The hard part about moving on

The hard part about moving on...(spoilter, basically everything).

I’m leaving my job. I loved my job. I still mostly love it. I’m yet to have a day where I genuinely hated the idea of going in. But I’m moving on...

I’m moving on because I’ve gotten a little frustrated (honest).
I’m moving on because I’m still a young designer and there is so much to learn.
I’m moving on because it’s important to recognise when you need to pause.
I’m moving on because I’m not afraid of change (at least the fear hasn't stopped me).
I’m moving on because the rate at which I’m learning new things has slowed.

There’s a quote that I find interesting. “Choose the bigger life”. Each person will have their own interpretation of what ‘bigger’ means. But it is a good quote that really makes you consider what the right change or move would be. What is the bigger life? 

Moving on is hard. Even if you’re happy and at ease with the decision.

It’s like as soon as you’ve made the decision to enter something new and unknown. Your subconscious starts betraying you and undermining you with doubts. At least that’s my experience. I think it’s that natural negativity bias people have that preys on the uncertainty surrounding new decisions. It makes sense I suppose. A job or career tends to dominate a person's experience of life; we spend so much time there, every new job is linked to big choices in other areas of our lives, and who is leaving or starting at a given workplace is usually the number 1 piece of gossip at work. It makes sense that any change in job for any reason will bring with it uncertainty and a range of emotions. 

How to tackle that? I try and focus on the fact that the cost of failure is usually very low for whatever decision I'm making. And that there’s always a way out, even if things don’t go as planned. And that good old quote - “Success isn’t a straight line” can come in handy! Any errors or downturns are learning opportunities and building blocks for future growth.

I can also try planning for failure. I've found before when I've tried this, it has worked pretty well. The ideal is simple, you imagine that something you where going to do failed (for example, my motorbike brakes down). You then think through the possible action and preferred order. These are the very same things you might come up with if it happened in the moment, so in a sense you're practising just in case. I've found this element of practising can reduce anxiety about decision making, and also lead to better actions if something does go wrong because you already thought about the answers clear headed.

Why is it hard to move on? Fomo I suppose. Fear of missing out. Whatever your reasons for leaving, you might have pang’s of regret about the future. Glimmers of hope. Or you might worry about missing out on the good times. It’s tough knowing that you might no longer see some people. But unfortunately, the people who really matter are the ones who will try and stay in touch, and you make new friends and new routines, just like the last time that you made a big change.

Breaking off into the realm of mysterious possiblities...

Breaking off into the realm of mysterious possiblities...

As I say with design. You gotta trust the process.

The uncertainty can definitely eat away at you at times. With creatives, like myself, I’ve definitely noticed that leaving jobs can have a de-energising effect, harming their creative confidence and leaving them less sure of themselves. I’ve experienced this. I've also experienced that burst of energy and confidence when you begin the next thing and realise that you can do it! When you realise your view of your abilities was marred by the dirty fingerprint of your previous circumstance. 

The whole process of leaving a job can be a confusing one. There can be feelings of frustration at waiting for one thing to end, so a new one can begin. It's natural to feel unsure I'm realising. Throughout life, changing jobs is usually one of the biggest decisions people make, its generally linked to large life choices, and even in the office who is or isn't leaving is generally number one gossip. So its always going to be a tense and emotional time even if you love it. 

It's times like this I like to think to the future. When I image my life stretching out before me, I tend to find I can find energy, focus and hope. I know it will be all right because I'm in the driving seat. 

Now go and hand that notice in! (I'm kidding).