You never know how much something means to you till you have to give it up. It is a well known fact, in certain circles, that I like my job. I don’t complain about the pay or the strange hours, I don’t complain about having to read and reply to emails at unearthly hours of the day or night. Of course there are frustrations, co-worker issues, so on and so forth but not once have I felt that I would rather not be doing this. I know that I would rather go to sleep at night having done a full day of work, than no work at all.
I came into this job with no knowledge, save some technical know how. I’m leaving a well rounded person. I always thought that this was just a job to me, while several people told me that I won’t realise its value until much later. That ‘later’ is now.
Today I gave up my position to my colleague and while I’m still keeping a nominal role, I will no longer be in the thick of things. No longer the go-to person, to the people that I have so painstakingly built relationships with over the last four years. People who opened my eyes to so many things. From learning Bulgarian customs and food to boating in Portugal. From the golf courses of St. Andrews to the shores of Split, this job has yanked me out of my comfort zone, thrown me head first into the ‘real’ world and taught me to swim.
I’ve met people from all walks of life. Educators that have dedicated their life to teaching, politicians that want to make a difference, CEOs that care about their workers. I’ve also learned to deal with the opposite lot. People that couldn’t give a small mammal’s rear end about education, science and the like. And I’ve learned to speak to them until they at least pretended to care.
I will sorely miss my work. I’ve never called it a job and I’m not sure why. I guess in my head and heart a job is just a job. Something that takes me from 9am to 5 pm and ends there. My work has always been that – my work. It needs to be done. All the time. Until it is finished.
While I know the future holds new challenges, it is reassuring that so many people made it clear, in no uncertain terms that I will be missed. Just like I will miss them.