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Eye of the Optimist-leaving vs. quitting

Once I decide to do something, I make a commitment. The action decided on may not go ahead for any number and kinds of reasons, as we all know--adjusting goals, practical obstacles, limits to methods, lack of consensus or cooperation of others, changing circumstances...Stopping an action, even giving up on a project with good reason does not nullify the commitment made in the first place. 

Anyway, sometimes a decision to do something is one intending to stop doing something. Stopping something or leaving somewhere can be very positive, in which case the decision to stop or leave is empowering. When some situation or company no longer nourishes and motivates you, but, rather, starts to make you feel cramped and cranky, it is time to get out so you can breathe and shine again.

As indicated in previous blog entries of late, I told readers I had decided to leave my present employment and area of residence. I considered the timing of resigning and wanted to wait until payday, which happens to be Christmas. In fact, I gathered information about the benefits of the pension plan last Monday, and I drafted the resignation letter and announcement to co-workers last Tuesday. Today was D-Day: time to drop the bomb. I finished writing up and signing my grade sheets for all my classes, then turned them in. Then I promptly edited, printed out, signed and delivered the letter of resignation; I soon followed that with an email letter to my fellow native English co-workers in the English department once I got home.

As I was going through the steps of preparing to submit my resignation, I felt butterflies in my stomach. I was nervous. At the same time, I realised that I was taking control of my employment and had the power to stay or go in my hands, which, I have to admit, was an unfamiliar feeling. I felt too much temerity to savour the thought, at first, but I did soon after I dropped off the letters.

I never used to think through my career goals in a detailed manner; it seems I was too open-minded at times and too much in need of a monthly pay-cheque at others to take control of the process and see employment as being something I could choose. Candidates have generally been given to believe that an employer, being an employer, must be superior and is the judge as to your suitability for hiring. Besides the reality that employment is often a complicated process involving many people, prospective employees might have more of a hand in the decision that it appears. Someone with a skill set and some specialized education or training is viable and desirable to employers, and should feel confident and empowered by their own capability and potential. If you know what you can do, have some sort of experience that indicates you can do it, and some specialized formation for the work, you should stride up to that employer and show it off. Look the employer up and down and interrogate them to see if they are worth it. Yeah.

Of course, one has to be aware of one's worth. You need to know your best assets, starting with your character and personality. It takes some exploring to get a handle on that, and continual reflection because personalities keep evolving. Then you need to have some specific training and practical experience.

In my case, I had an arts degree with a French major, a foundation which needed some more refining and enhancing. Becoming a language teacher is a natural progression, as is working in the Canadian public service, with that sort of background, and I fell into both. However, I did not research and consult about other possibilities, even though I knew I should have some additional expertise or skill. I could not arrive at a suitable extension. I expected job opportunities to approach me, regardless, and swallowed what was there, whether it tasted good or not. When it choked me, I ran, which is not the same as consciously resigning with a plan to move on.

Times are changing, and opportunities abound, despite unemployment figures. Of course, having the internet and all its associated tools and sources is marvelous and most helpful in getting informed and prepared for work. The internet has sure benefited me at this turning point in my life. I've hatched up and loaded all kinds of things to build experience, show off my skills, enhance and broadcast my profile. I am ready to take a leap and see what happens, and I feel I have way more choices in front of me because of the internet and its tools I've tried out. It's nice to be dreaming again.

Another benefit is the steady years of full-time work in a well-established profession that others recognize. I can make the most of this recent history, and go on to new and more interesting things, I am sure. Going either into writing and publishing, or into education admin or development makes sense. My CV therefore makes way more sense than it used to. It has direction.

I understand my CV, the path that took me here and what I am doing now. I am confident in my decision, even though the logistics and emotions of making the transition may be uncomfortable.

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