I did something a few weeks ago that I’d never done before, I handed in my resignation. It’s a strange feeling coming into work knowing that this week is your last. After 11 years with the same organisation these last four days are going to be a mixed bag.
On the one hand I’m sad to be leaving an organisation that has, (since the age of 22) provided me with a great career and opportunities to grow and develop. I’m sad to be leaving such a talented team at such an exciting time for the business. I also feel extremely lucky that I can call many of my colleagues friends. These friendships won’t end with my contract and I know we’ll be staying in touch and I’ll be following their journey into a bright future, I just won’t be playing a direct role in it.
On the other hand I am nervous and excited about the future in ways that I’ve never been before. There is a quotation in The Shawshank Redemption by “Red” Redding (played by Morgan Freeman) that I always liked, it goes like this;
These walls are funny. First you hate them, then you get used to them. After long enough, you get so you depend on them. That’s “institutionalized.”
After 11 years of working within a corporate in the financial services industry I started to understand exactly what Red meant. I’d like to think in the last 4 years in my role within L&D, I did things differently and brought something new to the party. I’d like to think that I’ve encouraged my colleagues to challenge existing thinking, but no matter how new or different, there were limitations due to having to operate within the confines of the walls.
I know every organisation has these walls in some sort of capacity whether they are put up by policy, process, technology, culture or even people. The hardest walls to scale are put up by people who are content to work without ever feeling the need to look over them and gaze upon the exciting things that lie beyond. I took a peak over the wall a few years ago and I liked what I saw so I’ve decided to take a running jump over the wall and I believe I will land on the other side with a world of opportunity at my feet.
As well as this feeling of institutionalism, I’ve also somewhat selfishly been thinking about brand me, 11 years working for one organisation shows what?
- I’m loyal?
- I’m consistent?
- I’m dependable?
- I’m in a job for life?
- I’m one dimensional with a great knowledge of an insurance business but no experience of any other industry?
I’ve been lucky enough to work in a variety of roles during this time and have reached a position of relative authority and influence but it’s still in financial services. Plainly speaking I need more, as @kevwyke would say I need to feed my soul; to grow and develop from a personal perspective but also from a professional viewpoint where the world is changing so quickly. What is my USP and how can I keep pace with this change?
There are two lines to bring this to life from the first verse in “My Way” by Frank Sinatra;
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I’ve traveled each and ev’ry highway
Well for the last 11 years I’ve been on the same road and it’s time to get off and join a new one. It’s time to travel on new roads that will take me to different junctions, crossroads and new horizons. I’m sure I’ll come across road works, diversions and have to put my hazard lights on along the way but ultimately I’ll be in the driving seat and will be able to take any route possible to reach new destinations.
So that’s my week, sad but excited, nervous but eager and as I get ready for the leap over the wall, I feel a sense of freedom that I’ve not felt in a long time.