Thursday, July 13, 2006

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Today, I am officially unemployed… for two days.

Yesterday was my last day at the PR agency. I spent the last two weeks trying to get the rest of my team up to speed on my projects and going through an unexpected range of emotions.

Last Friday, I explained to a friend over dinner that I was feeling overprotective of my work and getting annoyed that people were, “getting into my business.” Particularly when it came to introducing other team members to my vendor contacts, relationships that I had managed for more than a year with people that I really enjoyed working with, I found myself feeling slightly upset that I had to hand them over.

In reality, I got it. I knew that this was a necessary part of my moving on to a new opportunity. At the agency, the one thing I valued above everything else was my team. I enjoyed working with them, I respected them and I always wanted to see the team succeed. I had an obligation to tie up loose ends and make sure that my transition off of the team was smooth.

But, at dinner, I explained to my friend, “It’s like I want them to realize how much work I did and really miss me once I’m gone.”

She said, “It sounds like you’re breaking up with a boyfriend.”

How insightful! That’s exactly what it sounded like… like I was some crazed, “You’ll realize what you had when I’m gone” girlfriend, who decided SHE wanted to move on, but still wanted him to be hurt. Wow. That’s sounds like something I would do/think/feel.

I got over it. This week, I felt differently; this week, I handed things off, never once feeling annoyed or upset. Why? Because I finally got that they did value me, they knew how much work I did, and they were going to miss me. And I realized that I was going to miss them.

I really thought that leaving this job would feel like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. Something along the lines of, “Whew, I never have to deal with that again.” But it didn’t—I had to fight back the tears more than a couple times yesterday. This is not something I expected, but even though there were definitely good times and bad, I felt camaraderie among my team members. I genuinely liked and trusted them, which is something you don’t find everywhere. I value that and can only hope that I find the same kind of colleagues in my new job.

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