I quit my job in Mountain View in late March. It came as much of a surprise to me as it did my boss, who had become one of my close friends. Her reaction when I told her was, “You’re joking, right?” and laughing. After a few rounds of explaining myself she realized I was serious and I felt like I was breaking up with someone. In a way, I kind of was.
I wasn’t exactly trying to find a new job. Yeah, the 42-mile commute was a bit long, but I knew they looked past my hours in the office, knowing I was working on my commute in. And, I really looked forward to the downtime I had to myself on the commute home. The part I was hung up on was because I felt like in many ways I took a step back from the job I left in Madison. I knew I was giving about 30% of myself and I had a lot more to give. It came down to the fact that I wasn’t challenged.
My lack of challenge wasn’t a newfound revelation. I’d known this since shortly after I started working there. Instead I found other ways to challenge myself creatively, physically, and mentally. I trained and ran a marathon, I started a blog, I picked up sewing again and made my wedding reception dress, I started making watercolor cards, I learned how to propagate succulents, I started reading a ton, I made wall décor for our apartment, etc. I found I didn’t need a job to challenge me and reveled in the fact that I had the opportunity to challenge myself, which most didn’t have the opportunity to do.
In early March LinkedIn sent me an email notification to let me know a company in San Francisco was hiring for a Sales Operations Manager. It also happened to be the company where two of my friends worked. I interviewed painfully, realizing there were many processes that I could help enhance, and rejected the job after two offers before hesitantly accepting the third. My gut told me it probably wasn’t the right fit, but I proceeded, suddenly feeling empowered by the challenge. Three months and four days into the new job I can say I’m challenged.
I’m not sure yet if my new workplace challenges are healthy. I found in the first two months I didn’t care to talk to anyone when I wasn’t at work. I was burnt out, emotionally drained, and my hair was falling out in clumps. To say I hated my job was an understatement. In the past month I’m finally starting to hit my stride. I’m not sure yet if I like my job yet, but I don’t text my KISA daily anymore requesting his permission to quit.
What’s unfortunate is how I’ve changed in the last three months and four days. I find my motivation to do most things is minimal. Most of my succulents have died. My sewing machine is collecting dust. I’m social mostly out of obligation. I am no longer challenging myself personally like I used to. Hell, even going grocery shopping or emptying the dishwasher seems like an achievement.
To those of you I owe phone calls to, belated birthday wishes, or a comment on how adorable your kids or dogs are – I apologize. But, I promise I’m getting my life back together again. I refuse to let my job define me or be the only thing that challenges me.