As coworkers ask me what my plans are once my contract is up, usually they ask me if I’ll try to get a direct job even before my response has a chance to leave my lips. I sense their concern about my upcoming unemployment and the resulting standard response is “we’ll see”. That has been enough to keep their curiosity and opinions at bay.
Now that my last day approaches, though, I’m getting pressed more for whether I’ve been looking for other positions, whether I want help with contacts in other departments and references. The best intentions are meant, of course. My problem is that for every person that is supportive of my travel plans, there are at least half a dozen standing behind them, waiting to tear down and stomp on all my excitement and determination.
Their worries are nothing I haven’t processed through already. ‘What will you do when you get back?’ ‘What about saving for retirement?’ ‘Why would you leave a good job?’
Leaving family, friends, puppy and a career behind for an undetermined amount of time isn’t a situation I would jump into. Come on, analyzer and worry-wart are often used to describe my personality. I just find I’m not interested in defending myself. We all take different paths. We all want something different out of life.
I shrug my shoulders and smile, absorbing the negativity.
If I want to truly commit to this path, though, maybe I need to start explaining myself. I’m not ashamed of the course I’m taking. I don’t imagine I’ll regret the time off, the money spent, the experiences and memories I’ll walk away with either. Who knows, maybe when they hear my reasoning and my plans they’ll be inspired to do something they always dreamed of doing too.