Moving On

Why do little things in life give us such anxiety?

It's never easy to say goodbye to an employer.

As I sit here at my desk writing this week’s post, I am contemplating my day tomorrow and am a little nervous. Earlier today, I accepted a position with a new firm; tomorrow, I must tell my current employer that I am leaving.

This I not the first time I have been in this position. But every time I find myself here, I always hope it is my last.

There are a number of reasons why we might change jobs. It does not always happen because an employee is unhappy, as this recent recession has taught us. Therefore, I know I may one day find myself here, yet again.

As most of my familiar readers know, I moved away from the landscape architecture field almost four years ago due to the downturn in the local economy. I tried to find a new career that was somewhat related to landscape architecture and would allow me to one day return to the field I am so passionate about.

I spent the last four years working as an environmental planner, and have really enjoyed learning the intricacies of planning utility projects on the local, state, and federal levels.

Still, I am really excited to know that within a few weeks I will be working in the landscape architecture industry once again.

But I am nervous about telling my supervisor tomorrow that I will be leaving. The company I work for is a good company, but our work has slowed and I have been moved to part-time status.

While I understand it was a business decision, I can’t continue to work part time and operate the “business” of running my household. Therefore, I must move on.

When I was younger, I dreaded facing a supervisor and telling them I was leaving their employ. I can remember the shaky voice trying to choke back tears, or trying to speak and the words just could not find their way past the lump in my throat.

I have always taken personal pride and ownership in my job, and have struggled with the notion of moving on. I always worried about my clients and if they were going to receive the same level of service after I left. I also worried about my fellow co-workers and the additional workload my leaving would place on them.

While I have never been able to become completely comfortable with changing jobs, I have learned over the years that it is a part of life and to not take it personally when that time comes.

I think this really hit home when I lost my job after September 11, 2001, and I started my own business without any notice or any clients. It is very reassuring to know that if I absolutely have to, I can take my skills and talents and put them to use to provide for my  family.

I am thankful that I am not facing that situation again. It was a very uncertain time in my life.

While it was very stressful, I think I grew tremendously and learned a lot about myself along the way. I made a few mistakes here and there, but who does not when they are first starting out? I guess that is why they call it the “school of hard knocks”.

Have you recently found yourself in a position where you needed to make a big change and were nervous about it? If so, I would love to hear about it. Feel free to leave a comment below, send me a tweet, or even an email. I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great weekend!

Boyd Coleman is a landscape architect in Phoenix, Arizona. He can be reached on twitter at @CDGLA or email: