The past two days have seen a lot of upheaval and emotion — giving notice at my job on Monday, talking to folks yesterday about my decision to go… and all the while trying to keep things going. It’s never easy making a transition, and certainly not for me, who likes things to stay even-keeled and chilled out…
All the emotion is so… distracting.
I want to be able to just get on with my work, get on with my day, and go about my business. But that’s not going to happen for another couple of weeks, at least, when I’m finally situated in my new position.
The main thing for me right now, is to keep positive and steady and level-headed and not get pulled into other people’s drama. It is harder for them — the ones who are left who have to do the work — and it is hard for me to leave them, because so much of my work has been about keeping them safe and sound and shielding them from the difficulties that come from substandard technologies and poor management decisions. I’ve been a protector, for the past four years, and now I cannot protect them anymore.
In a very real way, I feel as though I’m leaving my “tribe” exposed… and it doesn’t feel good.
At the same time, though, I have been taking it on the chin for them for a long time, and it’s high time I took care of myself.
That being said, this interim period is an excellent time to work on my focus and my further develop skill at staying steady and calm in the midst of the storm. Letting go. Seeing where I can help, as much as humanly possible, and leaving them a legacy of useful resources.
All the bookmarks I use to keep the joint running. All the login information for the different sites. All the instructions I follow to do things that other people will have to do now.
There is a lot of knowledge and experience I am carrying around with me — without it, they will be hurting. So, I’ll do what I can to help them, while I can.
Part of me would love to just ditch the whole scene and move on, but that would not be a fitting end to what has been a really phenomenal “run”. Despite all the upheavals and the problems and shortcomings, I’ve done a phenomenal job of holding down my part of things, and I can see that now. I think I’ve seen it for a long time, but it had much less meaning for me — and them — than it does now, so it’s just that much more noticeable.
Now I need to focus in, keep steady, not let myself get pulled off-track by everything going on around me. People will be upset. They will be emotional. They will be questioning whether they want to stay or go. And I need to keep up with the “agreements” I have with myself about what I will do between now and next Friday.
What I need to do:
- Make a list of all the regular tasks I perform that nobody else does.
- Document the steps I follow to do those things, so others can pick up where I leave off.
- Make a list of all the projects I am working on, which still have steps to be completed.
- Document the steps which are still outstanding.
- Go over the documentation with my supervisors and explain it all to them.
- Write up a list of talking points for both the uber-boss and HR, to explain things that contributed to my decision, and things that could be done differently to help those I’m leaving behind.
- Finish up the pieces I still need to do before the 23rd, and follow up with folks about the status.
All this is a pretty big undertaking for me, but if I break it down, and I see it as part of my personal mission to be a solid team member and support the people I work with, it all makes sense. It will be a great way for me to also evaluate my past performance and see all the things I have done right over the past four years. I have been very focused on what I have done wrong, or have not done as well as I wanted to, and now I can look at what I have done right — and really kick it… make some real progress.
And not let things distract me — my emotions… people lashing out because of their own emotions… my concern about emotions. Probably the biggest source of distraction is my anticipation of what can happen. Last weekend, I lost two very good days because of that anticipation, and I need to not succumb to the same drama for the next week and a half.
If I look at the next 8 days as a way to sharpen specific skills where I have trouble… which will then translate to other parts of my life where I want to make better progress… then it’s a lot less daunting for me, because I know the purpose is larger than the individual tasks alone. And it also makes coming up short — as I so often do — less of a tragedy, because it’s all part of an overall program of progress. It’s not just about the next eight days (well, seven, because I’m taking Friday off). It’s about my overall life.
And that makes all the difference.
It takes the pressure off. And that’s really what I need right now — to take the pressure off. Let myself just be, and let myself succeed at what I’m doing for this next week and a half. This is not going to be easy for folks, but a lot of this is self-created, so it’s not about me at all.
The stuff that’s about me… well, that’s where I need to pay attention.