Thursday, 5 June 2014

The path more or less travelled...

So, last week I quit my job. Yes, the job that I've been in for a total of four and a half months.

It's a strange feeling, especially in this financial climate, to be giving up what some people would call a dream job - a permanent position, 20 minutes walk from the CBD, with a decent rate of pay, and 11 weeks off a year. What's more, it's a good place to work - the staff are dedicated and the students are inspiring, with strong and empathetic leadership, and a great view of the cityscape from my desk. I certainly don't feel like I've made a sensible decision.

But at the same time, I realised from very early on in the role that this isn't a job that I could stay in for the long haul - meaning more than a couple of years. And for that reason, I felt that the most professional thing I could do is resign whilst I was still in my probationary period, and there hadn't been too much invested in me yet. I've set myself some short-term goals, and achieved a few good things, so my time there certainly hasn't been wasted.

It's strange - when I started out as a new graduate, I had this idea of my career progression - which was the traditional model of moving upwards in terms of level of skills, responsibility and, of course, salary. However, somewhere along the way I strayed onto the path less-travelled. I found that doing interesting project-based roles, and developing specialised skills in unique circumstances was far more fulfilling than working toward replacing the next person above me in the industrial hierarchy.

The thing is, everybody talks about how interesting the path less-travelled is. They never talk about what it's like when the path rejoins with the main track again; it's far less satisfying.

Fortunately, there will always be another path less-travelled to choose further down the track.

It's funny - I'm delivering a conference paper in September, and the title was originally "There and Back Again". However, due to another librarian using the same nerdy pop-culture reference for the title of their presentation, I've changed it to "The Road Goes Ever On and On."

It seems like an apt change, all things considered.