Getting Institutionalized at Work

Anyone who spends a lot of time at any stage in their career and has any sense of ambition will eventually begin stirring for change and growth. I spent many years as a Systems Analyst and as much as I enjoyed it, I eventually realized that I needed a change.

Up until this point, I have been with the same company for nearly 13 years. I started putting some feelers out there on Monster.com and Linkedin. Immediately, the calls started coming and I began to evaluate companies that I may want to work for. I am blessed to work at a great company and it was not easy to find companies that would come close with the complete package.

It took me about 9 years of being on a waiting list to get a parking spot in the garage underneath the building. Before that, there were times that I had to brave the Florida sky opening up on me both in and out of the building. If it was not the rain, I would have to sear my skin on my black leather seats from sitting out in the sun all day. Getting a garage spot, is pretty nice and I even get away with having to wash my car less.

I began interviewing at other companies and as the opportunities became more promising, I begin feeling a lot of anxiety. I started thinking that it is a real possibility that I could be leaving this safe house that I have been incubating in all these years. Reminded me of that scene in Shawshank Redemption where the library inmate that was released could not handle the outside so he hung himself.

Then it hit me, I was institutionalized at my job. The cube that I found myself unhappy with was a luxurious office all the sudden. I loved my garage spot! What about my commute to work, I know it so well. The people I’ve been around all this time, I think they are pretty cool too. Whatever feelings I had that were motivating me to change all the sudden went away.

I went through one interview where I was very sure that I had the job. Over the course of a couple of weeks before I found out rather I was in or not, I went through a roller coaster of emotions. I was scared, excited, anxious, ambitious and eventually just exhausted. Once I found out that I did not have the job, I was a relief, because my commute would have been so much more. At that time, I was moving for the wrong reasons.

There was an interview that I did very well on and the commute was much shorter. Even to this day, I would have been happy to make the move but did not get that job either. I can only put it in God’s hands that this is part of his divine plan.

In the midst of waiting to hear back from the second prospect, we had a position open up in our Information Security department. This is significant because we have very little turn over, people stay at this company for the long haul. I took the opportunity to apply, interview and was offered the position. It was a dream come true!

If you are in a similar predicament, do not be surprised if you get cold feet before making a huge decision like this. The feeling was akin to losing someone that I love or the fear of getting a divorce. It is down right frightening. No matter how bad it gets short of physically being abused, I am willing to bet you will feel this away as well.

For whatever reason, the good Lord has me where he wants me, even though I may not understand it, I believe it is for the best. I am taking this opportunity to really explore my new career path and get as much out of it as I can.

Have you ever had a moment where you were sure of something, then when it came right to it you were scared to act?

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