Like most over-thinkers I go over and over potential scenarios in my head well before the event. Then, when it actually comes to happen I forget the 27 mentally rehearsed speeches and walk away disappointed, wondering why I didn’t go with any of them and instead, have just blurted out something inappropriate without any of the buildup and impact all the various options had. I haven’t come off well, the person isn’t in tears by the turmoil of emotions my words evoked, no one’s really clear about what’s just happened and I look like a bit of a dick.
Since we decided to take our mid-life crisis gap year I have been thinking about different ways I would tell my boss I’m leaving. A lot.
A bit of background here is that I have been at my company for 5 years. Pretty much since we stepped off the London to Sydney flight, we realised how expensive Sydney is, and I found myself at the “do you have any questions?” stage of the interview. My unprofessional self was suddenly asking: a/ “will the people here drink wine with me?”, b/ “what number bus do I get back to the City?”, and c/ “where is the nearest IKEA so I can buy a LACK bookcase, as every house should have one???”
In those 5 years my role has changed and my responsibilities have increased to where I now manage a team. Real life people report into me which I did not see coming. What has stayed the same is the respect and admiration I have for my boss, the company MD. And how I have always wanted to be a part of achieving her vision for the glorious future of the business she started from scratch. If I didn’t work for this woman then I’d want her to adopt me as I think she’s one of the smartest, kindest women I’ve ever met. I’ve been given a lot of opportunities here and learnt lessons I’ll be able to apply to whatever I do for the rest of my life. Can 33 year olds be adopted?
So you see why I might have over thought about how I’d give in my notice. Probably she’ll say “no worries and best of luck”. And hand me the obligatory “big” card everyone, everywhere gets when they leave a job. I could have just sent an email 4 weeks before my last day giving in my notice. I’d certainly have gotten more sleep, rather than rehearsing what to say every night for the last 2 months.
I thought about giving a bunch of flowers and a Thank You card as my notice letter. I figured that would show my appreciation for everything, as well as what a big thing this was for me to do. But then would it be clear, or would I just look weird? My colleagues would certainly think I was a bit of a prat and my street-cred rating would drop even further.
I had thought about printing a picture of the Toyota Coaster bus we’ve bought and showing her that. While saying something like “this company has been my home for the last 5 years but now I have found a new one”. Then I took that idea even further to telling the story of why I was resigning by boarding up text and images that I’d hold up like the really inappropriate guy in Love Actually. Fortunately I realised that’s pretty crazy. And we all hated that guy for doing that.
Of course I could just tell her in our weekly meeting like a normal person. But I want to get out all the soppy stuff, about what my time here has meant. And as I’m a bit of a crier the reality is that we’d sit down and I’ll just burst into tears. In a meeting last month she told me that one of my close friends here was having to leave to go back to the UK. I started weeping and had to do the rest of the meeting with my contacts swimming around my eyes. Whatever I do I don’t want to cry. But I do want to make it clear that it isn’t a decision we made lightly.
Anyway. I’ve given myself a deadline of the end of September. Which is 2 months before I actually want to leave the company. Not so far in advance that it implies I think the company will fold in my absence, and that they need to start bringing in rations and battening down the hatches. But not too tight that it leaves no time to roll out the contingency plan, restructure the team, find a new person, and I can hit a few more targets.
So wish me luck, in not being crazy, and watch this space.