A Bump in the Road

Don’t speak too soon my mother would have said.  Perhaps I jinxed it, by crowing about finding a job.  Or perhaps I was just too keen to prove (mainly to myself) that I was still in demand, despite being 56 and having lived outside of Canada for so long.  But I suspect it was my desire to put down roots and call Toronto home again that made me jump at the first opportunity offered, despite a small voice that told me it didn’t feel right.  I should have listened more attentively.

I quit my job on Friday.  For two months I’d been telling myself that I would settle in, that I just needed to get to grips with the job, get used to the company, make friends with my colleagues.  But with each passing day I was becoming more miserable, knowing that I was a round peg trying to hammer myself into a square hole.  In the end it was time to admit my mistake and cut my losses.

I feel I’ve been flung back 7 months to the day we landed back home, like a giant game of Snakes & Ladders.  On the one hand there’s a world of opportunity in front of me, but on the other hand I’ve no clue what comes next.

For now I’m going to take a trip to Dubai, where my husband has returned to work again (yes, we are trying to repatriate, but so far not very successfully) and then I’m also going to the FIGT Conference in March.  Perhaps I’ll present myself as an interesting case study.  In all seriousness I hope I get some inspiration from others who’ve been through this.

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8 thoughts on “A Bump in the Road

  1. Sorry to hear you’re disappointed J — chin up though! You are creating opportunity for yourself, rather than “quitting a job”.

    I have no clue what “comes next” even though I’m “gainfully employed”. If I could quit, I would, just so I could feel the thrill of it. Lucky you!

  2. Judy,

    What sort of work were you doing? What was disturbing you? Was it the people, the job duties, the atmosphere at the company, the industry?

    Please share. And best of luck at finding something else!

    Best regards,

  3. Suzanne, you’re so right that I’m extremely fortunate to have the luxury of quitting. Part of what kept me hanging in so long was not wanting to feel like a spoiled brat for giving up. But in the end I felt I was wasting everyone’s time – their’s as well.

  4. Mary, I thought the job would be a good fit because it was related to my former career in real estate. What I discovered was how important people contact and a flexible environment are to me. The job was far more administrative and structured than I had realized, which sounds like a minor complaint, I know, but I felt imprisoned by it. I think these things were always important to me, but have been strengthened by my expat experience. They’re skills I need to find a use for as I move forward.

  5. It’s great to have learned that about yourself, Judy, sooner rather than later. Best of luck, and I know you will be ready for something new when it turns up.

  6. Judy,
    I truly hope you will get to the point where you don’t see this as a “bump in the road” but as the opportunity that it is. I understand that this was a difficult decision, but I am sure that this is just the start of something better. I wish you luck!

  7. Judy,
    I’m back to see you — I was thinking of you because I’ve been pondering this idea alot: Reinvention and “late blooming” people. I think I’m a late bloomer. I’m 43 and never achieved anything in terms of a stable “career”. I’m an artist and always just supported myself with “day jobs”. But look at this slide show. It might cheer you up:
    Before They Were Famous….(some of this is really funny…Whoopi Goldberg was a mortuary assistant. ROFL!)


    Anyway, I just wanted to come back and keep cheering you on. It would not surprise me if you suddenly discovered some hidden talent during this time in your life and you suddenly “shot to fame, fortune and success”. It will happen for you Judy! Chin up!

  8. Thanks for the support! I think reinvention is very much an expat skill and multiple careers very common for women in general. I’ve had at least 3. I know what works best is to simply wait for inspiration/opportunity to come along. I just have to be patient and keep my eyes open so I recognize them when I see them.

    To say you’ve never achieved anything as a career is quite false. As you say yourself, you’re an artist. The reality is our society doesn’t generally pay artists well, and yet you have managed to support yourself by other means while pursuing your art. That is a huge achievement and I take my hat off to you for that. Most people bury their true desires in order to earn high incomes, but in doing so they lose their souls.

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