It turns out change can be really good, for most everyone involved. I have had some writer’s block lately due to these changes, and not knowing how much I wanted to share, or how to encapsulate it in a blog post.
A little over a year ago I left a secure job with a mostly government funded research institution. It was fun, solid, and the research and development work performed there makes the world a better a place. But, I was stuck. Two feet stuck in some deep mud, and despite the size of the corporation, I didn’t know how to dig myself out. I needed a new challenge, a place where I could grow my brain, my career and spread my wings with all of the technical skills I had acquired.
I dove head first into the start up world with so much energy and vigor, that I don’t think they knew what to do with me. I really enjoyed the pace of work, the urgency with which we approached the smallest of problems, and how quickly they were fixed. Just over a year later I was laid off, and my position eliminated. It wasn’t until I caught up on sleep for a week or so and started back at the gym regularly that I realized how stressed I was. As my friend so eloquently put it, “We’re not taking donor organs to the recipients!”
A month later I was gainfully employed again, with the help of a recruiter. (She told me that in technical fields the unemployment rate is only about 3% in Colorado. I canceled two interviews the week I accepted the job offer). As a new employee, I’ve jumped in with both feet and am doing my best, working hard and sharing my ideas. Good friends told me, “Everything happens for a reason…” or at least, “Hopefully this is one of those cases where you find something you like more than the old job…” after I lost my job. I was very reluctant to even listen to these anecdotes, and in my mind was threatening to walk away from the next person to offer one. For a long time, I couldn’t figure out why I did not want to hear this.
It turns out that I felt good about the work I was doing, and was hurt to be asked not to do it anymore. I cared about my job! I was no longer making the world a better place, no matter how hard I tried to justify Internet advertising versus atmospheric science and aviation safety. But, I put a lot of effort and heart into my work and did my best. Using what sounded like a cop out was unfathomable to me.
I’m only a few weeks into the new job, but I can’t help but think this was the reason. I’m stretching my professional wings, doing good work once again, and have a fabulous work-life balance due to the ability to work from home and eliminate the 1 hour commute when I need to. Starting a new job is always stressful, and there are definitely those days, and the learning is curve is steep. But, isn’t that just what I asked for?
So, the next time a friend is out of work, I’ll let them know they may not believe it, but everything does happen for a reason.