The end of an era: preparing to say goodbye
How do you prepare yourself to say goodbye to a workplace that has been part of your life for more than ten years? I made the choice to leave a long time ago and have delayed leaving twice for different reasons. Now it is finally drawing to the end of my time there. This is the next right step for me but pain is still involved. I have to give myself permission to grieve.
I am masterful at pushing aside emotion and expecting myself to carry on. There is part of me that feels I don’t have permission to be sad as this is my choice and something I have been working towards for months. I have to keep reminding myself that it is ok to feel what I feel. Space to reflect, feel and grieve is needed. I need to sit in this sorrow and allow it to run through.
Things I will miss
- The people I get to work with
- The routine of having an office to go to
- A dedicated time to focus on that job then lay it down at the end of the day.
- The comfort of not being a beginner
- A regular dependable income
- Paid school holidays to spend with my daughter
I was originally supposed to leave in April. My end date was set, my resignation letter submitted and everyone informed. I made the choice to extend my time there with the chaos of COVID-19 and the knowledge I had to offer the organization. I am grateful that I made that choice. Leaving at that point would have meant being home alone on my last day without the chance to say goodbye properly. I would have felt adrift with no wrap up to this long season. It would also have meant leaving with no replacement to handover to.
Now I have had time to wrap up projects and train replacements in all that I was doing. I can leave knowing that everything I have invested so much time and energy into will not fall apart with a lack of ongoing input. The people who are the most important end-users of my work will have the support they need. I need that assurance to be able to release my grip.
I sense the weight of responsibility for this work lifting from my shoulders. I can look ahead to what comes next. The connections I have made and people I will miss are still here. I am not moving away or falling off the face of the planet. That brings comfort too. I can grieve the job but I don’t have to grieve losing the people entirely. It will just look different.
Now I look forward to celebrating the end of an era with friends and colleagues. I choose to finish strong and well, staying true to my value of integrity. I am prepared to say goodbye.
I see you and I understand. Big days. But great new expectations.
Thanks. Excited and terrified for what lies ahead!