So last week the inevitable happened….earlier than anticipated. I gave notice to my job. I was planning to do this eventually, especially since we plan to move. But I did not quit for that reason alone. I have enjoyed my job and it breaks my heart to even think about breaking the news to the people I have been supporting for some time now. Thinking about it is really sad. I’ve had bouts of tears to my own personal network about it, which I feel shows how much I deeply care and how it breaks my heart to see “the system” disappoint.
My ultimate decision to do it was a long time coming, and included some personal values and beliefs that felt violated by my employer. I am in the human services field. This is what I am studying, this has been my life’s journey. I have been responsible for real people and their lives and my role has been to help these people realize their own potentials, goals, big and small achievements – things that we do in our lives every day without ever considering to be “a big deal”, only at my job, sometimes it is a big deal.
The interesting thing about the job I’m about to leave is that it can be easy to appear as a non-person. I know it sounds weird. But in the business of supporting others, often there is so much emphasis on “these others” that we as supporters/counsellors/workers/caregivers/whatever-we-are-called goes by the wayside. It is a job that I believe requires a healthy respect and appreciation for all people involved. I truly loved the work that I have done and currently do. It certainly isn’t glamorous, but it is amazing to see some of the tiny triumphs for some of the folks I know.
The deal breaker has been the actual employer for me. I now feel that for an organization in the community living field to flourish, size and grandeur should not be the focus. A small, focussed organization has the ability to really become experts at providing exemplary service rather than expanding at exponential rates having not perfected the level of care for those people already in place. In order for carers (like me and many others) to be great at caring, there has to be some incentive and a healthy respect. Because I felt that some new developments where I worked were not up to ethical standards, and in fact were a step backwards, I was made to feel like a bad employee. After MUCH contemplation I realize I care more about the well-being of the small group I was caring for than the big company. So if that means I go out with a red flag on my file, so be it. My reasons remain deeply rooted in my personal values that I am no longer willing to compromise. Sadness…..
What I am faced with now is kind of scary and exciting. I am a very logical and methodical person. I like to have a contingency plan in place before I make major decisions. Guess what? I don’t have one. In fact, the funniest thing about this all is that I quit my low paying job that I gave my heart and soul to, to become a volunteer! Well that and a full-time student (living off student loans). Crazy. This feels like a big life moment for me and I have been a bag of all sorts of mixed emotions. Thank goodness for having some solid people around me (including John) because this is so drastic for me that it has me constantly debating with myself.
I think that I am satisfied with my ultimate decision. It will be a great relief to be done with a big corporation-style company that violates some things I believe to be right about this field of work. And I am a firm believer in Karma and that things always work out. Should I need a job right away, I’ll be able to get one.
Go with your hearts everyone. Do what feels right to yourselves. It’s been a very empowering experience.