A goodbye to career journey

2 November 2015. After a very long dry season, rain finally covered Jakarta’s evening sky. It was also my last day as a ‘Career Woman’. I weaved a good bye to 8-years-experience at 2 companies (first one was NGO, and then consulting firm) and embraced a new journey as a housewife.

Why? It’s a classic reason, anyway. We, the-not-so-newly-wed-couple, try to have baby while in reality, it is not as easy as just laid on the bed (as I firstly thought, what a shame!) and one of research article said that we are in our productive age, so it’s normal to have a busy schedule from Monday to Sunday, which baby making agenda becomes less priority. It has been more than 2 years now and we think this might be the right time to focus more on pregnancy program. We are not getting younger but older, time by time (hello wrinkles!). Also, it will be a treasure to see (and accompany) our children growing as long as we can do.

How was the process? I believe there is no sudden resignation decision. I actually had discussed the decision since 2014 with my husband. I also informed my employer about my plan at the same period. I almost changed my decision as we found 6 weeks little beep in my womb on early January 2015 but unfortunately we lost it few weeks after.

Looking back the journey, here are some personal notes of what I learn, prepare and consider before quitting the Career track. This is basically based on my personal view.

1. It’s our decision, not mine or yours only.

My resignation was a two-party decision (me and my husband). It’s a simple agreement to support each other through whatever will come along the way. The time we informed the news to our inner circle, we had various responses, which some of them were not comforting. People always have opinion through things. There is never the same right thing accepted by everyone. When I was still at work, they asked me if I consider to quit, when I quit, there are still people asked me why I quit my work.

It’s very human if we want fully support for any important decision we made, especially from our closed-one but not every time we have this opportunity. Sometimes, we need to listen and do what they told us, most of the time we only need to listen (and make a peace sign) and move forward towards what we believe in. We may succeed at the end, but yes there is 50% probability we will failed and regret the decision. That’s ok!

During my time as a full house wife only, I had this ‘regret’ thought, few times. I see my friends posting their dynamic life through social media, feel unproductive and wasting my time too much, have more chat with stray dog and cat than real human, and the list still goes on… BUT, I take my responsibility as a grown up person who made this decision based on long discussion, thought, and discussion. So, I live it. I put all my imagination to color it up. I do things that I never did before (i.e., cooking, regular morning walk). I learn to enjoy as much to fight for it. It is a journey, both of ups and downs, happy and sad.

So, it is important for me to have this ‘responsible-thought’ and which people I need to be involved before decide something.

2. Money talks, baby!

Money is not a sin that we should avoiding. I guess I remember one wise note ‘run the money, or it will ruin your life’. I can say that my husband and I are quite a modest couple. We enjoy to go shopping at big mall as much as at big grocery mall (hello, Mangga Dua!). We have enough for our current life style. Money is not a problem for us.

Since I left my career, it means the budgeting operation stays the same but the incoming number is definitely different. My new title definitely gives new impact to our budgeting system. I can hold on my past life style, if I want but we will not have enough saving for the future, bank note says.

So, it is about life adjustment. I have plenty time now to think which one is important, priority, urgent to have and which one is just for pleasure. I learn to have more saving than expenses. Need vs Want. I still go to fancy super market for groceries but I also go to traditional market (they have cheaper and fresher products, for sure) plus, I have more connection with people I used to only walked by.

3. Should I announce my plan to my colleagues?

I had experienced the two scheme, announce and not announce it. Every time someone’s submitting their resignation letter, there are this discomfort feeling, rumor, question mark, etc. Some of my colleagues shared their ‘true’ reason of leaving, some others were just leaving their desk and big question mark among their colleagues.

If someone asked me, which one is better, I definitely will choose ‘announcement team’. Through announcement, the soon-to-quit person can prepare the leaving process. This process needs all team to work together. Organization also can develop SOP for the process so anyone who enter this process knows the standard and process properly.

Quitting the job doesn’t mean the end of the world. It is certainly a 100% possible action of every active employees of any kind of organizations.

4. What’s next?

I have some list of activities in mind before weaving a good bye to my team-mates. It’s included daily agenda, short and long term plan. I put exercise and healthier food on my daily agenda, weekly meeting with some friends, and some random agendas in between (going to wedding reception on Thursday with mother in law, trying new cafe in town). For short term plan, it’s related with skill improvement & home decoration (writing, driving lesson, Christmas preparation, self-renovation, so on). Long term planning is related with possibility of back as a career woman again. I develop and re-develop the plan for sure as some of them may need adjustment.

The key is I need things to be focused on so I can measure whether I am still on the track or not. I have this thing that I am deeply passionate about, writing. It helps me a lot, especially when the day felt so long and bored.

5. Dream on!

I am keeping my dream on. Quitting career track doesn’t mean the end of my dream. I once had a dream to be a lecturer, a writer, a (great) mother, and so on. I still have them in my mind and I keep visiting them once a while. I even create the new one. I keep dreaming and let the Universe makes my dream comes true.

Why is it important? I realize every time I have a discussion with someone, no matter what background they have, their dreams fill the soul that gives the spark to their spirit. I better spend 5 hours with a dreamer than 5 minutes with a person with no dream. I need my soul to keep alive.

That’s my 5 things. How about you?