On Wednesday I quit my job.
After more than 7 years of being a psychologist, the senior psychologist, a programs coordinator, a provisional psychologist supervisor and various other related roles, it was time to take a massive leap and move on from what I have known.
For anyone who knows me well, it was an unexpected decision and one that was expected to be a while off yet. Yes, it was known that I have embarked on a new direction, having only kicked off my university studies for a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (primary) less than 3 weeks ago. Maybe 2. The past few weeks have been a blur. But I had expected to stick it out til the end of my university study period, which is somewhere between 2-2.5 years.
So why the drastic change of mind?
Unfortunately in many ways I felt I had little other choice. My workplace was no longer particularly supportive of my flexible working hours and part time arrangement. I started to get a bit of pressure from some of the senior management team. Unfortunately the worst of it came from my line manager, who as a mother, I expected more compassion. The decider was when I was told perhaps it was time to choose what is most important – yep, she was referring to my role as mother vs my role at work.
No mother or father should ever be asked such a question. There is no other answer. Being a parent will always come first. But that does not mean you cannot be an exceptional and competent professional also. And I was… I still am in fact.
So after some events that followed that pushed me to my limit, I sent my resume at random to a few companies I found via Google asking for a flexible opportunity for a part time psychologist. Lucky for me my experience is apparently highly sought after. The following Monday I had several interested parties.
I have chosen at this point in time to go with an organisation that employs independent psychologists to work under our Australian Medicare system, seeing students, teachers and parents in the school setting through GP referral. What stood out most for this role was not simply the benefit of working a school and getting my foot in the door for my future career, starting to build my experience now. No, it was the fact that the owner of this business was a mum. She understood the need for flexible hours, close to home, working as little or as much as suited me. She got it!
There is a bit of paperwork to organise in the lead up, but with my month notice at work, and a further month needed to complete my first university practicum, the timing is good.
Handing in my resignation though, it was tough. It was the first time I’ve ever really had to do it, having only been casually employed previously. But after giving the deputy a bit of a shock, I had a great chat with the director who informed me the door would always be open for someone as hard working and competent as myself. It was just what I needed to hear. Actually, it made the whole thing quite emotional.
Yep, there were tears that day. A little funny really, since I could not stand the place a week before. But it was merely tainted by one or two individuals and some recent events. That does not take away all the good experiences and many good people from over 7 years. For the most part, I have enjoyed my role. But it was the kick I needed to get out of my comfort zone and move forward.
I am excited for what comes next. Although terrified all at the same time. Tuesday comes with a first meeting with one of the managers from the company I will be joining, followed by a meeting with my mentor teacher for my first practicum and the class of year 2 students I will be working with.
What made me certain I had made the right choice though was the fact that I slept fine the night before. I was even calm right up until the moment I handed over my resignation letter. And even following those tears and the realisation that it was actually happening, I slept well again that night. If it was the wrong choice, there would not have been such a sense of calm.
My husband is a little nervous, naturally. I am going from a permanent part time position to contract based, paid per client work. Yep, that makes me nervous too, but thankfully he is also supportive and understanding that I needed to get out. He saw the impact of the last few weeks, months of stress. And he knows better than anyone it takes a lot to cause me stress.
So today starts yet another journey, hopefully full of exciting opportunities, learning experiences and wonderful memories.
Wish me luck!!