Feeling Guilty leaving your Job, WHY?
Remember that feeling when after a job interview, you received a message, “Congratulations! When can you start?”
I’m pretty sure that was one of the best feelings you had ever experienced because you dressed up for that interview, arrived 10 minutes before your interview, and answered the best possible answer to impress your (hopefully) new employer. Right? And after years of being with your company, how come some of us have a hard time leaving our job?
Let me share my story with you; I got my first job 3 years after graduating from college. In my batch, I felt I was left out because most classmates were employed immediately after graduation. It took me a while to get my first job. Jumping from project base to internship to networking business with no stability.
How did I get my job? Well, the law of attraction and (lots of prayers). This is what I listed before I went job hunting:
- Walking distance from my home to limit expenses.
- Since I had no direction, a job that would suit my degree.
- I needed a job to pay for the bills.
The Hunt for a New Job
Here’s my situation before I landed that job. 8 months before March 2017, I was at my lowest, mentally unstable and emotionally broken, but the world does not stop, and the bills do not stop. I even applied in a fast-food chain as a server and BPO agent, but somehow they did not accept me, and one HR told me that she felt something off about me, and it’s true.
One day, I saw a job ad located at Ortigas, Pasig City, and though feeling uncertain, this would check my first goal. I emailed them with the intent of getting that interview, and a few weeks later, they emailed back.
Now the day of the interview was really going smoothly, and I answered the best thing I could possibly think of, but then suddenly, they asked a question that opened a wound. I felt myself tearing up and controlling myself, saying DO NOT CRY DURING THE INTERVIEW, but fuck, I shed a tear, and in my mind, Ok, Kiddo, time to move forward and look for another job”.
As I walked home, my mind was already prepared to look for another job, but when I opened my email, there it was my future HR asking me to submit required documents and asking when I could start.
So Yay me! I got the job. It was exciting and, at the same time, it was scary because this was my first official job, with a stable monthly income (not much), but it was still an income. To cut the story short, I am now 3 years with my company; I enhanced my skills and was able to travel for 2 years.
Arriving at the Crossroad
So what next? Well, I wanted to leave and get a new job, sounds easy right? But to be honest, it is another challenge. I feel my anxiety rising every time I think about it. I even consulted my friends about what should I do. Most of them told me, “just leave”, they can find your replacement anyway, and they can train someone else to do your job.
BUT in my head, reading my story from the start, how can I leave a company that accepted me even though I was not in the right place to be employed? Honestly, since the day they hired me, it was the first time I felt I had purpose again.
Skipping ahead on my 4th year, COVID-19 hits, we had to let go of our physical office, some employees, and I was on the chopping block, but with the fear of losing my income, I asked if I could stay, and I did. We were able to transform our business online and were able to survive the first 2 years of the pandemic.
The thing that opposes my guilty feeling is my financial needs. I love my job. I learned so many things that made me who I am today, I got a great Boss and 2 amazing seniors; they are my mentors in life and good friends now.
So what did I do? I left my job the safest route (this is not required, though).
Jumping Off the Cliff…with a Parachute
The first thing I did, was to look for another job, a job that could cushion my financial fall. It took a while, but I found one online. I know that practice is to submit your resignation letter and leave after 30 days, but I emailed my notice 6 MONTHS ahead just to finish the year, train my replacement correctly, and fix everything I could. This mistake was made during my 3rd year, NOT SETTING A DEADLINE for you to leave. Leaving my job was in my head, but NO URGENCY, hence being stuck in a comfort zone.
Second, I started my transition by working two jobs, and boy, this was exhausting. If you can leave your job and are not emotional like me, just go for it.
Third, saying goodbye, I never thought the day would come. That year, 6 months just went by so fast. From working to keep everything intact and ready to transition, I suddenly saw myself crying with my Boss, hugging my seniors, and saying to my replacement,” You can do this.”
My guilt is as big as the tallest tower in the world because my company was only small.
You could also experience this if you have your work Bestie or the Boss who really gave you value and improve your personal and business life, but something you just need to think about. Will I still be in this company in the next 3 years? Doing the same thing day-to-day. Am I growing both financially and as a person? You just have to know. It takes time for emotional people like me to sort out our feelings. For the objective person, just make a list, decide, and do.
Feeling Guilty, I believe, is part of leaving your job, but if you think about it with a growth mindset and replace it with gratefulness, then it’s time to move on. Like I did.
After 4 years and 9 months with my previous company, I am now working at a whole new level.