I need to backtrack.
Before I was sitting in a puddle of my own tears and before I quit my job I had been conducting an exercise in self-observation. Seemingly simple, I had been noting down when during the working day I had “felt good” and when I had “felt bad”. This wasn’t my invention, but a suggestion by Marcus Buckingham, career expert and Oprah show guest. Let me elaborate on “feeling good” – feeling enlivened, feeling enthusiastic, feeling swept up, losing track of time. And the opposite? Um, do you remember high school maths classes??! Okay, maybe you liked maths (really? wow, I’m impressed); “feeling bad” – lacking enthusiasm, feeling like your batteries just got removed, time has slowed down and is taking a million years to pass from 2.01pm to 2.15pm….
It sounds so simple I might not have even bothered if I wasn’t perpetually niggled by the thought that I was in a job that was just not quite right and there must be one out there that would fit me better. It gnawed at me. So I made my lists and I have to say – it was enlightening. I learned things about myself that should have been obvious to me. I learned about the shades of grey that exist between activities you’d imagine are closely linked. For example, I felt good when I was doing one on one coaching with a manager, but the feeling evaporated when I gave the same information in a group setting. Putting my lists side by side helped me distil themes and commonalities. How I liked to work, what I liked to work on, who I liked to work with. Revelations, oh my!
So, I hadn’t gone completely abandoned all reason when I handed in my resignation. I had done some homework… right??