This week I left my job. Let's be more specific, I left my career, I think. I've been recruiting for nineteen years - 3 three years in staffing firms, and another 16 in Corporate America to boot. After considering making the jump into another field, I've made the jump out of my old position into... well, nothing quite yet.
The truth is, I don't know what I want to do next. I've got some thoughts, they are still just that right now - thoughts. Recruiting (like many careers, I acknowledge) is a fast-paced, high pressure position in a company. You're responsible for identifying staff to fill open positions. Urgently. Frequently. And, depending on the position you're filling (and for which manager), repeatedly. I was burned out on this. In those circumstances, it can be difficult to get another job in the same field, much less trying to figure out a different kind of career to pursue.
After repeated conversations with my wife, the Lovely and Talented Rochelle, we decided that rather than wait for my midlife crisis, we'd just face my midlife crisis head-on. I'd give ample notice to my company, leave my position, take a sabbatical, and in the meantime become a homemaker while conducting research on what kind of career to pursue. Then I'd take steps to pursue it.
Leaving a job with no plan other than to take time off to figure things out appears to be something of a fantasy for a lot of people. Hell, I've thought about it a million times, too, just never seriously until recently. When I broke the news, many, many people expressed that they wished they could do the same thing.
They could do the same thing. But it takes moxie to quit your job under any circumstances. My circumstances involve losing a paycheck, paying for family health benefits on your own, and realizing that I could be unemployed for a protracted period with prospects that involve starting again at the bottom with the requisite paycheck. And I will need a paycheck.
Brave decision? Or a dumb ass decision? You make the call.
Anyway, I followed my plan. I gave my company notice - and they were very gracious, offering to let me stick around for a while longer and put some more money in the bank. Two week notice turned into six week notice, but that was okay.
The transition at work took place, my successor identified. I spent the time getting her up to speed, then I left. It went hunky-dory.
That was Tuesday. It took about an hour of being out of the office, after the initial euphoria, that I felt a bit dislocated. I'm not going to work for a while... and I have plenty of time on my hands to ponder that gem.
Wednesday was my first day not going into work. Rochelle works from home as a freelance editor, so my unoccupied time will be taking place in what is effectively her office.
I'm farting around on Facebook, doing laundry, reading, taking the dogs (our two chihuahuas Ernie and Olive - take note) out, what have you, and she's plugging away at her work. We live in a two bedroom condo, so it's not too easy to ignore me.
I post pointless crap on Facebook several times. My fifth or so post consists of:
Can't decide if "All About that Bass" is hip-hop, or a sixties-style swing song.
A friend replies:
Is this what we all have to look forward to with your new-found freedom?
What else can I do? I post a picture of a goat.
Chihuahas in the Mist - a Firsthand Report of Life in the Condominium By Scott Singer
Observations - Day One: First day of observation in the new environment. The natives are restless. The Human Female appears territorial. Must make attempts to remain somewhat hidden. Perhaps offering food will help?
Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. He is a Human Resources professional and staffing expert with almost two decades of in-house corporate HR and staffing firm experience, and is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC).
Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, and career coaching services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at email@example.com, or via the website, www.insidercs.com.