, the staff, the clients. I even love my Board of Directors; they've always been great to me. I just also love myself, and it's a stressful job, and I'm drawn to change, and I'm ready to relax and live a free life, and I achieved FI several years ago. Did several OMYs because I did keep finding things that made the job better for a while.

I feel sad. Not sad enough to not FIRE, mind you. But I'm hurting people I like and respect. I'm giving A LOT of notice, and I'm going to be leaving the organization in as helpful and positive a way as possible. And I know that over the next several months, people are going to get used to the fact that I'm leaving and will start becoming focused on the future. No one is expendable. I know all this. And it's still sad.

I'm just sharing this because so many of the FIRE stories are about people leaving crap jobs or crap bosses, etc. FIRE can also be about leaving great places and great jobs, because they're still jobs.

I'm not much of a poster, but I will try to give updates here as I go along, if only to reassure other people worried about hurting people or leaving great jobs that the joy of freedom is worth it.

lhamo

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Re: Feeling sad and doing it anyway
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2018, 08:07:15 PM »
Paging @GrayMatter , who left her ED position at a non-profit to go back to school to get the qualifications she needs to become a therapist.  She may have some words of wisdom from a year or two out.

I also left a non-profit role to FIRE -- probably would have been sadder about it if I had been leaving my original program manager role, but they dicked me around for nearly 2 years with an interim position that only led to more work/stress, not substantially more pay.  I was pretty burned out by the end of it. 

Would you consider serving on the Board if they asked you?  That can be one way to keep involved in a positive way if you believe in the mission.

ysette9

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Re: Feeling sad and doing it anyway
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2018, 10:31:49 PM »
It isn’t the same, but earlier this year I left a company I had been at for 14 years, since I was a summer intern in undergrad. I learned a lot, had a good ride, and worked with a lot of great people. I was also frustrated by things that started overshadowing the good that was there. I worried about being sad and having mixed feelings about walking away. In my case I went to another company. 

When the time actually came to walk out the door I was surprised at how unconflicted I felt. Since then I have waited for some kind of sadness or regret or just a sense of missing what had been familiar  for so long,  but it hasn’t come. If anything being away has made me more grateful that I left and more appreciative of what I have now.

It may be different for you, but you may also find that when it actually happens the thing you are going towards is so much better that you don’t miss what you left behind.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Feeling sad and doing it anyway
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2018, 01:31:09 AM »
Good luck, Miss Piggybank. You are kind to your company by giving them a long notice, so you are not to blame. Enjoy your retirement. And feel free to use your talents for charity work or board jobs.

Mr. Green

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Re: Feeling sad and doing it anyway
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2018, 06:41:50 PM »
You know, I was sad about leaving my job even though I disliked it. There's something about closing a chapter in your life that makes you think about all the good things. The coworkers I genuinely liked, the fun happy hours, the moments of satisfaction completing a task I enjoyed. Even though there was more bad than good I still found myself feeling a bit sad about it being over. But there are seasons to life, and one thing this FIRE journey has taught me is that it's better to be proactive with change because it helps you develop the capacity for dealing with change in a positive manner. So many people have change forced on them and it can be so sudden and jarring that we don't deal with it well. For my own mental health I realized I wanted to build my adaptation muscle so that I was better at dealing with future change. After all, we will all face it at some point in life. I want to be able to greet further change in my life fully capable of processing it, rather than be left struggling. I'm sure we can't be ready for everything, but I wanted to improve what I could.

Kay-Ell

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Re: Feeling sad and doing it anyway
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2018, 07:07:57 AM »
My perspective is from the other side, but Iíll share that Iíve gone through the loss of two founders at a company I loved and had worked for 8 years at the time. These co-founders where the heart and soul of the business. We adored them, respected them and depended on them. I walked around in a fog after I heard the news, unable to imagine the company or my work life without them. But by the time came for them to actually leave, I was happy for them and their new venture. I could also plainly see how hard they had worked to set the company and all of the employees up for success. After they were gone, life went on and it wasnít as earth shattering as I had imagined.

Iíll also echo what @ysette9 said. Itís my hope that when the time actually comes, it will be a lot easier than it is during this time of preparation and anticipation. Usually, building someone up in our minds is a lot more dramatic than actually experiencing it.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Feeling sad and doing it anyway
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2018, 09:05:23 AM »
Posting here to see how it develops for you over time.  I would be sad to pull the ER trigger, but I've been FI for a while and I always wonder when the time will be right to move on.  I'm currently on a high working as an expat, but the oil & gas business was never my dream contribution in life.  I do work for a good company that pays CO2 taxes and is transitioning to wind and solar power, and there always seem to be good excuses to go OMY...

cap396

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Re: Feeling sad and doing it anyway
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2018, 06:47:19 AM »
Your story is very similar to mine.  I loved my job.  Nevertheless, I don't regret FIREing.

