Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Mid-life crisis, take 2

So after feeling like I would never find the right fit for me, and that I'd be stuck in my role forever, I decided to take it back to what I know works for me.  I sat down, reflected, and made a list of what I wanted for my future career (only positive things, no negative things). Here's what I came up with:
  • Be able to continue to travel (ideally to the US or Asia monthly)
  • Flexibility for remote work
  • Earn at least my current salary or more
  • Team I enjoy working with
  • Product I believe in
  • Be able to influence strategy/direction
I kept that post-it note by my desk and looked at it multiple times a day.  Every night before I went to bed or any time I had some down time (often while traveling), I would think about that list and imagine myself in a new role where I had all of that.  I imagined how I would feel, how happy and fulfilled I would be, how much more balance there would be in my life.  I also focused on daily gratitude and recognizing the good things I had in my life - from a positive interaction with a customer to the adorable notes C often leaves for me around the house.  If you don't know, these are all the steps for what some call positive manifestation or positive visualization or even the law of attraction.  It's a little bit hokey and new age-y, especially for someone as pragmatic as myself, but I've always figured it can't hurt to focus on what's positive in your life and to at least put what you want out into the universe.

Plus, it has gotten me amazing results each time I have tried it in the past.  For starters with C, who matched every single thing I had put on my list. Even today, I often wonder marvel I ended up with someone as kind and generous as him. Or our apartment - we both had long wish lists of things we wanted and assumed we'd have to compromise on some things since after all, this is Paris and people spend months or even years trying to find a place that is even half-way decent. But instead, we found our dream apartment on our very first visit, in the area we wanted, in our budget - which is how we ended up buying an apartment when we hadn't even really been looking .

But back to the job hunt. Ironically enough, or maybe not, a week or so after beginning to do the above steps daily, some top-notch job offers started rolling in. So much so that it got to the point where I soon had three extremely different but equally amazing jobs on the table.  And then I became paralyzed again by the choice.  I know, I know, poor me, right - three great job offers, boo hoo.  But which one to choose?  Could I really sauter le pas? Which one would leave me truly happy?  I waffled for a long time, I went back and forth, I made pro and con lists for each one but just could not pull the trigger.

Finally, a little over a week ago, I had an epiphany.  I was being held up by self-judgement.  Two of the offers were in the tech industry, working for French start-ups with amazing products, and the third one was in my current industry.  I was internally leaning towards staying in my industry, but couldn't admit that to myself because the other two were such incredible opportunities that would advance my career much quicker than the third option.

As someone who has always pushed herself to go higher/further, it was extremely difficult for me to admit to myself that I wanted the 'easier' option.  Half of me wanted the challenge and the passion of working for a start-up, but the other half of me knew how all-consuming it would be and that I just needed a break.  But that didn't stop me from feeling disappointed in myself for feeling that way.  Nor worrying about getting pigeon-holed for the rest of my career in my current industry.  So I waffled a bit more, but finally got some excellent advice from some wise girlfriends, and then pulled the trigger this week.

So it's official. Next Thursday will be my last day at The Company, I'll head straight after to my (soon to be former) colleague's wedding in the south of France, and then the following week I'll be gainfully employed by a British company in my same industry.  I had been planning on taking some time off in between, but some important industry events put the kibosh on that.   However, I'm happy to say that my new role will have me still working remotely (check), and I'll be traveling to the US nearly every month (check).  I've gotten a pretty decent salary bump (check), and I already know (and like) many of the people who will be on my team (check), and I'll have a lot of freedom to choose my projects (check).  Hopefully the grass will indeed be greener...

It's been an emotional past few days explaining my decision to my colleagues and my clients, and I have been so touched by the extremely kind and generous things they've had to say about me and my work.  The fact that they all seem so confident about my probability for success in my future role has been a huge moral booster to me, and it's been really gratifying to know that they have appreciated the efforts I have made over the years and enjoyed their interactions with me. I wish it didn't take my deciding to leave for them to say it - but I guess it's like a funeral in that way - you don't often realize the impact someone has until they're gone.

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Blogger Eileen said...

Congratulations Sam, that is really exciting! I'm so glad you made the best out of your job dissatisfaction and found something that fits. Best of luck in starting a new!

June 7, 2018 at 9:11 PM  
Blogger shannon said...

Congratulations!! Such exciting news. I'm thrilled you found something that matches your goals/needs! Good luck!

June 8, 2018 at 7:14 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

Ahhh, many congrats, Sam! I'll admit that your previous entry about this left me wondering when the resolution would be! I still admire you for parlaying that temporary contract into your current job; you deserve all the kudos you get for that! Apparently I have ALL the exclamation points for you! :)

June 8, 2018 at 7:52 AM  
Blogger Ksam said...

Thank you ladies!! Hopefully this is indeed the right move for me at this time in my life.

June 8, 2018 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Annie said...

Bonjour Sam, je vous suis maintenant depuis de nombreuses années, et je suis très heureuse pour vous, vous méritez cette belle carrière !

June 8, 2018 at 1:16 PM  
Blogger Bee Ean said...

Congratulations! Hope you enjoy the new job.

June 8, 2018 at 6:44 PM  
Blogger Gwan said...

Good for you! All the best with the new adventure :)

June 11, 2018 at 5:32 PM  
Blogger Canedolia said...

Congratulations on your new job!

June 16, 2018 at 3:10 PM  

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