Sunday, March 13, 2011

An update way overdue - leaving my job

My half Catholic, half Jewish self is feeling really guilty for my lack of posting - especially after wanging on about my turning-30 anxieties and then dropping my bombshell about leaving my job. Now that the dust has cleared, I'm lying here on the sofa with an exhaustion-induced cold but finally with the time to properly give this blog and its followers some love.

When last I posted I had two weeks left of my 30-day notice period, and my [former!] company took full advantage of it. I was working 10, 12, 14 hour days until the Monday of my last week. That day I was at work until 10pm and came home to just break down emotionally, and I realized I had to disassociate myself with the work, the project, and the place and do it fast. Luckily, my replacement started that day so from Tuesday I began pulling myself away from decision-making and directing. Despite my efforts, I was there until 6:30pm on my last day - with my parents in the lobby waiting for me!

It was a bittersweet ending to my career at that company; while excited for my new role, I was genuinely sad to leave the company where I'd worked in two countries, knew people around the network of 20 offices, and essentially grew my career. In true English fashion, I was subjected to a speech about me and then I had to give my own speech before opening presents infront of 60 people. I astounded myself by not crying, though my voice did have a bit of a wobble. As I work in the design industry, it is customary to receive a personalised card - usually with your face Photoshopped in an unflattering way onto some sort of kitschy joke. But instead I was really touched to receive a sparkly pink box full of personalised shoes: someone created a template, and nearly everyone in the company designed me a shoe and wrote me a special message. It is exactly that sort of gesture that made me really honored to have worked with such a great group of people, and think OH GOD THIS IS REALLY SCARY. Not only was that company the place where I worked, but it was also a safety net of sorts for me - both in New York and London - and now I was leaving it for good.

But I didn't have time to dwell on such sentiments and fears because my 30th birthday celebration was taking place the next day. My parents had flown over from the US for the weekend, and met me at my office after their day of sightseeing. They joined me at the pub with my company for a few goodbye drinks (my proper leaving do was Thursday and a civilised evening that ended with me at the chippy at midnight) before we headed out for a curry. I was secretly happy to have my parents there as an excuse to leave early, because I knew if I stayed out drinking with everyone it would be more depressing than fun as I thought about what I was leaving behind.

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