dandypandys

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Re: Feeling sad and doing it anyway
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2018, 07:02:37 AM »
posting to follow. I love my job, and won't be retiring for years.. but when it comes it will be a big mind shift. Not even sure if I will want to retire early,but am still locking away those dollars just in case.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Feeling sad and doing it anyway
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2018, 08:23:02 AM »
Ok, feel sad. Nothing wrong with that. It wonít last, so feel it. Have a cry, have a drink, call a best friend and tell them how sad you feel.  Then, say this: now that Iíve named this and expressed it, I can let it go and embrace the change, not just for myself, but also for others. Because now, your leaving opens the door for someone else to have a new, exciting role and maybe for other changes in the organization that will change peopleís careers. You think youíre letting them down, youíre not, youíre helping them to grow. Thatís gift. When youíre through feeling sad, maybe you can focus on feeling something more useful?

Hikester

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Re: Feeling sad and doing it anyway
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2018, 04:53:54 PM »
I also left a job with very nice coworkers, positivity and a great organization. Looking back now it would have been easier to leave a terrible situation but seldom in life is everything perfect. I was somewhat conflicted but I made the right decision in the end. It is amazing having control of your time and the freedom of FIRE. I have kept in touch with some of the great people I used to work with. It doesnít have to be a final forever goodbye. Just because your life stage now means you can walk away from your job should not mean you are hurting them. And they should be happy for you too.

Bingeworker

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Re: Feeling sad and doing it anyway
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2018, 12:08:51 PM »
I felt sad leaving my job, I left my position at the end of November.  I'd liked the work very much so I struggled with the decision to cut the cord, but had conflicts with management (and the whole staff hates the manager, many are looking to leave)  I was also financially and mentally ready to cut the attachment to a job.  I'd been a part-timer my whole life, so work has never been central to me, but was always an important part.

What mitigated it for me, is that I was able to get a very minimal job with the same employer (one day every two weeks), although I had to change units for that schedule, so left my co-workers.  There is nothing like still being mired in those things you don't like about work to kill the nostalgia for what you miss!  I've been full-time at the minimal gig for the past month (orientation, as the work is a little different) so my new free life only starts Jan 1, but already the sadness of leaving the old unit is pretty much gone, and to even imagine going back makes me shudder, despite the fact that I have been working even more since I left!  I think my subconscious was more unhappy with it than my conscious mind was willing to accept.

Once you are out, the connections drop almost instantaneously; even with those you keep in touch with; you are still an outsider, if they are still in the same workplace.  It makes you realize how unreal it is having work as the centre, or even just as an important part of life is.  Or, maybe it's more that most of our connections in life are just not as deep as they feel to us.

Good for you for following through with your decision to leave.  Life changes are often hard, even when they are for the best.  Be prepared for the "Oh sh__ what I have I done" feelings once you leave (or even prior to it), that too is a normal part of the transition.

Miss Piggybank

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Re: Feeling sad and doing it anyway
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2018, 12:41:26 PM »
OP here. Thanks so much for your replies, everyone. I find that I am already feeling much better, having gotten over the "tear the Bandaid" part of telling everyone. People are saying nice things about how they'll miss me and they appreciate the work I've done, but they are also mostly being more supportive and positive as they get used to the news. I've also gotten messages of congratulations and good for you from a few people. I'm realizing more how big a difference there can be between people who like change and people who don't. The other change-lovers get why I'm doing this and accept it. The change-dislikers are still trying to figure out what's "wrong."

Also trying to keep laughing at my own silly brain. I was worried that after the announcement I'd be inundated with "Oh No! Don't leave us!" messages. Then when I didn't get nearly as many as I "feared" I found I was a little disappointed/annoyed, ha!

elaine amj

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Re: Feeling sad and doing it anyway
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2019, 10:29:59 PM »
I have actually enjoyed all my jobs and left each one regretfully.

For my first, my DH and I had co-founded the business. When we finally sold it 5 years later, it was tough. I remained involved with the community for almost another year - it was important to me on a personal level and disappearing abruptly would have been even more awful for all involved. Unfortunately the transition was sometimes challenging and many people kept saying, "but they used to do such and such this way" and no matter how much I kept reemphasizing that they should support the new owner, I eventually felt I was holding them back.  So I eased out completely. Things changed quite a bit but some portions are still going strong over 10 years later. Cool to know my baby has been able to walk on its own!

Sent from my LG-K373 using Tapatalk


moneytaichi

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Re: Feeling sad and doing it anyway
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2019, 10:12:17 PM »
Once you are out, the connections drop almost instantaneously; even with those you keep in touch with; you are still an outsider, if they are still in the same workplace.  It makes you realize how unreal it is having work as the centre, or even just as an important part of life is.  Or, maybe it's more that most of our connections in life are just not as deep as they feel to us.
So true. When I left my job at April, one of regrets was to let down people I worked with. Since I left the job, nobody contacted me and checked in with me except two people (one of them cancelled the scheduled calls twice). Oh, well, I wish I had not put too much faiths in work relationships. They can be supportive at times, but it's really created and maintained by work context. If I could give my younger self an advise, it'll be to love myself more than opinions of other people.

Gray Matter

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Re: Feeling sad and doing it anyway
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2019, 07:05:01 AM »
I'm a little late to the thread (missed lhamo's bat signal somehow).  I left my job as an ED of a small non-profit almost two years ago now.  I loved the job--had a great staff, a mission I'm passionate about, and a really wonderful and supportive board.  A lot of my identity was wrapped up in this organization--it wasn't like any other job I'd ever had, where the professional and the personal were squarely separated. 

For me (as you), I wasn't leaving to get away from something or because something was wrong, but rather moving towards something more compelling (in my case, going back to school to get a doctorate in psychology).  I, too, gave a lot of notice (six months), because I wanted there to be a smooth transition to the next ED, and I offered to be available to answer questions/mentor (should it be desired) for as long as necessary.  My board was supportive--disappointed for the organization, but happy for me.  Initially, they talked about my joining the board (even possibly as president someday), and I was keen on this, but I got really excellent advice (here) not to do this, for at least a year.  The organization needs to belong to the new ED and it needs to be a clean break.  And, if things went wrong (or well!), it needed to be due to the board and new ED, not the old ED.

When the time came, leaving was shockingly easy.  I still marvel at how I handed the reins over and walked away.  I still care about the organization, am interested, do some volunteer work there on rare occasion, and make donations, but I feel no ownership at all.  I am happy for the new ED to take it in new directions, according to her vision and the board's, even if that means some of the things I worked really hard to create fall by the wayside.  I'm amazed at how easy this transition has been.

Organizations need new leadership from time to time--I firmly believe that.  I had some guilt over leaving at first, but then reframed it as opening new opportunities for the organization to go places I couldn't take them.  Time will tell what that looks like, but in the end, I think it was good for both me and the organization.

A lot of the relationships have fallen away, but not all of them.  There was a lot of changes among staff and board after the new ED joined (which is typical--doesn't always happen but a lot of new EDs want to make the organization their own).  But it's fine, it's good.  I am still close to a former staff person, and several board members, and others I met through my work there.  And I meet with the new ED every so often for coffee and updates and that is always fun.

And I'm as happy as can be in my new life as full-time student.  Giddy, even.


dude

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Re: Feeling sad and doing it anyway
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2019, 07:17:26 AM »
I won't miss my job or the people. Not that they aren't decent enough folks, but we don't really have a lot in common (a few things here and there) and spending every weekday with them for 12+ years brings to mind the old "familiarity breeds contempt" saying (I'm not contemptuous of them, I've just grown tired of seeing the same people day in and day out). Part of this is likely due to the fact that I'm the supervisor, so have assiduously avoided developing relationships with them outside of the office. At any rate, I doubt I'll see any of them again after I leave.

o2bfree

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Re: Feeling sad and doing it anyway
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2019, 08:53:01 AM »
I'm also feeling a bit sad at my plan to leave my job. Been here 24 years, and it's the kind of place where 24 years is at the low end of the long-timers list. Many people have been with this company 30, 35, 40+ years. Even many of the new hires who started in their early 20s are still here after 5-7 years. It's a great place to work; great people, great products, decent pay, and even my commute is great, as I can walk or ride my bike to work.

But time is passing, and it seems to past more quickly each year. I'll be 57 this year and DH, who retired two years ago will be 60. We've had friends who've died unexpectedly in their 60s. I know I shouldn't hold out much longer!

Maenad

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Re: Feeling sad and doing it anyway
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2019, 11:43:02 AM »
Then, say this: now that Iíve named this and expressed it, I can let it go and embrace the change, not just for myself, but also for others. Because now, your leaving opens the door for someone else to have a new, exciting role and maybe for other changes in the organization that will change peopleís careers. You think youíre letting them down, youíre not, youíre helping them to grow. Thatís a gift.

@MrThatsDifferent, this is one of the most touching things I've read here in quite a while, and a beautiful way to look at it.

Miss Piggybank

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Re: Feeling sad and doing it anyway
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2019, 01:39:33 PM »
Been rereading Lin Yutang's The Importance of Living, and it's helping a lot. For those who haven't read it, warning: the first chapter or two on national "types" is slow-going and full of stereotypes, and there's a later chapter on the family and the role of women that . . . is of its time (1937). But his description and moral defense of the quasi-taoist life is right in line with Mustachianism and very inspiring. It helps me to think of myself not as someone who's failing to "lean in," but more like one of those old sages who did their stint helping run their province for a few years, and then went back home to do a little farming, a little drinking, a little writing, and a lot of just enjoying nature and being alive.