In my adult working life of a little over 22 years (I had part-time bar/waitressing jobs whilst at school/university but am not including those!) I have had 5 jobs and so have been through leaving jobs four times.
The first time was quite surreal as I’d already started out in the corporate world whilst we still owned our business (it was a pub!) and so was effectively helping to run the business part-time (which included working weekends and evenings) and working full-time for a brewery. We’d spent 7 years of our life building up the business and I was leaving something that had been all-encompassing but the transition to having just one job was quite a relief. I do remember going into the pub on the Monday on which the sale was completed, gathering our last few bits and pieces and driving away. I hardly looked back as it was a very conscious decision to move on (my mam had been killed in a hit and run and I just felt that I had to use my degree and dip my toes into the corporate world – it almost felt like I would be letting her down if I didn’t do it, as she worked hard 7 days a week to put me through university!), but the business had been “my baby” and it was tough leaving.
I left the brewery after a couple of years and genuinely have no major recollections of my emotions on leaving. At the time I was very excited about the new position and it just felt right – I had done what I was brought in to do (my region went from being 37th out of 41 to the top 3 in the company!) and it was time to move on.
The third time I left a job was after 7 years and I was genuinely heartbroken about leaving, but again the time was right and everything just fell into place. I’d put my CV on t’internet somewhere and the very next day was approached by a recruitment consultant about, what was, at the time my perfect job. My job was very much bespoke as I developed an interest in lots of different areas of the business (read that as “I am nosey!) and so agreed that during my notice period I would work with my replacement to make sure that all of the quirks of the jobs that I knew about through previous experience were passed on. On the final day I was in tears and had doubts about whether it was the right thing to do – I was going to miss the people I worked with, but I have some very close friends as a result of my time there – by the Sunday evening these feelings had evaporated and been replaced with excitement about what was ahead.
Leaving the last position about six and a half years ago, was very much a relief as it was to start a whole new career as a teacher. I didn’t really have time to think as we’d moved house recently and I took a few months off work to polish my maths skills by resitting my GCSE and doing an A level booster course. Again I worked my notice and during my handover period I made sure that the operations manual for the business was up to date and everything was documented, but when it comes down to it I missed the people more than the job.
Now that I’ve made the decision to leave my current teaching job (its been my only teaching job!) after five years I thought that I would be ok. Lets be clear about it: I am really excited and have no doubts that my new school is the right move for me, and up until last week I was adamant that I didn’t want my year 11’s to know. However one of them had somehow heard on the grapevine and was genuinely upset about it, so I made the decision to tell them. They are young adults, and I believe that I owe it to them to hear it from me – “from the horses mouth”, so to speak. They have allowed me to try new things and always been “up for” whatever bizarre idea I wanted to try and have really helped me develop my skills as a teacher, and as a result of this relationship – and teaching for me, is a relationship thing (along with all the pedagogy “stuff”) it just didn’t feel right that they weren’t told and then when they turned up in September and started A level (lots of them have chosen to study maths next year!) for me not to be there. I was positive and upbeat and explained my reasons for telling them and so far they have been brilliant – to the point that I think some of them are more excited about my new job than I am! I have warned them that I expect great results and I will be in on results day to find out how they’ve done … no escaping me! They’ve also been warned that “nothing changes” … I don’t leave my job for ages, and until I leave its business as usual.
But boy was it tough! I never thought it would be that tough! It really is true that “its all about the kids”. Actually scrap that! “Its only about the kids” … sadly, it is easy to forget that when embroiled in the daily grind.
** I’m using the word “kids” in jest! **