Several months ago I was notified that my long-term position was being terminated. They gave me a lot of notice, and it allowed me the time I needed to process the event and decide what I wanted to do. I'd been working as an employee for 5 years, and gotten many benefits from it - a reasonable salary, community, paid sick and vacation leave, great insurance benefits, an opportunity to learn many new things.
At first, I felt a little miffed and hurt. Did they not appreciate me? Had I somehow not measured up? Ego attachment is often the sticking point that keeps us from getting the full benefit of a prospective change.
Another sticking point is being very comfortable in a path that no longer fits who you are. It was no longer what I truly wanted to do, but I was used to it and the perceived benefits still outweighed the negatives.
|Ponytail palm in its new pot|
Why would someone (read: me) want to stay in a pot that is too tight for them? Fear is a common reason. Making a leap into the unknown can be frightening, if I imagine that I will suffer in some way as a result. I can create all kinds of really scary scenarios, and then the tight space seems more comfortable and I'll just deal with the stress, thank you. If I choose instead to look at all the positive aspects of a change, and focus on the benefits, then the picture begins to look quite different.
At first I looked for a similar job, one that would pay well and cover all the benefits bases. I interviewed several times and found it stressful (will they like me?) and fun (meeting a lot of new people and getting to see the "insider" areas). It helped the process of figuring out what I wanted to do. Even though focusing on the negative is not usually positive, I first thought about what I didn't want to do and then flipped it around to the positive opposite.
I did not want to get up at 5:30 a.m. and drive through morning traffic, running my aged car every day and using now-expensive gasoline. I did not want to have to buy or wear professional work clothes and eat lunch on someone else's schedule. I did not want constant interruptions. I was really tired of being sick all the time.
I wanted to get up on my own schedule and work from home, or nearby. I wanted to wear whatever I like and take breaks when I need to. I wanted a flexible schedule that allows me to work when I am at my best. I wanted to help people, be well-paid and learn a lot of new things. I wanted to think well of myself and be well in myself.
The ponytail palm responded to being re-potted by putting out 20 new leaves in a bundle at the top. The old leaves at the bottom will eventually brown completely and fall off. This is a natural process.
All I had to do was have faith in myself and Peggy in Paradise and go for what I truly wanted, to expand my own business and work from home. Once I did that, gave notice at the day job and made that commitment, everything started to fall into place. I took the month of March to get completely organized, order a new computer, move my office out to the beadio, and get oriented to my new clients.
There is work to do! I have operated as an independent contractor for the last 12 years, including during the time I was an employee. I offer a full range of business services from start-up to accounting and human resource management. I'm currently focusing on Social Media Marketing and self-publishing.
Like the ponytail palm, I am growing and expanding every day, laughing and dancing towards change.