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I chose to quit my job for personal reasons, but my colleagues couldn’t wrap their heads around my decision. Here are some hilarious questions I was asked.
We women by our very nature are wired to be a multi-tasker and handle the various roles of a wife, mother and employee. Till sometime back, I was a part of the country’s corporate world and clocked in a regular nine hour shift. It had been eleven years since I had joined the work force and apart from a three month sabbatical due to health reasons, I had been busy climbing the corporate ladder.
However, last year I was facing a personal crisis at home which kept getting worse with time. My job was also stressful and the constant pressure started taking a toll on my personal and emotional health.
I took a conscious decision to leave my corporate job and take a break to concentrate on other aspects of my life. I have to say that I was lucky enough to be able to take this decision, and a lot of people who probably need a respite like this are unable to get it.
What was hilarious were the various reactions I received from some of my colleagues when I went to say goodbye to them:
First and foremost, this sentence is grammatically wrong. There is no concept called the ‘family way’ in the English language, and secondly, it’s personal. But of course, any discussion on babies is not considered personal at all in our society. In fact we feel it’s our birthright to ask other people when, how and why they are having babies. My response in negative confused the questioners, but I hurriedly moved on before I could be questioned further.
At times I did not move fast enough and hence had to respond to the follow up question on if I was planning family – once again grammatically wrong, but who am I to point that out? I did not wish to discuss as to why I needed a break, hence I was forced to beat a hasty retreat.
A super zealous colleague was adamant that I had got a job with a competitor and was leaving for a better pay. The conversation was a little stilted:
Me – So I have planned to take a break and today is my last day.
Him – Oohh, you got a job with a competitor nudge, wink
Me – Er… no, I really am taking a break.
Him – Of course, of course you are nudge, nudge, wink, wink
Me – Umm, ok then stay in touch.
Him – Yes sure, listen I will mail you my CV wink, wink
This was from an extremely worried colleague of mine. “What do you mean you are leaving? You can’t just leave? What will you do? You need to have a job before you leave. No no, don’t do this…” I don’t think he heard me mumble a hasty bye and move on. He was still convincing me to hang in there.
This is from those who love to dispense their wisdom to the world. No sooner had I mentioned the word sabbatical that I was almost drowned in the examples of various friends and relatives who also made this grave mistake and killed their careers. The fact that there situations and mine will obviously different does not strike them.
I believe that it is extremely essential for every individual to have financial independence and if you love your job then it’s an added plus. The work place is an important part in our lives where we spend a major part of our day and sometimes make long and lasting friendships. It is the place that allows us to achieve our dreams and make our mark in the world.
However, personal health and family are much more important than the above. At times, you have to take a decision where everything else must be pushed aside so that these can take precedence, and that has been the basis of my decision.
I think in the end, I did have a colleague and a friend who wished me all the best for the future and only said, “I wish I could do the same.”
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