Within the first couple of positions in my career, I learned that handing in your resignation brings on a different feelings and reactions. Some were bittersweet and sad, rewarding and satisfying or, in the worst cases, just downright scary. Each holds a different reason behind why you’ve come to the conclusion, but interesting enough, they also share similar stories. If you’re an employer, there’s a lot to gain by asking why your employee came to his or her decision. But no matter what the outcome may be, there’s a lesson to be learned after each farewell.
Take my story from the past as an example.
One of my very first jobs as a professional designer had me in the heart of downtown Cleveland. I worked as a contracted graphic designer with a talented and persuasive salesman, building a marketing business made of just the two of us. There was not much money to the name, the office space was small (we shared with some partners who my boss knew). But it was a great atmosphere that I learned to love very much; I even met my closest friend there. But as much as I loved my friendly, quiet and independent work atmosphere, sometimes responsibilities or circumstances come up that force you to make decisions for yourself.
About two years in, my boss had a difficult time keeping the workload up due to the unfortunate health of a family member. It didn’t take long before things started to dwindle. As any individual, I immediately started to panic about how I would pay my bills and take care of myself. I knew it was time to start looking for another job before I found out I didn’t have one at all.
The decision to start looking was a fast one, but personally I wished it wasn’t the case. When I did acquire a new place of employment I wasn’t very committed, excited or remotely prepared. My stomach dropped knowing I would have to break the news to my boss, who had at the time made me his business partner. I was about to leave everything I enjoyed waking up to and striving for. This marked the first time in my career that I cried while handing over my resignation. You may say it’s quite childish of me, but I was displaying my true feelings about the situation in which my boss picked up very quickly. I had to step forward in my life in order to take care of myself and also expand my experience. It was a sad but bittersweet moment, and my departure was the last page for the business. It was one of the hardest but best decisions I made for the both of us, and we’re both onto much better things today.
I wish I could say that every departure was this type of story, but not every place is the correct atmosphere for you. My new job after working downtown was although very informative for my career, a dreadful and stressful place to be. I took a big pay cut acquiring this job, no vacation time, and doubled my workload. After a solid year of learning a new and hands on part of my field, I needed a better place to thrive and be happy again. It took me 9 months to find a new job that came close to what I was achieving downtown. My resignation came with no tears but a lot of relief, satisfaction and no reasons to look back or reconsider. This time around I was very excited and prepared to start my new position, which is currently with Proforma! Since then, I feel like I can continuously grow and work on new and interesting projects. I hope every individual feels this way about their position.
Many working individuals make career decisions like these every day, and they’re not made to be harmful to the particular business, but to prove a point that personal achievements and responsibilities have to coexist while working in the field. Whether it’s because they have a family to take care of, have a new career direction or there’s no more room for growth, an individual takes on the journey to keep moving forward. For business owners or managers receiving a resignation, ask yourself why and how you can improve the situation for the next great employee you gain. The answers could change your business and bring it to another level of success. After all, it’s a learning experience for both sides in life and a journey that should be shared and enjoyed together to develop a great reliable team.