Much of internet space has been dedicated to ‘the rules of quitting a job’. One can find many articles that warn about not leaving a job unless you have something else lined up. A gap in your resume is not considered favourable unless, you are a woman taking a break for either having or raising kids or sickness. Leaving a job that you are doing well at, is a career suicide, quitting a job is quitting your boss….so on and so forth. You have heard and read them all.
Well, I am on a career break. I am a woman neither having or raising a child, I was at the top of my game at work, and I have absolutely nothing lined up, not even an interview. I have broken pretty much every rule from that rule book we are told to buy. And I am not alone; there are more and more people joining the club.
The reason? It’s really simple. I want to be in total charge of my career. It is my career. We readily accept that logic for our lives as a whole but are reluctant to apply this to our professional lives. The employers are made out to be these monsters who need to be lied to and dodged and kept in the dark.
I decided to go down a different path. I am at a juncture in my career, where I want to take some time off and figure out what I want to do in the next phase of my life. I want to venture different things, I want to learn new ideas and I want to take a break while I figure it all out. It is exciting but nerve racking nevertheless. So, I involved my employer in the decision making. I talked through my emotions, my logic, my plan or the lack of it, my professional aspirations; laid it all on the table. The reaction I received totally blew me away. Not only did I receive full support, they engaged me in a collaborative discussion and guided me through the process, even if it meant losing an employee. We discussed my skills sets, areas of improvement, what makes me happy and also what isn’t making me happy anymore.
I don’t know if I have taken the right decision but I walked out of that building on my last day knowing I did it the right way. And I did not leave the company, or my boss. I burnt no bridges and certainly didn’t feel like a suicide.
And it is this openness is what, I feel, more organisations should be prepared for from their employees in the coming future. That rule book is out; we define our own rules now. That gap in the resume is perhaps the best thing a future employee could bring to the next organisation. They have had time to relax, recharge and they are there because they want to be there. I say let’s put ’career break’ on our resumes and make it a selling point.
If you can afford it and feel like you want the freedom while you figure out what’s next in your career, do it and do it your way. I, for one, surely will be offering a better self rather than a bitter self to the next place I go, wherever that may be.
So, lets break out of conventions and take charge of our careers!
Originally published at medium.com