Notice Period

On the 13th of February, 2018, when I woke up, I had an epiphany. I was going to resign from my job and pursue my masters in French and English literature. I could continue with my home tuitions or do part time teaching to sustain myself for two years. My family supported my decision and that boosted my confidence. After all, they trusted me and believed in my reasons. 

I have had an exciting career as an Engineer. I have been part of 6 major NPD programs and had led three of them. Work wise, I had always had great interaction with my counterparts in the US. I learnt a lot from them. Couple of years back, I began leading teams and that indeed was the most satisfying experience of my career. I enjoyed working with my team members; most importantly, I enjoyed working for them. They gave me a purpose to stick around with this profession. But, everything, I believe has an expiry date! Work began to get monotonous and I longed to do something more satisfying, something more meaningful. 

I had always enjoyed teaching French. I have had five students so far. When my students would call me to announce their results, the happiness I noticed in their voice would give me immense joy and satisfaction. In Sanskrit, this state of mind or this emotion is called- Muditā. This feeling definitely reinforced my decision. Since 2011, I had considered taking an early retirement and start teaching. But circumstances were such that, I had to make this decision much earlier than I had anticipated. I feel that this is the right time to chase my passion. There are several other reasons that motivated this decision, but I think I shall save those details for another day; for a different post. However, despite having made that decision to leave, I had to wait till the end of the month to announce it. Those two weeks were terrible.

It was difficult to contain my emotions. So, I cleaned my office cupboard and discarded or gave away everything that I had stored for future reference. As I emptied my belongings, I went through the nostalgic feelings attached with them and thus got rid of that phase before anybody else could even get a hint of what I was going through. 14 years is a long time and I had several memories to detach from. And finally, on the 28th of February, 2018, I turned in my resignation. The two months of notice period that followed was like a long roller coaster ride of varied emotions. 

(Early morning sky on the 28th Feb 2018)

I often wondered why companies were so particular about two months of notice period when one had decided to resign anyways. Of course there are reasons such as knowledge transfer, transition plan et all. But, only when I went through this phase, did I realise that there is much more to it than just that. Personally, I felt that this was the time to reflect upon my history with the organisation, spend some quality time with people I care about and mend a few relationships that had turned soar. 

I had realised long ago that professional relationships are complicated and most importantly, they are temporary. Hence, I often focused on building personal relationships with people at work. However, in a corporate setup, as we grow in position, our priorities change and conflicts arise between friends. And one has to make a choice, no matter how hard it is. Moreover, things can get political and sometimes nasty. Could I handle it? definitely! I have handled it during all these years. But, did I want to? Perhaps not! I realised that I could no more allow the corporate world to change me. Hence, I  decided to unlearn things and try to get back to who I once used to be or who I would want to be and these two months of notice period helped me in that journey. 

Apart from performing the necessary formalities of transferring my responsibilities and finishing some pending work, I chose to ameliorate a few relationships. I also decided to spend some time with people, with whom, for whatever reasons, despite wanting, I could not spend enough time with in the past. Because, It was important for me to make them realise that the friendship we shared was more important than the professional relationship we were forced into. That truly helped me maintain my emotional balance. Additionally, this retrospection was not limited to the relationships at office but it also helped me reconnect with my good friends from school, college and French class. I think, I have begun to value friendship more than ever now. It is after all friendships that have always given me more joy! And so, slowly, my last day at office approached. 

My last week at the office was actually great! I lunched or dined with several of my colleagues who had emotions to express, memories to recollect about our association- long or short. I truly enjoyed my candid conversations with couple of juniors who were eager to learn from my experience in the industry. I think, that really made up for all the disappointments that I would have had. Overall, I had prepared myself pretty well for the last day. Two months had given me enough time to go through all the emotions and nostalgia, without people really noticing it. Hence, on my last day, like at the end of a roller coaster ride, I remained stoic. To be precise, no particular emotion took centre stage. But, being aware of my own unpredictable nature, I had arranged for a backup. 

I had organised a trip to Kudremukh national park on the same evening. So, on my last day at work, I was rather excited about the weekend I was about to spend in the mountains! Because by then, I knew very clearly on what I was leaving behind and what I was taking along.


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