LESSONS FROM WHEN I QUIT

I quit my job of seven years, and if anyone thought that seven years of service deserves a good exit, to say the least – oh boy, are we wrong.

As with every other staff that quit this company, it’s always ugly. And my seven years isn’t spared of the ugly exchange of texts, gossip, and hostility either, unfortunately. I am beyond disappointed that I really couldn’t care less now.

I am still serving my two months of notice as I write. In fact, it’s only the beginning. I am eagerly counting down to the evening of April 1 – when freedom is finally mine. Every night, I go home feeling like I just want to climb into bed, die there and not have to face another day in my office. I’m not even exaggerating. I hate this place already.

I’ve never felt so vulnerable before, and I’ve never prayed so hard before. I remember I once prayed that God wouldn’t humble me by taking away my job, but now, all I hear myself saying is ‘God shield me. Give me patience, and just shut out every talk around me. I don’t want to know about it, I don’t want to care. Just two months and I’m out. Please make this as easy for me, God.’

Seven lessons I’ve since learnt…

1. ALWAYS BE PREPARED BUT ALSO KNOW THAT YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO PREPARED I was, because I’ve seen how my superior would just tell her staff to pack and leave the very next day, so I had my exit plan ready. But then there’s always the loophole of not ever being able to be completely prepared – my superior sprung a surprise and requested that I get all my jobs sorted by month end, and she’s ready to release me a month earlier. Sounds legit. The catch? She wants my new company to pay her for the one month that she’s releasing me early. Please, don’t even try to make sense of this.

2. PEOPLE WILL TALK ABOUT YOU Especially those who constantly talk about every other person. I’ve always understood this, but I always seemed to find the stupidity in me to think it would be different for myself. Why, you ask? I don’t know. Maybe because I always give people the benefit of doubt that they’ll react different, be better, or whatever. Okay, I’m naïve. Enough said.

3. EVERYONE IS DISPENSABLE This perhaps, rings truer for china-man companies – who are more often than not, known to be crude, unscrupulous, incredibly calculative, and narrow-minded. Even they have told you many times that you are indispensable, never for a second believe it. To them, regardless of how great a worker you’ve been, they’ll never truly appreciate you as a person. It’s sad but they don’t understand and respect the need for their staff to grow, individually and as a whole with the company. They look at you much like every other piece of equipment in the office. If you call it quits – the sooner they can replace you, the better. Their motto: Keep working, or get out.

4. PEOPLE WHO MIND DON’T MATTER, THOSE WHO MATTER DON’T MIND It’s a cliché saying but this is the real shit that I’ve been having to remind myself of – that these people who add to all the chatter really don’t matter, and those who’ve got my back are with me all the way. Many have been concern of my resignation and its reason but I’ve learn to just shrug the questions off even when I’m so tempted to yell ‘BECAUSE THE WORK CULTURE SUCKS!’, simply because it’s hard to really trust the people around you. Haha. The walls have ears, you know.

5. DON’T DOUBT YOURSELF This, in my opinion, is so easy to speak of but not do, especially when you haven’t done anything wrong. It’s natural that we’d prefer to retreat and keep away from all contact whenever possible. But I ask myself why? Why should I retreat and make it seem like I am guilty of something? Much like a self-fulfilling prophecy, doubting yourself and retreating wills more talk, stares and attention to yourself. So I’ve learn to not give a shit, because the more unfazed I am despite everything that’s happening, the lesser of an entertainment I’d be to them.

6. BE KIND Just because they aren’t to you doesn’t mean that you should throw it right back at them. Instead, see where they are coming from and accept that not everyone is built to handle a crisis the same way. The meaner they are to you, the kinder you should be to them. It’s not even about making amends with them, it’s about learning to be a bigger, better person and rise above the very shitty position you are in. After all, they really only want to see you go down, so don’t allow it. Swim. Float. Do whatever you need to, but be kind.

7. PEOPLE REMEMBER YOU BY THE WAY YOU LEAVE It’s not entirely true when they say people remember you by the way you live. When it comes to quitting a job, people really just remember you by the way you leave. The way you make your exit, the way you bid farewell, will be the only thing they’ll ever recall when they speak about you. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles. So whatever it is, leave on a good note. Don’t burn bridges (as much as I would’ve wanted to), and don’t bitch about work or anyone right before you leave. Word gets around, and it will never be pretty. So though the ugly end is almost always inevitable, just do whatever you can to try to minimise all the drama. This is when you learn to bite your tongue, and is also when you truly learn what it means to be humble by keeping your mouth shut even when the accusations come flying at you like fiery arrows.

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