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Every now and then we all hit a fork in the road. Although I have been happily employed for almost a year now I’m currently breaking my own rules and leaving to travel. Yes, that’s right, I’m leaving my comfortable job, home, and surroundings for almost a year to experience the unknown.
Making this decision was far from easy. There were a lot of emotional breakdowns before I could calmly proceed. The guilt and anxiety I felt about abandoning my coworkers plagued me for almost a month as I carefully weighed my options. However, this opportunity was just too big for me to pass on. But I also know many of you plan on taking a year to work abroad and gain some international experience. So I went to a few professionals to help me make sense of what I was feeling.
“A great way to keep out your emotions is to only assess the facts of the situation and make a list if need be of the pros and cons of your decision,” suggests Muneeza Khimji, business, life & corporate coach.
Kelly-Lee Mansi, president of Courageous Conversations Inc. suggests going back to one’s original vision of the future.
“Reframe your perspective and realign your thoughts and actions back to your original vision of life and career aspirations. You are entitled to have everything you desire — success, happiness, fulfillment — and your decision to accept another opportunity is simply a step towards achieving that. It is important to keep reminding yourself of this.”
Leaving a good situation for what could potentially be a great situation can be hard. Most people even have a difficult time leaving jobs they hate because they’ve settled into the routine.
“The reality in the world of work is that people leave all the time for all different reasons,” says Mansi. “Here’s a secret I’ll share with you … Companies actually plan and expect you to leave at some point. That is the purpose of turnover rates and succession planning especially with new graduates.”
Another aspect to prepare for is fielding the questions from your co-workers and boss. Be prepared to answer questions such as, “Why are you leaving?” “Where are you going?” “Are you getting a lot more money?” “What is the opportunity about?” “Does it fit with your career aspirations?”
“It is important to remember not to burn your bridges. Leave on good terms,” suggests Khimji. “Be grateful for the opportunity, as this feeling will always ensure you have bigger and better opportunities waiting for you.”