I feel like I’m playing hooky today. I’m not on vacation, I’m not taking a sick day, but I’m not checking email or doing work either. I’m in between jobs.
It’s been three and a half years since I was transitioning from one job to another, and this time, it’s a little different. It’s different because my second job, at the UN Foundation, was like a home to me for the last few years. Many of the people there became my family, and I made some friends that I will have for life. I also grew up in that job, personally and professionally, and although I am excited about my next chapter, it was hard to say goodbye to the people I worked and laughed with, to my cube, to my accomplishments.
I went in as a 23-year-old starting my second year in the working world, eager to work for a nonprofit, excited to change the world, and ready to soak up all the knowledge I could about my field, online communications. I left having had the privilege to spread the word for some amazing campaigns (Nothing But Nets and Girl Up), to meet some very creative and passionate people, and to build relationships with colleagues who taught me lessons I will learn from for years to come.
And what am I off to next? The Case Foundation, an organization just a few blocks away from my old office (I like to keep things in the Dupont Circle area, clearly) that is doing some very cool and cutting-edge work on social innovation and giving. I’m very excited to join this collaborative and creative team, which I’ve experienced firsthand when the UN Foundation has teamed up with them. I’m thrilled to stay in the world of online communications and citizen engagement, and to keep working with so many of the people I’ve met along the way so I can keep learning from them.
People always ask why you’re leaving one place and going to another, and why you chose now. Well, the simple answer is that there’s never a good time to leave — you’re always in the middle of a project, maybe your team is short-staffed, or it’s a busy time of year. But the best time to leave is always when it’s best for you. It doesn’t matter whether you’re moving across the country and starting over (like my parents did) or adding two extra blocks to your commute (like me), the time to end one chapter and start another is always what’s best for your future, and your well-being. For me, my experiences in the last 3.5 years at this job have been invaluable, and yes, I teared up and choked up several times when saying goodbyes, but it was time for me – for my physical and mental well-being, for my career, for my goals, for my soul.
Change is a good thing. This last year in which I’ve had some ups and downs and many moments of reflection has taught me each risk you take, each transition, each change in your life, whether it’s starting yoga classes, cooking at home more, buying a new pillow, ending a relationship or starting new ones, is all part of the process in getting to who you want to be, and who you are meant to be. So when you decide to do something new, make sure you’re doing it for you, and doing it when it’s best for you.
Are there any changes in your life that you’re pondering lately? How will you make them?