So here I am, after almost 20 years with the same company, suddenly looking for a new job. I am incredibly sad, very excited, somewhat terrified and a little frustrated all at the same time…and boy do I miss my team.
The thing is, I loved my job. The people, the challenges, the variety of work that I was able to do, the trust and responsibility, the impact that I had every single day and all of the many things that I have learned over that time.
I started working there as a PR person and an event planner, eventually launched an entire events product line, built my very own department and made the company millions of dollars. I moved up, took on more, learned more, and worked more, until I came out a full blown marketing director with a healthy side of sales management and operations. My ultimate goal was to one day become a VP and I am proud to say that I did exactly what I set out to do.
Now, when I look back, it is a little crazy to think that I have worked on so many different projects, I have probably forgotten as much as I have retained.
Of course the nostalgic part of me always hoped it would last forever, even though the rational part of my brain realized where the company was likely headed a long time ago. And, even knowing the probable outcome, I was always committed to stay until the bitter end…and boy is there bitterness, not mine, because I think I have the fairly unique perspective of a long time employee who was by and large very happy for most of my tenure, but there are more than a few out there taking pleasure in watching the final crash and burn, even after 32 years of business and some truly incredible success from which many actually benefited.
Personally, I think rooting for anyone’s failure is just bad for the soul, so I choose to look on the bright side and take the high road. If you know me, you know that is just what I do, and I do it even when others call me crazy, or worse, yet somehow I know the right thing to do for me, is to stay and to help.
Now, as the final weeks fly by, I am surprised to find that I am yet again learning something new…and that is how to close a business. It is certainly something that I never expected or wanted to know, but here I am tracking what is owed to the company and to others, doing random HR work, making brutal final decisions, talking to angry customers, clients and readers who don’t understand or don’t believe it’s the end, trying to wrap up a ton of loose ends (and there are so darn many), working with brokers that don’t understand the company, selling some of the remaining assets myself, cleaning out the filing cabinets and watching the owner clean the space in preparation for new tenants…all why trying to build my own website (because why not learn how to do it myself), keep my husband and kids from panicking and find a totally new job.
I have to say that it makes me sadder every day, knowing that soon, this chapter will be over…and I will have to start again with no idea what that next step might be. But I believe that something interesting is around the corner and that it will be awesome, because I will make awesome. I will worry, because the job search is a heck of lot harder than it was when I came out of college (more about that later), but I am really excited just thinking about the possibilities and knowing that I still have so many more things that I can learn.