“You can’t fire me, I quit, seems I don’t fit in” – Hermie from Rudolph

Yesterday, I gave my two-week notice at work. I’ve been at my job for more than 10 years, which is a long tenure for someone working in legal marketing, the typical average being seven years at the most.

This week, as I finalized negotiations with the new job, was the first week I can remember in a long, long time that I haven’t spent at least part of the day with the sword of Damocles hanging over my head, wondering, “is today the day they’ll fire me?” I won’t disclose all the reasons I have felt this way, but I can tell you it was a real relief to be able to beat them to the punch yesterday, and satisfactory on a number of levels.

I was actually on probation a couple of years ago, which was the closest I’ve felt to being fired on literally an hourly basis. I complained to HR about how someone was mistreating me and others in my department, and all of a sudden, my work was no longer “up to par” and everything I did had to be reviewed and signed off on by my supervisor until my “skills improved.” Lesson learned.

I’ve never fit in here. Yesterday, my department head asked how long I’ve been looking for work and I told her, quite honestly, that I haven’t stopped looking since I got the job 10 years ago. I was only going to work here a short time. I was desperate, having been part of a mass layoff at my last job, my severance had run out and I was back to waiting tables at a shitty chain restaurant, making such poor money that one day I cried for almost an hour sitting on the floor in the restaurant kitchen because I lost a $20 bill somewhere during my shift. The girls I worked with felt bad for me and several of them gave me a dollar out of their own pocket, which was so sweet. So when the firm called, I reluctantly went, and interviewed five times before I got the job. I’ve had a lot of hats here. I couldn’t find another writing job after I got laid off so I went back to being an Executive Assistant, but was fairly quickly plucked from that role and transferred to the marketing department. I planned meetings and did press releases for a while, and finally the writing team was formed and then I didn’t have to plan meetings anymore and travel all the time, which was an improvement. When proposal management was transitioned to my department a couple of years ago, things got appreciably worse. Last January, when a special “proposal team” was formed and I was nominated to write and project manage ALL of the major proposals, the misery quadrupled. So did my job search efforts.

I actually got this job off of a response to one of my tweets on Twitter, of all things. You never know what source will work for you, and you have to work all your angles; reach out, reach out, reach out. I actually was very close to accepting a job offer some months ago, but the job was all wrong and I would have been more miserable than I’ve been here. More money doesn’t solve all your problems, for sure. I hope that this generally means the economy is improving. There aren’t a lot of writing jobs in Cleveland – ones that are JUST writing, and not also handling media relations, planning meetings, doing graphic design, handling website analytics and with your left foot, crack walnuts, because hey, a person’s gotta eat, right? But hopefully this is a sign that things are improving on the job front for everyone.

I knew late last year that 2014 would be a year of major change for me. It’s both exciting and scary leaving a job I’ve been at for so long, longer than any other, but I’ve got my eyes open, am taking it a step at a time and embracing the change.

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