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Germán Rodríguez Ortiz
Germán Rodríguez Ortiz

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Lessons learned by quitting both my jobs in the lapse of a week

So, I wanted to write this because when facing the whole "quitting my job" process I had many misconceptions that I didn't know I had, and I don't know if it's just me because of the lack of experience doing it. I hope this helps someone who might be struggling with it.

To give a little background, when I talk about 2 jobs, I used to work in two companies, a Project Management SAAS platform, and a "Quiz Management" Web App, I'm a co-founder of the latter and I came to work for the first one when they bought shares into my web platform, five years ago.

At that time I was just starting my career as a developer, I learned a lot during these five years, but slowly I started to realize that some things weren't feeling right for me, then I started to see some red lights, but I resisted even when I started seeing things that at least to me were outright bad. And then two things happened that made me realize what was happening to me.

A couple of friends had to prepare for some interviews, and we got together to review the process and solve some coding problems. After that, and an ungodly amount of beers later, I asked them why and how did they come to the decision of leaving their current jobs. Both told me it was about growing, on how sometimes where you are working you'll hit a ceiling on how far can you keep going, or trying to look for something better. To me it came as my first lesson:

There is nothing wrong with wanting to keep growing. And if you can't do it where you are currently working, maybe it's time to leave.

The second thing happened at a party, I was talking to another friend and he offered me to come work with him.

In the past, I've received some offers (mild humble brag) but I've almost instantly rejected them because I didn't see myself working in another place than where I was. This time I seriously gave it a thought, in the end, it didn't go anywhere, but the fact that I was considering it was enough for me to realize the truth.

I didn't want to accept it but I resisted because I was scared to start all over again. I was afraid because I didn't know how to quit my job and I wasn't sure what was going to happen, I thought people would get angry, that I was betraying some "trust thing" between me and the bosses because we had a very personal treatment between one another, I actually thought that I would end fighting with someone over my reasons to leave.

And so during the last months of the past year I finally made my mind and started to look for another job ( I probably will make a lessons learned from looking for a job when you've never done it article) and luckily through tips friends gave me I managed to find and land a new job in early January.

I don't know how it works in other countries, but here in Chile, the normal thing to do is to give a month's notice to your boss when you resign. And so there I was walking to my boss's office after asking to meet with him to present my resignation letter (he didn't know I was going to do that). I walked through the door and I sat in front of him, we start talking and I lay it on him, I say "this is probably the most adult thing I've done so far, but I'm here to present you my resignation".

Little did I know, this was his first gig as a head developer, and never had to be on that situation, his surprise to it was something I was not expecting, and it actually felt more like I dropped a severed head on the table and no one knew what to do with it. We talked and I explained my reasons to leave, that I felt that during this five years with them I wasn't in the place where I wanted to be, I've hit a ceiling and felt I couldn't grow anymore. I was nervous and didn´t know what was going to happen, and then he talked.

He told me he was glad that I found another job, as a friend and as my head developer. He understood my reasons and was really proud that I landed something better. There I got my second lesson:

All those things you have in your head about what might happen are probably excuses for not doing it. It's not going to be the end of the world, be respectful and speak the truth and things will result in the only way the could result.

After some small talk, he called the "big boss", after all, he handles all the HR things and should be notified of this. He came, and we talked, but I saw something different this time, he was really calmed, but I mean like really really calmed, I realized then that he has done this many times and they're still here. Cue my third lesson:

A resignation is a big deal, but not that much. Many companies go through this and will survive you leaving. We are not that really important to the company, as a business.

He took it like a champ, he thanked me for the time I've worked and said he will miss me :(. Then we started to plan the rest of the month so I can finish the most important things that have to be finished before my departure.

And just like that, I did something I thought would be much much harder than what I thought and I had to do it again.

To make things short, I called for a meeting with the rest of the board of my web app, I used the lessons learned and I respectfully explained why I was stepping down from the company and thanked them for everything. We talked and also planned what and how we were going to complete the process, but I was out. I finally made it, and it left me with yet another lesson:

It's going to be weird every time you have to do it.

But that's it, I hope this can help anyone struggling about leaving their job. If could, I certainly believe you can do it. I believe in you :)

I do have to say, It was a weird week, but in a good way :) . Thanks for taking the time of reading this.

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