I resigned from my corporate job last week. Three years ago, shortly after I became a widow, I happily and thankfully accepted a writer, automotive research analyst position. It was a lifesaver for me emotionally because it provided a place to go each day, particularly in that first year of singledom. It gave me a reason to get up, get dressed and get out of my empty, sad house.
But the job was not right for me. My job title was only partly accurate — I wasn’t an analyst. I guess I did a few projects that utilized my writing skills, but, for the most part, I’ve struggled to understand the world of market research, its lingo, its acronyms, its seemingly illogical procedures.
I mostly felt inadequate working with analysts, many with graduate and doctorate degrees, who seemed so smart and proficient with writing surveys, designing complex research methods and adeptly using Excel and PowerPoint. These folks can take exhaustive data and insert it into perfectly crafted charts with lots of pretty colors and shapes. They talk about qual and quant and SPSS and SAS. There’s those scales of measurement that can be nominal or ordinal. In my defense, they have degrees in market research versus me with my journalism degree.
On the bright side, I had a very nice office with a view (of a freeway, but also well-groomed college soccer fields) on the 11th floor of an office tower in the Detroit suburbs (see below). I’ll miss it a bit. My office even had a door that I could close for complete privacy. Not many people in corporate America have that these days.
In a couple days, I will return to what I know – writing, editing, interviewing — in my home office (see below). I will slowly re-establish my editorial services company. This time I will have a good-looking web site and “brand” myself, which I’ve read is important now.
My daughter, who has been away at school for five years, is coming back to live with me while she student teaches. I’m looking forward to sharing the house with a family member again — maybe not so many dinners alone in front of the TV.
I have scores of plans for this next chapter: even more walking and biking, volunteering twice instead of once a week, writing more for pleasure, varied coffees and lunches with friends, stepped-up travel, maybe an adventure with homeexchange.com or renting furnished apartments to take extended visits in cities I like. I also might take my laptop and work a bit outside the house — a coffee bar, the library, who knows. I might get serious about selling my house and moving into something smaller with less maintenance.
I admit I’m a little nervous about this step. I gave up benefits (as of midnight Friday they vanished) and a sense of security. But it is a good time of year to resign. Spring has arrived, the buds are bursting from the trees, the tulips are up, and from now on, I can do whatever I want.