Leaving a good job / by Krista Boivie

This past weekend I was reading articles from individuals who decided to leave "great" companies.  The first article from James Whittaker, details why he left Google and now works at Microsoft.  The second article, from Greg Smith, details his decision to leave Goldman Sachs. Both men left their respective companies because they felt that the companies mission had changed and they no longer believed in the new directive of the company. They are both excellent articles and they reveal the unfortunate truth in modern American business--money is the bottom line.

I have never left a job due to problems I have had with a company.  I have voluntarily left a job I have loved and it was very difficult decision.  Three years ago I decided to leave a teaching position at a great school.  I loved my students, had a dream teaching schedule, liked my administration and respected my colleagues.  At the time, my students felt I was betraying them and they couldn't understand my decision.  They assumed it was because I didn't like them anymore. My reassurances that it had nothing to do with them didn't help.  

At the time I was feeling professionally frustrated.  I constantly push myself and I felt like I had learned as much as I was going to from the other teachers at my school. I needed to grow professionally by seeking out a new collaborative environment.  The day I locked my classroom for the last time and walked away was a sad one.  I shed a number of tears and wondered if I had made the right decision.  My new job looked promising, but I wasn't sure it was the right choice.

The next year was difficult for me.  The new job did not live up to the expectations that had been presented and I wasn't happy.  Fortunately, I have since moved on and I am in a great place--but I often think back on that decision to leave.

Although I can't say that I am a radically different teacher than I was three years ago, I have grown from the mere fact that I kept attempting to put myself in new situations where I could learn from others.  I think the key to professional growth is recognizing when you have learned all you can and recognizing when you need to kick yourself in the butt and really thrust yourself into a new challenge.

Have you ever left a job you loved?