This time I said, “No more.”
I was ready to quit two years ago, and I tried to stop working. The hours were long and exhausting. Every weekend. Almost every holiday. Between homeschooling my children and working 30+ hours a week, I finally reached my breaking point. I was done. So I turned in my 2-week notice and started to say my goodbyes.
The phone rang. “Please stay.” my manager said. “We need you.”
My boss gave the details, the lesser requirements shared, and I said that I would consider it.
It’s interesting how I remember this day. I thought the offer they gave me was incredible. But as time went on, oh I how I wish, I had thought about it some more.
“A gentleman’s agreement” is what that is often called. An agreement between friends. I trusted that manager. I trusted his offer. I thought it would stand. However, management changes faster than the wind, and in just a few months later, the begging began. For two years off & on, I had to remind everyone about the agreement.
Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen. Bréne Brown
Eventually, no one wanted to remember what was agreed upon. The email that listed the details had long since been lost (thanks to an email server change) and suddenly I found my job on the line.
Which led me ponder the question. Need versus Want? Which one is better?
I want ice-cream, but I need healthy vegetables. I want the latest Toyota mini-van with built-in screens for my kids. But I need a working vehicle to get from place A to place B.
In reverse, though, life isn’t that way. My marriage isn’t that way, neither is the way I treat my children.
I want my husband to be a millionaire, but that doesn’t mean I dump the one that I have and go get a rich one. I need a man who loves and cherishes me with all his heart…wait, isn’t that worth a million dollars?
I want my children to have a clean room, but does that cause me to go in there and clean it myself? Nope. Not going to do it.
In a business dynamic, it isn’t easy to make that decision. Which is important, the need or the want? Should I as a manager, keep someone on the payroll who I want to work with, but struggles to keep up? Or, what if they are my best salesman turning around 100k a year worth of sales, but our personalities don’t mesh and there is a conflict?
The decision is much more difficult now.
How about from an employee to employer relationship. Should an employee stay at a company because they feel needed, but they are not wanted?
This was exactly where I found myself a few weeks ago.
Yes. That difficult two-week window where you still have to work even though you do not want to.
It dawned on me. I could keep getting better and better, but it would not help me. I could get faster, but would it be enough? I could increase my evaluation scores one or two points. I could pick up a few more shifts. But, it would not matter.
I was not enough for my company.
Realizing this was freeing. It wasn’t my problem. It wasn’t a fault in my character. It wasn’t a bad work ethic or poor prioritization on my part.
I was simply not wanted for who I was. And that was why I finally said, “No more.”
In one little email, I became free.
Sending that email of my resignation has been one of the most liberating acts I have ever done.
My vitality, the life force, that pushes me forward to the next goal was being uselessly spent. On what? Another hour of work? One more paycheck?
It wasn’t worth it. No, not anymore. I wanted to be free of the chains that were holding me down. I want to be loved and appreciated for what I am diligently doing. I desire to be appreciated for being me.
I am so thankful for a husband who backed me and my decision. Losing the paycheck was something that we could afford. I realize that not everyone can lose that 2nd income and still be alright. Since that time, I have been able to focus more on what I like. Writing, coaching, helping others – – all with myself as the leader. If I want to work on a holiday, I will, but not because I am the only trained employee to do it.
Today, I choose to be wanted AND needed.
Because for me, there cannot be an “or”.