I resigned from my job last week.
Most colleagues were taken by surprise. Many within the organization are worried about how my departure will affect them; their roles and responsibilities or even the work environment. Some see the opening of new opportunities. Only a handful truly understands why I must move on.
Around the community, people want to know what happened. Of course there has to be a specific reason, right? I’ve had offers of breakfast, lunch and coffee meetings from a gossipy few who actually care very little about me, but a lot about getting an inside story. And yet, there’s been radio-silence from others who have not reached out or said one word. Bottom line…there always are catalysts that drive decisions.
I don’t owe an explanation to anyone.
My real friends showed up in droves. They are the ones who cried upon hearing the news; hugging me tightly. They wrote letters expressing disappointment, yet wished me the best and promised to stay in touch. They called or texted from Israel; pledging true friendship and making me promise to visit often. They talked of the meaningful and lasting work we had done together; and the difference we made in people’s lives. Those who worked closely with me – and the friends and family who supported me – know that my dedication and passion came from a deep and sincere place…my job never really was just a job. And so, I am humbled by how my announcement impacted people I’ve grown to cherish and love.
So, what happened?
Voices from my past and present grew louder and louder in my head, cutting through daily exhaustion, bureaucracy and noise. Fellow Smithies from my college days reminded me that women are uniquely suited to transform generations. My father chided a younger version of me for not pursuing alternate ways to fulfill my potential. My son challenged me with business school stories about a world that is full of new ideas and possibilities that are waiting to be leveraged. My brother, the rabbi, believes I can do anything I set my mind to. My aunt serves as my wake up call…life is too short to put things off. Bigger things are calling me.
I decided it was time to listen to the voices of those who know me best.
Although I’m determined to take some time off to visit family, ski, relax, and update my resume, I’m flattered that a half-dozen new career options already have found me. But I am not going to rush into anything. I am confident that the stars will align and a clear path toward making a difference will become obvious.
My time is now. My 2017 is going to prove it.