Sunday, June 22, 2008

Moving on

No one tells you how to do it. And that sucks, because it seems like information that would be great to know. So what do you do? How do you do it? How do move on?

The hardest thing about trying to find a new job, beyond the fact that it probably isn't the most ideal time for it, is being motivated to change. Change your daily routine, face the prospect of being a stranger with something to prove. I think I'm good at what I currently do, and I like to think that my company acknowledges it, respects it. So I'm not looking to leave because I think I have to. I am looking to leave because I think it's best for me.

There should be a handbook for this. Something like, "It's been great, but..." or "I'm just not that into this..." - tips of some sort for how you can ease yourself out of a job without burning bridges or feeling as though you've put team members in a lurch. I mean, ideally, I could sit down and tell my manager, "hey, I'm kinda jetting, so maybe you should staff others in management roles and leave me as a foot soldier." But that, my dear friends, is occupational suicide, especially if you don't have anything solid lined up.

Silence, however, leaves you in a strange predicament. You have job responsibilities, deadlines still looming. But you're always on the look out for that escape route, that perfect time to slip out. Since I respect my colleagues, I would love to leave without a bunch of loose ends for them to tie up. I like to think of this as a professional courtesy others would bestow upon me one day. But I can't guarantee it. Because, well, I have to be committed to my current job until that fateful day when I give notice.

They say breaking up is hard to do. It would be easier if I was mad, upset, disgruntled. Nothing like anger to light a fire and motivate you. But, when you are comfortable, yet unsatisfied? You can go through the motions, perhaps keep at it for another few months, a year or so. It becomes a bit more complicated when your just, well, a bit discontent. The best analogy I have: it's like being in a stable but distant relationship, and realizing that there might be something amazing awaiting - awaiting if you just took the chance to leave your current situation.

The scary thing is this idea of something better may be nothing more that that - an idea. Something to chase, but never obtain. And there is the great potential of finding yourself in something worse than what you had. Something that may make you regret what you gave up for an elusive fallacy.

So what do I do? I guess what I've done for the last little while. I'll sit in limbo, quietly doing what I do each day, pretending as though my future at my current job isn't finite while doing everything I can to bring about that fateful day. The day when I screw up the guts to say, "Can we talk?"