Jumping Into Uncharted Waters

After seven years of working at the same company and for the same boss, I’m going in to work tomorrow and will give them an ultimatum.

When I joined this company in 2001, I was a single woman with lofty goals and great ambition. I worked very hard and got several promotions within the first few years. It was the right fit for me. My boss and I saw things the same way. We were always ready to forge ahead with any challenge and conquer any obstacle. And it was fun and exciting.

Since I joined, I’ve gotten married and had two children. With my first child, I went back part time because I didn’t want to be away from my baby the entire week. With my second child, I also went back part time and it all worked out pretty well. As time went on, I didn’t seem to be as happy or as driven as I was before and my ambitions were more about my family than about my work.

Several times I was asked to come back full time and was told that I could write my own ticket and have the position I wanted more or less. But to me, full time was not an option anymore and I didn’t see when it would ever be an option again (not in the near future anyway).

Then one day, I just didn’t want to be there anymore. Things had just changed so much. The pressure started getting to me and I hated bringing that energy home. Also, I desperately wanted to try something new, something that I really enjoyed doing. But how could I quit?

First of all, the money was great and without it, we would need to make sacrifices and cut backs. And there was no guarantee that any new “something” that I would try would bring in anything close to my current job.

Also, this company had been very good to me. Anytime I had asked for anything in terms of changing my schedule or taking extra time off for my maternity leave, they had not even flinched. They were like my family and loyalty was very important to them. So I stayed.

But then two things happened. My husband got a job that requires him to travel about once a month and my oldest son enrolled in preschool and would start five days a week in September. My family schedule was about to change dramatically. That’s when I decided that this was the right time to change my life too.

But how? Should I just quit out right or come up with something that could still work for my new schedule and allow me the time to explore something new? It was a hard choice but I have decided to give them an option.

Tomorrow, I will go in and tell them that I want to reduce my hours, work from home and I want to get paid more per hour (because, like many part time working moms, I have been underpaid for the amount and caliber of work I’ve been doing) and if that doesn’t work for them, I will be leaving my job September 1.

I’m terrified. I’m so scared that I’ll wake up a month from now or six months from now and regret having made this decision. I haven’t slept in days thinking about it. But I’m going to hold my breath and jump in to the uncharted waters and hope that I remember how to swim.

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