I am in the process of quitting my job that I have worked at throughout university. It has been a fun little job with opportunities to travel, sharpen my skills and spend some time with like-minded people. The truth is, I was ready to quit. I was feeling cramped with the idea that I knew everything about my role and there wasn’t much more I could do in the way of professional betterment for the role. And then a greater opportunity came up.
I admit, despite knowing I was ready, it was not and still continues to not be as smooth as I hoped it would be. By my very nature, I am a people-pleaser. I would rather make myself uncomfortable than impose on somebody else. I recently shared this with a friend and she quickly responded “That is because you are a female.”
Because I am a female?
Society seems to celebrate this people-pleasing feature in females, and it would seem, young females.
One of the more memorable things a university professor ever said to me was to finish my sentences firmly, without lilting or raising it in a questioning tone that allows for people to assume that you have no idea what you are talking about and in some way, worth less.
I still battle with untangling my dreams and goals from the expectations of other people, but I can confidently say that it is not because I am female but because I am having these experiences for the first time. Disappointing people never gets easier, but when I think it is possible to focus less on that and more on what is necessary for you as a person.
I am more confident as I head into my new position that I will be more focused on what is necessary for me to feel balanced and when it comes to an end, not be apologetic, but grateful for opportunity.
What have your experiences been in leaving a job?
Any other people pleasers out there? What have you learned to assert what you need in a situation?
One thought on “Exits Should Be as Classy as Entrances”
Great post, great timing! I am in the process of leaving a PhD programme for another one. I am trying to make it clear that I want to maintain good professional relations with others whenever and wherever possible, and that it simply became a matter of 'fit'. The other department and I are better suited for one another, and there were personal reasons for my departure. I do not want to cut ties or burn bridges, as they say.
I am a notorious people pleaser, actually, and really struggle with assertiveness. I learned valuable lessons in my current programme about professionalism, boundaries, and the big mistakes to avoid. I will take all of this, and my new-found ability to negotiate between being assertive and finding a diplomatic solution, forward with me in my new programme. It was not an easy decision, and I am trying not to look back with regrets; looking forward to the opportunities presented before me is a much healthier way to proceed.
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