Leaving the corporate life behind

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.

Late summer-early fall 2014 035

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.

Late summer-early fall 2014 129

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.

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About Marti Benedetti

I'm a longtime writer and a widow. I want to share my thoughts and experiences of being single in my 50s and beyond after being married to the same man and raising kids for 28 years. It's not the journey I signed up for, but the one I'm living with. I hope I can offer up some thoughts, chuckles and comfort for those in a similar boat.
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7 Responses to Leaving the corporate life behind

  1. James Walker says:

    You will do well, Marti. Nothing but good wishes for you with much luck, fun and happiness.

  2. Jean R. says:

    I hope it all works out for you and I’m betting it will. It sounds like you’ve done a lot of thinking about this next chapter. I was widowed in the same time frame as you and I’m thinking this third year will be the turning point for both of us. I look forward to following your journey.

  3. dswidow says:

    I’ve never heard anyone regret leaving or retiring.

  4. Karen Mantyk says:

    I read this a few days ago but have not had time until now to respond. I think this was a great move for you. You can still work but will have more flexibility with you life which I think you need. I retired two years after Larry died and did not regret it or look back. xo Karen

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